ISLAMABAD: A parliamentary panel in its report has made startling revelations about alleged maladministration in the affairs of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI).
A subcommittee of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Education, headed by MNA Sadaqat Ali Abbasi, through the report with documentary evidence revealed the alleged violations.
The report proposed that action should be taken to bring improvement in IIUI, which is one of the largest public sector universities with around 30,000 students. It stated that there was sufficient evidence to establish that several appointments on the posts of deans and head of departments have been made by violating provisions of the IIUI Ordinance and statutes.
“This includes appointment till further orders without specifying tenures. It is creating an environment of ad hocism and vulnerability in the university which eventually erodes the academic freedom; a hallmark of any academic institution,” read the inquiry report. Several office orders issued by IIUI regarding appointments have also been mentioned in it.
Says several appointments made in violation of rules
The report stated that the university administration should be given 15 days to rectify all notifications which were issued in violation of the IIUI ordinance.
“A perusal of the record shows that there is a complete lack of transparent mechanism of the appointment of vice presidents (VPs) in IIUI. Currently, these appointments are made in selective and whimsical manner,” it stated, adding these appointments were made in violation of orders of the Islamabad High Court (IHC).
It suggested that the board of governors of IIUI should be directed to finalise the procedure of appointments of VPs in a transparent manner.
The report said: “The practice of appointment of handpicked and blue eyed persons should be immediately stopped by removing the incumbent VPs. In addition, no teaching faculty should be appointed on position of VP (AF&P) because it creates conflict of interest ... a large number of ad hoc and contractual employees have been appointed without any competitive process. The selective application of the policy (contractual pay system) is not only discriminatory but it also involves the exercise of colourful discretion by the university authority”.
It added that this policy should be replaced with a transparent recruitment policy.
While discussing the payment received by IIUI Rector Dr Masoom Yasinzai, the report states: “Evidence also shows that the Rector IIUI has been receiving sizeable payments from Imam Muhammad Bin Saud University Riyadh, Saudi Arabia. No plausible justification or explanation has been provided to justify the payment of the sum received by the Rector. These periodic payments cannot be presumed to be consultancy fee as the quantum and regularity of the payments clearly show that it was a salary arrangement. Hence, receiving of dual salary is an established case of misrepresentation and financial misconduct”.
It has been recommended that this matter should be referred to the Federal Board of Revenue (FBR) and Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) for investigation and punitive action. It states that fixation of the salary of the same rector for his second tenure was done by the board of governors without any authorisation of competent authority (the chancellor). The rector has also been accused of getting illegal house rent.
Regarding a scandal about the university’s VP which alleges his involvement in making inappropriate videos, the report states that there is nothing on the record to show that proper inquiry has been authorised and conducted.
“University’s lukewarm action and half hearted attempt to probe this matter through junior level committee comprising of subordinates of VP is clear indication of the cover up.
“This VP should immediately be removed from his administrative position of VP, IIUI and a high powered and impartial committee should be constituted to investigate this matter,” it stated, adding that officials from FIA, Intelligence Bureau, Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Ministry of Education should be made part of the inquiry committee.
It added: “The crux of findings is that there is severe management/administration/academic mess in the university. There is continuous infighting between the two top offices of Rector and President IIUI. There are so many lacunas in the IIUI Ordinance 1985 and it requires overhauling and needs to be brought at par with other federal universities”.
IIUI spokesperson Nasir Farid said he had no idea of this inquiry report, adding the IIUI administration was performing its duties in accordance with rules and regulations.
Talking about the rector’s dual salary, he said the rector did not get double salary rather it was a consultancy fee. Whereas appointments of deans are legitimate, he added.
Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2021