ISLAMABAD: In wake of server criticism from various quarters for alleged plagiarism, COMSATS Institute of Technology (CIIT) Board of Governor Chairman Dr SM Junaid on Saturday came into action and constituted a four-member committee to probe the allegations of plagiarism on the CIIT Acting Rector Dr Raheel Qamar.
Sources told Pakistan Today that the Dr Qamar has been constantly accused of his involvement in plagiarism, which became the cause of action for CIIT Board of Governors to probe the matter.
Dr Junaid formed the four-member committee and directed to submit a report by May 3, 2018.
The letter, a copy of which is available with Pakistan Today, reads, “Allegations of plagiarism on Acting Rector made public by print and electronic media are damaging the reputation of the institute and the official concerned.”
“In order to ascertain the veracity of the allegations, I as the Chairman BoG of CIIT, have decided to constitute the four member committee to probe the matter,” Dr Junaid said.
The letter reads that the committee will be headed by University of Karachi International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS) Director Dr Iqbal Chaudhry. Other members of the committee will include CIIT Islamabad Faculty of Sciences Dean Dr Arshad Saleem Bhatti, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad Department of Biotechnology Chairman Dr Zabta Khan Shinwari and CIIT Acting Registrar Dr Fahim A Qureshi.
“In order to probe the charges, please notify the above mentioned committee and advice the committee to submit the report within one week i.e., by May 3, 2018,” he directed.
It is to be noted that the CIIT acting rector has been allegedly found involved in a plagiarised research work in which he was a co-author and published the paper in a national research journal in 2007.
The CIIT has eight campuses in seven cities, a student population of more than 35,000 and faculty base of 2,887.
However, a senior official told Pakistan Today that not only the rector of the institute is acting but there are five acting directors in its five campuses i.e., Lahore, Wah Cant, Attock, Vehari and Abbottabad campuses, which speaks volume as how the affairs of the institute are being run.
Earlier, a CIIT spokesman had issued a statement that institute’s rector is being maligned through a social media campaign about unverified plagiarism charges.
The statement said that as a matter of concern, CIIT condemns the social media criticism of its rector as fake news, and consequently the Institute resolves to take legal action against all such perpetrators behind this activity through concerned law-enforcement agencies and courts.
It added that an analysis of Dr Qamar’s articles that were allegedly plagiarised reveals that the allegations of plagiarism were false and untrue and therefore an official complaint has been launched with FIA’s cybercrime wing with a request to initiate an investigation against those maligning the reputation of Dr Raheel Qamar.
It is pertinent to mention here that the appointment of CIIT interim rector has already been challenged in Islamabad High Court (IHC) by the staff members of CIIT.
They challenged the decisions regarding massive terminations, appointments and promotions made by Dr Qamar whose alleged plagiarism case is pending in Higher Education Commission (HEC).
As per the petitioner, the interim rector does not have power to terminate 120 employees and unlawfully promote his blue-eyed employees, which clearly falls under the Abuse of Authority rules of the university.
Against the ban on recruitment imposed by the ECP, Dr Qamar has appointed large number of people just to oblige the Minister for Science & Technology who is also the chancellor of the university. The ECP has taken notice of this and have sought explanation.
The Board has curtailed the powers of interim rector due to his poor performance and charges of plagiarism. The employees of COMSATS have shown their resentment on continuation of service of the Interim Rector besides his poor performance.
The terminated and serving faculty and staff of CIIT are now eyeing on IHC for justice as a last resort. They have also sent multiple complaints to the Chief Justice, Supreme Court of Pakistan for suo moto notice on corruption and injustice in CIIT.
Dr Qamar is the recipient of prestigious national award ‘Tamgha-i-Imtiaz’. He was awarded this honour in 2007 by the government for his achievements in the field of bio sciences.