In Pakistan selection of a Vice Chancellor of a public university is always a bone of contention wherein authorities look for a person who can humbly work under their thumbs. But in recent past things have improved and the tradition of appointing a Search Committee was established to look for deserving candidates. Needless to say such a committee itself needs to be appropriately qualified.

I congratulate KPK government on appointment of an ideal search committee for selection of vice chancellor(s) for province’ public universities. As none of the committee members is from KPK, therefore, element of local influence has been put aside. Search committee is headed by renowned scientist and ex-chairman of HEC, Dr. Ata ur Rehman, Vice Chancellor of LUMS Dr. Sohail Naqvi, ex-governor of State Bank and presently head of IBA-Karachi, Dr. Ishrat Hussain, and Rector of Rifa International University, Dr. Ghulam Abbas. There is no need to ponder any further on the excellent formulation of the search committee. We wish KPK best of luck.

But news coming from Sindh is quite depressing. Sindh government has also commissioned a search committee which comprises of MNA Azra Iqbal Pechuho who is sister of ex-president Asif Zardari, Iqbal Durrani who is son-in-law of chief minister Qaim Ali Shah, and Mazhar ul Haq Siddique from HEC. None of them is holding a PhD degree. Now I understand why once a Sindh education minister took pride in ‘becoming a wall’ against establishing a public university in Hyderabad.

It’s true when we are not sure what’s best for us, we shall learn from others. But perhaps in Sindh merit doesn’t mean anything to the rulers.


Saudi Arab, August 16.