ISLAMABAD – The Prime Minister has directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) to put on hold the recently given extension to Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi and Advisor (HRD) Dr Riaz Hussain Qureshi, and submit a report about the whole process of extensions.
The PM directive said ‘taking notice of the enclosed press clipping/ news item regarding the process of extension of contract appointments of Dr Sohail Naqvi and Dr Riaz Qureshi in the HEC, the Prime Minister has been pleased to direct that the process being undertaken in HEC for extension of contract appointment of these two officials be put on hold with immediate effect and until further orders’.
It also directed the Chairman that a report about the whole process of extension in these appointments be submitted through Law and Establishment Divisions within 7 days for information/orders of the Prime Minister’. According to information, the letter was written to the Commission on September 3 to halt the process despite that the HEC notified the extensions of the both the officials on September 7 defying the directives of the Controlling Authority.
Dr Sohail Naqvi’s four-year term as ED is going to be expired on September 15 (today) and Dr. Qureshi’s term was expired on August 23.
It’s also important to be noted that the Vice Chancellor of Sindh Agriculture University, Tandojam, Dr. A. Q. Mughal who is also one of the members of the HEC Commission in his letter to the HEC Chairman had raised objections on the extensions of both the officials.
Regarding the extension of Dr. Qureshi, he had pointed out that ‘it is beyond the authority of the Commission to give extensions to the retired/superannuated employees who are serving either in regular scales or MP Scales. Therefore the cases are sent to the Controlling Authority (the Prime Minister) for consideration/approval’.
And regarding the contract extension of Sohail Naqvi, the Commission member had noted that he did not agree with the resolution of giving third term of four years to Dr. Naqvi and wrote dissenting note. He pointed out that it was against the Recruitment Rules framed by the HEC Commission and violation of the HEC Ordinance.
It’s also pertinent to mention that the extension of ED has also been challenged in the Supreme Court. HEC Chairman Dr. Javaid Laghari could not be contacted as he is out of the country. Media Coordinator Murtaza Noor when contacted said the PM office had demanded few clarifications regarding matters of the Commission that have been clarified and conveyed to them. So far the ED is still there and every step will be taken according to the rules and HEC Ordinance as HEC believes in transparency in every matter, he added.