Commission restores HEC chairperson’s powers

Islamabad : The Higher Education Commission’s governing body, the Commission has restored the powers of HEC Chairperson Dr. Tariq Banuri by a unanimous vote in its meeting.

The decision overruled an earlier resolution, in which consent of the Commission Members was obtained without a formal meeting and through email, to delegate the Chairperson’s powers to the Executive Director, HEC.

All participants of the meeting voted in favour of a motion to set aside the earlier resolution. Former prime minister Imran Khan and former federal education minister Shafqat Mahmood were opposing Dr. Banuri for his stance not to give funds to non-performing and ghost institutions. Earlier, the PTI government had removed Dr. Banuri from the post by scrapping his contract by issuing a presidential ordinance. He challenged the ordinance in Islamabad High Court which restored him to his position.

The Commission while accepting his restoration had deprived him of most of his powers delegating those to the Executive Director. The PTI government had filed an appeal against the IHC verdict. The case is still pending before SC. The new coalition government has not yet fully taken over and the academicians were hoping that the PMLN-led government will withdraw the appeal.

This ordeal wasted 13 months for Dr. Banuri and many academicians and intellectuals were calling for extending his tenure ending by the end of May next for another 13 months to compensate for the time he was deprived of his work by an illegal and unjustified ordinance just issued to stop him from conducting a performance audit of the HEC fund recipients.