- Justice Saqib Nisar seeks reply within seven days
ISLAMABAD: Chief Justice of Pakistan Justice Saqib Nisar took notice of the appointment of Dr Ahmed Yousaf Al Draiweesh as the president of the International Islamic University of Islamabad (IIUI) without following the required competitive process and sought reply within seven days.
He took the notice while hearing the suo moto action against appointment of the vice chancellors of various universities on Saturday. The chief justice issued notices to the federal government and instructed to submit reply within seven days in this regard. Dr Syed Husnain Abbas, the petitioner and the assistant professor at the University’s Department of Computer Science and Software Engineering, in his petition said that the IIUI was the only university where no search committee was formed and the post of the IIUI president was not advertised.
The petitioner requested to mark the appointment illegal and appoint the IIUI president through competitive process and purely on merit. Dr Husnain Abbas who become party in the case said that the process for the appointment of the president/vice chancellor was provided under the Section 13 of the IIUI Ordinance, 1985, whereby the president/vice chancellor is to be appointed by the Board of Trustees, out of a panel to be recommended by the rector.
“It is pointed out that in accordance with the jurisprudence settled by this court, the process for recruitment has to abide by the principles of open competitive process, which includes inviting applications from all desiring candidates through public advertisement. This in effect structures the discretion vested in the rector for recommendation of the names,” the petition reads.
He pleaded that apart from the advertising, it has been a long standing departmental practice of all institutes of higher learning to constitute search committees. The long standing practice has now acquired the status of convention which cannot be departed from by the authorities concerned, including those at the university.
He said that the tenure of the incumbent president/vice chancellor was ending in June, and the required process for his replacement has been initiated. However, it is most humbly stated that the same was not being conducted in accordance with the law as a list of names has been forwarded by the rector, without any public advertisement or commissioning of any search committee.
It is pertinent to mention here that a petition has already been filed in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) challenging his first appointment as president of the university. The petition alleged that Dr Draiweesh could not improve overall environment of the university during his six-year tenure, which is illegal as the Board of Trustees can appoint a president for a term not exceeding than four years.
As Dr Draiweesh knows only Arabic language, he could not communicate with the students, and to overcome his weakness, he has got a number of interpreters appointed, who have taken it upon themselves to run the university affairs as per their own whims and wishes, the petition stated. According to the petition, IIUI’s incumbent president has constructed a building (commonly known as Khaima) allegedly on the university land.