President rejects list of shortlisted candidates for Vice Chancellor Karakoram International University (KIU) Gilgit
ISLAMABAD: President of Pakistan Mamnoon Hussain has rejected the list of candidates for the appointment of Vice Chancellor Karakoram International University (KIU) Gilgit, and has instructed for a fresh panel of candidates, Dawn has learnt.
It is pertinent to mention that a search committee, headed by the executive director of Higher Education Commission (HEC), had held interviews on January 16 for the appointment of the university’s vice chancellor.
A member of the search committee, requesting anonymity, said after the interviews, the search committee shortlisted the names of four candidates.
“These shortlisted candidates were: Dr Iftikhar Ahmed (Chairman PARC), Dr Asif Khan (of Peshawar University), Dr Mohammad Memon (Aga Khan University) and Dr Najma Najam (former VC of KIU),” he said.
The committee member said the list was then sent to the KIU Senate as, according to the rules, the shortlisted candidates’ names are sent to the president of Pakistan through this body.
“The KIU Senate, headed by Afzal Shigri, dropped the name of Dr Najma Najam and sent the names of the remaining three candidates to the president,” he said.
“Without mentioning any objections, the presidency later returned the list of candidates with instructions to revisit and submit a fresh panel within seven days,” he said.
When contacted, Media Coordinator KIU Shahid Ahmed Shigri said the university had learnt that the names of the shortlisted candidates had been returned.
“However, it is now the job of the search committee to select candidates once again,” he said.
An officer of HEC said there were two possible reasons why the list had been rejected.
“Dr Iftikhar Ahmed was appointed as PARC chairman by the president in September 2013 for one year, but now he has applied for another government job which is unethical as one should first complete the contract tenure,” he said.
“The other view is that former KIU VC Dr Najma Najam’s name was dropped from the list by the univeristy’s Senate. This was not the body’s mandate. Therefore, this could be the possible reason why the president of Pakistan has instructed to revisit the list of candidates,” he added.
Spokesperson HEC Ayesha Ikram, while talking to Dawn, confirmed that the letter from the presidency had been received and a meeting of the search committee would be held next week.