ISLAMABAD, March 5: University teachers have demanded that vice chancellors (VCs) of public sector institutions of higher learning should be appointed according to the set criteria of the Higher Education Commission (HEC).

In a statement, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) regretted that brigadiers and generals are being made VCs in the universities run by armed forces and in some cases even in civil universities like University of Engineering and Technology (UET), Lahore with impunity. It urged the HEC that if such universities do not remove unqualified VCs, their charters must be cancelled.

According to HEC rules, head of any university or institution of higher learning and research must fulfill all the requirements of a Professor which included a PhD degree, specific number of publications in HEC-approved journals and required teaching and administrative experience.

FAPUASA also announced to call off their strike launched in protest against the removal of eight faculty members by the Sindh University. The decision was taken after acting vice- chancellor of Sindh University Dr Perveen unconditionally announced to reinstate the sacked teachers including Sindh University Teachers Association (SUTA) President Dr Azhar Ali Shah and Secretary Dr Irfana Mallah.

Earlier, the federation had given a strike call all over the country in protest against SU VC Dr Nazir Mughal who had dismissed eight faculty members of the institution. They had demanded immediate reinstatement of the dismissed professors and removal of the VC. Dr Nazir Mughal was later sent on forced leave.

“After the fulfillment of our demands, we have decided to end our protest campaign”, said Prof Kaleemullah Bareech, President FAPUASA, in a statement issued here Monday.

“The good news is that all the dismissed/terminated/sacked faculty members now stand restored and have joined their duties”, Mr Bareech said.

FAPUASA demanded termination of Dr Mughal. The university teachers association also demanded that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) should scrutinise credentials of vice-chancellors/rectors/presidents in the light of its own rules and regulations in all public-sector universities and start the process of replacing all those who do not fulfill the criteria of eligibility.

The association also appealed to the Supreme Court (SC) Chief Justice (CJ) to take suo moto against HEC for ignoring the apex court's order of not appointing superannuated personnel especially with administrative powers.

Office bearers of association also warned that if Dr Nazir Mughal was not removed as VC, the central leadership of FAPUASA will meet again to chalk out the future course of action.

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