ISLAMABAD: Ad hoc appointments of deans of faculty, directors general and chairpersons of various disciplines of the Islamic International University (IIU) have been challenged before the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

Justice Fiaz Ahmed Anjum Jandran of the IHC after preliminary hearing on Friday issued notices to the respondent authorities and sought a report within three weeks.

In his petition moved through Advocate Umer Ijaz Gillani, Assistant Professor Dr Mohammad Mushtaq Ahmed apprised the court that eight of the nine deans of faculty, three of the four director generals and dozens of chairpersons of different departments in the university had been appointed in an illegal manner.

Petitioner accuses Alvi of violating rules in making recruitments

President Arif Alvi, who is also university rector, was making appointments “till further orders”, whereas the law envisaged tenured appointments, he argued. Through the impugned appointment notifications, the rector/president had blatantly violated provisions of the International Islamabad University Ordinance, 1985 and delegated legislation framed thereunder, he said.

The petitioner stated that violation of academic tenures was not a mere procedural irregularity, rather it was eroding “academic freedom”, a legislative objective which is expressly mentioned in Sections 5, 17(7) and 27 of the 1985 Ordinance and which, in fact, was at the very heart of university statutes.

Denied of the security of tenures, the top-most academicians had become vulnerable to pressures from the administrators, he informed the high court.

According to his counsel, the petitioner, a life-long academic, has filed the petition in the public interest not only to seek enforcement of the laws but also secure the larger objective of academic freedom in Pakistan’s public-sector universities.

The petition stated that the posts of deans, directors general and chairpersons of departments were tenure positions, but the respondents in derogation to the statuary provisions issued impugned notifications of appointments of Dr Nadeem Ahmad Sheikh, Dean, Faculty of Engineering and Technology; Dr Amna Mahmood, Dean, Faculty of Social Sciences; Dr Taj Afsar, Dean, Faculty of Usuluddin; Dr Abdul Rashid, acting director general of the Institute of Islamic Economics; and Dr Mohammad Ilyas and Dr Abdul Hayee Abro, directors general of Dawah Academy.

The petition said that no mention of the term of office, which was also against the academic freedom, would amount to making the incumbents vulnerable to officials.

Published in Dawn, May 1st, 2021

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