KARACHI - The alleged favouritism for friends is still continued by the PPP in its second regime in Sindh as the status of provincial minister has been given to the recently appointed chairperson of the Sindh Higher Education Commission (HEC), Dr Asim Hussain.Dr Asim Hussain is the close friend of former president and PPP’s co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. Mr Asim is also the owner of Ziauddin Hospital in Karachi where Asif Ali Zardari, during his time of imprisonment, was admitted for medical treatment.Being a close friend of Zardari, Asim served as an advisor to the Prime Minister for Petroleum during the last PPP government in Centre. He has been appointed as chairperson of Sindh HEC on contract for four years and on the other hand he will also enjoy the status of provincial minister.Even, the educationists, political parties and analysts have expressed their annoyance, terming it a strange step of the provincial government of PPP to give favoritism to friends.Political analyst Jami Chandio while talking to The Nation termed the appointment of Dr Asim as chairman of the Sindh HEC a mockery of merit and laws, which aimed at appeasing the personal friends and relatives of the leaders. The PPP government has not learned from its mistakes and blunders it committed in last tenure. Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah only follows the instructions of party’s practical chief Asif Ali Zardari, he said.He questioned what logic is behind the appointment of Dr Asim Hussain whose only merit is that he is the close friend of the PPP co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari. Following the 18th amendment, the Sindh government, through passing a law from the Sindh Assembly, established its own HEC which aimed at sending the able students abroad for higher education on scholarships. It may be noted that during its last term, the PPP government passed a law to give legal cover to the out-of-turn promotions and absorptions of ‘favourite’ officers appointed on different posts in the provincial departments. But Supreme Court, led by the then Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry, declared the law of giving legal cover to the favourite officers null and void. PPP’s Sindh government, in last tenure regime or present term, has remained in criticism over its bad government and violation of merit in appointment of the officers, promotions and recruitments in different departments.This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 04-Apr-2014 here.