PESHAWAR: Governor Faisal Karim Kundi here on Sunday accused provincial government of misleading Supreme Court of Pakistan about the appointment of vice-chancellors of public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and said that he did not receive any summary in that regard.

Speaking as chief guest at annual convocation of Allama Iqbal Open University’s campus Peshawar, he alleged that during a recent proceeding at Supreme Court, the provincial government’s lawyer said that government selected candidates for the posts of vice-chancellors but the summary was pending with governor, according to a statement.

Mr Kundi requested the chief justice of Supreme Court to take notice of the matter. “If such false statements are made at government level before the apex court then it is a goodbye to the country,” he added.

The governor, who is also chancellor of public sector universities in the province, clarified that his office did not receive any summary regarding the appointment of vice-chancellors.

Kundi says no summary received in this regard

“I have returned a summary with observations regarding the appointment of pro-vice-chancellors in seven public sector universities because they were selected for such a senior positions in violation of relevant law,” he said.

The provincial government had also withdrawn the appointment of pro-VCs owing to legal objections, highlighting a crisis in the educational system of the province.

The governor said that despite short-listing of candidates for the posts of vice-chancellors in 19 public sector universities, appointments had not been made, leading to administrative and educational crises. He urged the chief minister to expedite the process of appointment of vice-chancellors in public sector universities to resolve crises in the institutes of higher education.

Mr Kundi lauded the efforts of Allama Iqbal Open University for providing free education to transgender persons and the children of martyrs and soldiers. He highlighted the role of the university in providing quality education to marginalised communities and helping them to increase literacy and decrease poverty.

Highlighting the achievements of Allama Iqbal Open University, he said that the university produced more than five million graduates during its 50-year educational journey.

The governor distributed degrees among 250 students during the convention, including master, MPhil and graduation degrees. He also awarded gold medals to 40 students for showing outstanding performance.

He said that although the number of universities in the province increased, yet there had been a lack of focus on quality education. The provincial government has allocated Rs3 billion in its annual budget for 34 public universities.

“I had written a letter to Prime Minister Shahbaz Sharif and also had a meeting with him to ensure continuation of financial grants to universities by federal government. I am thankful to him as he has allocated financial grants to universities across the country including Khyber Pakhtunkhwa,” said Mr Kundi.

He stated that Allama Iqbal Open University, through its unique education system, became a prestigious national educational institution. He said that the university was providing educational services to individuals across the country by transcending regional and temporal limitations. “This university has rendered exemplary services at a large scale to provide education to marginalised classes of our society so that they can fulfil their dreams of overcoming illiteracy and poverty,” he added.

The governor said that the establishment of 54 regional campuses and model study centres of the university was a testament to the continuous efforts of its faculty members and administration.

Published in Dawn, June 10th, 2024

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