Former PU VC appointed incompetent professor on cancelled post


Another academic corruption scandal was exposed on Tuesday when it was revealed that former Punjab University (PU) vice-chancellor (VC) Lieutenant General (r) Arshad Mehmood appointed an incompetent professor on a cancelled post, Pakistan Today has learnt.
The appointment was completely illegal because the HEC advertised the post but later cancelled it and issued a withdrawn notice in leading newspapers as well. According to sources, the former PU VC, with help of pro-Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) teachers, appointed an incompetent professor Dr Abdul Ghaffar at the geography department, who after being given the illegal seat, not only earned millions of rupees on illegal appointment but also destroyed the career of Dr Tabbasum Jamal, who did two post doctorates from foreign universities and also snatched her chairmanship.
According to sources, Mehmood and some pro-JI teachers in 2007 both cheated the HEC and made many appointments by pressurising others. According to copies of documents available with Pakistan Today, a post of professor of geography, along with other posts, was announced on February 28, 2007 which was withdrawn under instructions of the HEC after which the criterion was revised. After the cancellation of the advertisement, a group of JI teachers, who were hands in gloves with the former VC, pressurised the administration for appointment of Dr Ghaffar, as he was among those teachers who are caretakers of JI teachers at the varsity due to which the JI did its best to get him appointed.
Why the advertisement was withdrawn: A senior HEC official, telling the real story, said that a number of sub-standard journals, which used to publish articles in exchange of payment for advertisements, were exposed and it was learnt that a majority of varsity teachers were publishing their research articles in these substandard research journals. He said that due to this, the HEC categorically rejected these journals and made new critereon for journals along with their rankings.
The official said that after withdrawing the post, the PU was informed through a written letter in April 2007. He said that they now learnt that Dr Ghaffar, with help of the JI and former VC, was selected as professor on May 21, 2007, which was ‘the biggest ever example of hooliganism and hegemony of the JI at PU.’
Dr Tabbasum Jamal: Dr Tabbasum Jamal said that it is a tragedy that the former PU administration in 2007 appointed an incompetent professor, whose eligibility for the seat is still not clear. She said that even foreign refries did not sent his reports and it is a tragedy that she being the senior most teacher in the sciences faculty is begging for justice from rulers. Tabbasum said that she is the only female teacher of the country who has done post doctorate from Strath University, Scotland and one from Glasgow University, K. She said that r JI teachers had victimised her as she is a female and snatched her chairmanship.
She asked the Lahore High Court chief justice to take suo motu notice of the issue. Tabbasum said that just like her, a number of female teachers were suffering due to the JI and said that she wrote to the varsity administration and will do so again.
Talking to Pakistan Today, a legal expert said that Dr Ghaffar committed a big crime and the minimum penalty of his crime is demotion and removal from the administrative post, otherwise, Ghaffar should be removed from service and all financial benefits be returned by him. He said that Ghaffar might be spared due to his JI links like other teachers. The expert said that corruption of Dr Ghaffar was known by all of PU, as he was also appointed the PU Housing Society chairman by violating the one man one post policy.
HEC Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi said that the issue will be taken seriously and the PU administration will be asked to look into the matter. He said that appointment of the professor is an important matter and they only consider HEC recognised journals, a condition, which was imposed in 2007. Naqvi said that the HEC will ask the PU administration to raise the matter in the syndicate and check the factual position and start investigation while the HEC will write officially to PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran to take action. Dr Ghaffar was not available for comments.