- Coup-like scenario created as serving chairman is on foreign visit
- HEC staffers irked by Arshad visit, warn of protest
ISLAMABAD: Higher Education Commission (HEC) former executive director Dr Arshad Ali was found to be present in the office from 9 am to 5 pm on Monday after having tendered his resignation a few days ago in a bid to avoid probable sacking in the plagiarism case, well-placed sources told Pakistan Today.
The visit has raised several doubts as to the purpose of it, specially when the serving HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri is not in the country and is the USA on a private visit.
The sources said that it was just like a coup d’état-like situation when he reached the office in the presence of the incumbent Executive Director Lieutenant General Muhammad Asghar, who had remained Rector of National University of Sciences and Technology (NUST), where Dr Arshad had worked under him as a director.
Officials of the commission have voiced great concern over his unlawful visit and threatened to launch a protest campaign in case he visits the office again.
The sources said that there is going to be senior management’s meeting tomorrow (Tuesday) in which they would further asses the situation and make future policy in this regard.
Reportedly, the high-ups have fully backed HEC chairman’s decision of accepting Dr Arshad’s resignation and any move to force the chairman to revert his decision would be resisted with full force.
The sources said that they would not let the commission to become a mockery anymore and would block his unauthorised entry to the commission because he holds no position in the commission to sit in any meeting.
Arshad was appointed to the post in January 2016, who resigned on October 21, 2018, to avoid possible termination since a committee found him guilty of stealing 80 per cent content of his research paper.
Sources said that after the plagiarism was proven, the panel directed the then HEC chief to implement penalty, who then wrote to the education ministry that as he was about to complete his tenure, the recommendations should be implemented by the next chairman
Earlier on October 27, reportedly an important meeting of the HEC was held in which the commission had recommended the execution of the commission’s direction to terminate Dr Arshad. However, he sensed the situation and himself resigned from his post.
During a press conference a day after his resignation, Banuri stated that Dr Arshad Ali tendered his resignation in view of the charges of plagiarism against him, although he denies the allegations. The resignation has been accepted, he added.
He said that Arshad Ali has resigned in an honourable way in order to avoid prolonging his case and to protect the organisation from further controversy.
Despite WhatsApp messages and phone calls, neither HEC spokeswoman Ayesha Ikram nor Arshad Ali could be reached for comments on the issue.