PU asks former VC to clear house rent dues


–Ex-VC Dr Zaffar Mueen withdrew house rent while residing in official residence


LAHORE: The Punjab University (PU) on Wednesday sent a notice to former vice chancellor Prof Dr Zaffar Mueen Nasar regarding the non-recovery of accommodation rent that was still pending with the former VC despite the fact that he had relinquished his charge more than three months ago, Pakistan Today has learnt.

The notice, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, was sent to the former VC from the Public Accounts Committee section of the varsity’s treasurer office. It asks the VC to submit the pending dues to the university’s account.

It had been revealed in PU’s audit report that an amount of Rs330,480 was still pending with the former VC. The amount had been withdrawn in the name of house rent despite the fact that he had resided in the official residence for his entire term.

It is pertinent to mention here that the one-year tenure of Dr Nasar was marred with controversies as he proved to be a weak administrator as several clashes between the Islami Jamiat Talaba and Pashtun student’s union were reported in the varsity, which resulted in dozens of casualties. The ex-VC also remained in hot waters because of his tense relations with the minister for Higher Education Department (HED) Raza Ali Gillani.

Several inquiries of financial irregularities were initiated against Dr Nasar during his tenure and a 26-point fact sheet against him prepared by the HED was also forwarded to both the Governor/Chancellor and Chief Minister Inspection Team (CMIT) while the minister for Higher Education had also accused the VC of financial irregularities on several occasions.

Dr Nasar also publicly spoke against Raza Ali Gillani when the minister chaired an open-court of teachers in the varsity in November last year to hear complaints against the VC, while the VC was not allowed to even sit in that meeting and a summary was sent to the Chief Minister for the removal of VC after the said meeting.

Source in HED privy to the development told this scribe that the financial irregularities against Dr Nasar had almost been proven at that time and he was about to be removed and therefore preferred to quit voluntarily in a bid to avoid further embarrassment in January 2018. The source further told that the department also gave a green signal to investigations against him regarding the appointments made by Dr Nasar in Grade 19, 20 and 21 during his tenure. A major allegation against him was the granting of a civil works contract worth Rs20 million that was given without following legal formalities.

It may be noted that an application was also filed with the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) demanding an inquiry over the allegations of financial irregularities against Dr Nasar during his tenure while the university Syndicate and Academic Staff Association (ASA) also demanded a probe into the allegations leveled against the former VC.

Dr Nasar was reached for a comment several times, but he was unavailable.