KARACHI, Jan 4: Karachi University Vice Chancellor Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui, whose second term in office was set to end on Thursday, has been asked to continue to perform his duties as VC till further orders, said a spokesperson for the Sindh governor on Wednesday.

The spokesperson told Dawn that Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad, who is also chancellor of all public sector universities in the province, had extended the tenure of the incumbent VC till further orders.

Sources said that the decision had been taken to provide one more opportunity to the ‘search committee’ entrusted with the task of finding a suitable candidate for the post of KU vice chancellor, which is a four-year tenure post.

They said that the next meeting of the search committee, headed by Chartered Institutions Inspection and Evaluation Committee’s chairman S.M. Qureshi, was scheduled to be held on Jan 15. Other members of the search committee are retired justice Haziqul Khairi, Dr Ali Mohammad Ansari (former director-general of health), Prof U.A.G. Isani (former head of the University Grants Commission and vice chancellor of Iqra University), Dr Ishrat Hussain (IBA director and former governor of the State Bank of Pakistan), Prof A.Q. Mughal (vice chancellor of the Sindh Agriculture University, Tando Jam) and Mumtaz-ur-Rehman (principal secretary to the Sindh governor).

The search committee had started its proceedings in November with the scrutiny of names of the candidates who had applied for the KU vice chancellor’s tenure post. It invited 11 applicants for interview at its next meeting held on Dec 11, 2011 but the meeting was abruptly postponed till Jan 15, 2012 after interviewing just one applicant. The lone candidate was the KU Faculty of Science’s dean Prof (Dr) Darakhshan Haleem.

According to the sources, the search committee had called a number of educationists and senior professors for an interview for the KU VC post in its Jan 15 meeting and they include Prof (Dr) Shahana Urooj Kazmi and Prof (Dr) Nasiruddin Khan, the two pro-VCs of the KU, Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology’s Vice Chancellor Prof Mohammad Qaiser, KU Faculty of Arts’ dean Prof (Dr) Zafar Iqbal, Faculty of Administrative Sciences’ dean Prof (Dr) Abuzar Wajidi, Faculty of Science dean Prof (Dr) Darakhshan Haleem and Sindh University’s former senior faculty member Prof Qasim Bhugio.

However, the sources said that although KU incumbent VC Dr Pirzada Qasim, who had shown no inclination to become VC for a third-term and, as such, had not applied for the post, had also been invited for his interview at the search committee’s Jan 15 meeting.

Meanwhile, a delegation of Karachi University’s senior officers called on the vice chancellor to persuade him to withdraw his decision to not become a candidate for the varsity’s VC post, according to a KU press release issued on Wednesday.The delegation also appealed to Sindh governor to use his good offices to get the KU VC’s decision to not become vice chancellor for a third-term changed, the release added.

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