ISLAMABAD - The Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the government have refuted the unfounded allegations levelled by Chairman HEC Tariq Banuri that there is external interference in affairs of the commission as well as universities.

In a statement issued by HEC, it is clarified that the government believed in transparency in the functioning of all government departments at all levels, be it HEC, universities or any other institution.

The statement further said that, since the government took office, it has been ensured that the education sector, and particularly higher education sector, is provided all available resources. It maintained that autonomy of the institutions has always been respected.

"Prime Minister of Pakistan has himself taken interest in ensuring that every government department is free to function as per its defined mandate", said the statement.

Such unsubstantiated blanket assertions from Mr. Banuri are “inappropriate and irresponsible,” the statement said.

The statement elaborated that for appointment of vice chancellor or any other officer in the universities, there were set rules and all appointments were made on merit while following the laid down procedure.

Similarly, for overseeing administrative affairs of universities, there are bodies like Syndicate and Senate that ensure implementation of policies in letter and spirit, it said.

The statement maintained that as far as HEC’s funding distribution is concerned, it is put on record that as well known to Mr. Banuri since its inception in 2002, HEC has a funding formula for disbursement of funds to higher education institutions.