PU’s teachers want former VC to be put on ECL

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  • Former vice-chancellor Dr Nasar facing enquiry by CMIT
  • Dr Zakar to take charge on Tuesday

LAHORE: The teachers’ community of the Punjab University (PU) came down hard on the former interim Vice Chancellor (VC) of the varsity Prof Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar over his abrupt way of giving resignation and demanded that his name must be put on the Exit Control List (ECL).

According to details, Teachers’ Front – the body of university’s teachers – on Monday said that there are high chances that former VC Dr Zafar might leave Pakistan as he is facing corruption allegations. Therefore his name must be put on the ECL.

Talking to Pakistan Today, College of Earth and Environmental Sciences Principal Professor Dr Sajid Rashid, who is also the president of Teachers’ Front, said that Dr Nasar resigned in an extremely mysterious way at a time when he was facing the charges of financial and administrative irregularities. “I don’t think that Dr Nasar was under any sort of pressure from the government to hand over the varsity’s land to a religious seminary as he himself included this point in the agenda item during the 1,724th meeting of the Syndicate – the highest statutory body of the varsity – that could not take place because of the protest of teachers,” he said

The meeting was about to take place in the last week of December but teachers termed that meeting ‘illegal and unconstitutional’ because four seats of Syndicate were vacant.

Moreover, Professor Rashid said that Dr Nasar might leave for Dubai as he came from there before taking the reins of the varsity and therefore, the government must put his name on the ECL as there is a 26-point fact-sheet against the former VC and an enquiry is pending with the Chief Minister’s Inspection Team (CMIT).

He was of the view that the government must appoint the interim VC from within the university as an ‘alien’ cannot handle the affairs of PU amicably, as happened in the case of Dr Nasar who miserably failed to run the varsity during his tenure of over a year.

It is worth mentioning here that a tussle between the VC and Punjab Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani was at peak during the last couple of months as the minister had accused the VC of financial irregularities. The VC had said that the minister was trying to pressurize him to do illegal appointments in the varsity.

A 26 point fact-sheet was prepared against the former VC by the Higher Education Department and the Gillani had also written to the chief minister for the removal of Dr Nasar. The situation got worse when the government asked the VC to give 2 Kanals of the varsity to a religious seminary in Lahore near the Chauburji area, but the VC was reportedly not willing to do so.

The Punjab government had acquired 2 Kanals of land of a religious seminary for the Orange Line Metro Train and now the government wants to compensate that religious seminary.

Meanwhile, the Academic Staff Association (ASA) of the varsity has also demanded the appointment of VC from within the university. It also celebrated the resignation of Dr Nasar on Monday and teachers were found congratulating each other over his resignation.

Meanwhile, Prof Dr Zakaria Zakar, who was earlier working as Faculty of Social Sciences Dean and Institute of Social and Cultural Studies director has been appointed as the provisional VC till the appointment of permanent vice chancellor. A notification in this regard was issued by the Higher Education Department on Monday evening.

Dr Zakar got the Presidential Pride of Performance in 2015 while he was also declared as the best university teacher for 2012-13 by the Higher Education Commission.

It is worth mentioning here that name of Dr Zakar was shortlisted along with Dr Mujahid Kamran and Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar by the vice chancellor’s search committee in the past when the process to appoint the VC was initiated by the government.

A PhD in Public Health Engineering from Germany, Dr Zakar has a long association with the PU as he joined it as a lecturer some 28 years ago. He will take the formal charge of his office on Tuesday (today).

Punjab University – the oldest and largest public sector university in the country – is without VC since December 5 (Friday) and multiple official files of the VC’s office are also pending since then.