Sindh Higher Education Commission (SHEC) Chairman Dr Asim Hussain has stated that he will not be able to continue on the post on a third term.
During a meeting with Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah on Friday, Dr Asim said a new chairman of the SHEC should be selected on merit as he was no more interested in holding the office for another term.
According to a statement, Dr Asim told Shah that during his capacity as the SHEC chairman, he worked tirelessly to promote higher education in the province, but certain political parties and mafias were not content and wanted him out.
He further assured the CM of his full cooperation for the betterment of higher education in Sindh and stated that his services were always available for the province without regard to designation.
Dr Asim’s tenure as the SHEC chairman expired last month, after which he was allowed an extension until further orders or till the nomination of a new chairman.
The decision of Dr Asim to relinquish the post came days after the Sindh High Court restrained him from making any appointments in the commission. The restraining order came on a petition filed against the extension given to him. A petitioner who was seeking removal of Dr Asim had told the high court that he had appointed many persons in the commission without public notice in the SHEC in violation of the law.
Dr Asim was appointed as the SHEC chairman in 2014 and re-appointed after four years despite the fact that he was facing allegations pertaining to mega corruption. His second term expired on January 28, 2022. As per the SHEC Act, the chairperson and members “shall hold office for a period of four years and shall in no case be eligible for reappointment for more than one similar term.”
The petitioner also questioned Dr Asim’s performance and alleged that he not only abused his authority to benefit his family members, but in sheer disregard for conflict of interest, he also benefited the institutes of higher learning that he owned.
It was claimed that Dr Asim was recommended for appointment as the SHEC chief for a third time, and a summary to this effect was pending before the chief minister. The petitioner submitted that the reappointment of the respondent would be a violation of the SHEC Act.