CM sides with party lawmaker in make-up test case

Source: Published in Politics on Thursday, August 06, 2015

PESHAWAR: Instead of holding his party parliamentarian accountable for violation of statuary rules and regulations and collusion to get a degree, the chief minister of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa has sought the removal of the vice-chancellor of University of Peshawar, according to documents and official sources.

In a summary sent to Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Sardar Mahtab Ahmad Khan, who is the chancellor of University of Peshawar, Chief Minister Pervez Khattak has recommended removal of Vice-chancellor Dr Rasul Jan.

“This is bizarre,” an official aware of the development said.

“I don’t think this can stand the test of scrutiny,” said another official.

Sends summary to governor for removal of UoP vice-chancellor

The chief minister came up with his recommendations after a two-member inquiry committee, constituted by Chief Secretary Amjad Ali Khan to look into the controversy surrounding the degree issue of PTI MNA Murad Saeed, submitted its report.

The PTI poster-boy from Swat had been embroiled in the controversy when it emerged that he, in collusion with some officials of the University of Peshawar, had manipulated the system to receive BS degree in environmental sciences.

Significantly, the two member committee came up with divergent and contradictory findings. The committee member from higher education department favoured Mr Saeed and held the vice-chancellor responsible for deliberately attempting to deny him a degree.

The member noted that there had been such precedents in the past, though illegal, there was no reason why Mr Saeed was singled out and discriminated against.

The report submitted by a member of the committee from the law department, obtained through the Right to Information Act, held the MNA responsible for misconduct along with the officials of the university who helped him to manipulate the system. The vice-chancellor, after his own inquiry, had also held same officials responsible and had taken action against.

The report submitted by the higher education official, however, could not be obtained. Minister for Higher Education Mushtaq Ghani confirmed that he received a ‘sealed report’ and passed it on to the competent authority.

It is, however, hard to believe since the summary would have had to contain his views before it was sent to the chief minister for approval.

The law department member noted: “ It is clear from inquiry report that there is collusion between ex-student (Murad Saeed) and university authorities to play this game in violation of Statute 1982-08 and Regulations 2010 etc of Peshawar University.”

“Both the university authorities and Murad Saeed are equally responsible for this misconduct.”

“Those responsible in the deal of examination and awarding degree if any, to Murad Saeed (in Peshawar University) may be proceeded in accordance with rules and regulations of the University,” he recommended in his report.

Ironically, instead of taking a balanced view or ordering a higher level inquiry into the sordid affair, Chief Minister Khattak appeared to have chosen to side with his MNA and recommended the removal of the vice-chancellor.

An official told Dawn that the vice-chancellor in a letter to the chief secretary last week complained that he was being pressured and harassed by the high ups to capitulate and change his stance in the case.

It was also revealed that the chief minister had thrice summoned Dr Rasul Jan to his office to ‘request’ him to go soft in Murad Saeed’s case. Mr Ghani had done the same, an official privy to the controversy said.

“I think this was coming. Dr Rasul Jan has been in the eye of the storm for quite some time. He was intransigent, be that the sexual harassment case against a senior faculty member or the case related to Murad Saeed. The powers that be now want him out. Two bigwigs do not see eye to eye with the vice-chancellor,” the official said.

The MNA from Swat has been accused of arranging a hurriedly held make-up test for the papers he missed back in 2009 BS semester examination at department of environmental sciences, University of Peshawar in March 2015.

The report submitted by the member from the law department gives details of the process and rules and regulations, which were violated and also mentions how the MNA could not give satisfactory answers to questions like why he, as a failed student, was required to repeat course, did not follow the specific clause.

As a ‘failed student’, there was no provision in Statutes/Regulations of 1982-83-08 (r/w Regulation of 2010) to appear in make-up test then how and why he took the same. While it was legally required to register himself in the next batch then what stopped him to deposit the prescribed fee, which was mandatory provision, yet he did not, he noted.

“He gave detailed explanation to the above (questions) yet with no satisfaction,” said the report.

The report says that as per his (Murad Saeed) stance, he had passed all his papers, then what prompted him to re-appear and that too in an un-lawful way.

According to the latest inquiry report, Mr Saeed had been the student of Batch-IV (2005-2009). According to Regulations, he was given admission in 2005 ending in 2009 so to successfully complete his requirement or to pass his entire semester, from 2005 to 2013.

He was marked ‘absent’ in three papers of “introduction to environmental sciences” in first semester of-B-IV. Besides, he was found again ‘failed’ in “remote sensing” of sixth semester.

“Murad Saeed, in the eyes of the law so framed, did not complete his course successfully up to 2013, terming himself unqualified to receive BS degree of environmental science from University of Peshawar,” the report pointed out.

The additional secretary law, who was member of the inquiry committee, noted that “Peshawar University should arrange for repeat course for failed student namely Murad Saeed and other (if any) by amending the regulations of the institution.”

His comments make it abundantly clear that Mr Saeed was a failed student and thus did not deserve to be given a degree, a fact contested by the MNA.

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Written by Saad Niaz

Author Information: Saad is the C.E.O & Co-Founder of – Pakistan’s pioneer...

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