Islamabad-The Saudi-national president of the International Islamic University has built for himself an Arabian-style luxurious lodge in the foothills of Margallah that looks like the courtyard of an Arab king as a meeting is underway there, a source revealed.

Cost for construction of the ‘khaima’, as it’s called, has not been paid by the IIUI, as the rector said, but the source said that running expenditures were borne by the university. Moreover, the facility has been built in an area falling under the National Park without seeking approval of the Capital Development Authority.

Dr Yousif Ahmed Al Draiweesh, the president, wished for having the ‘khaima’ despite already having two offices in H-10 and E-7 campuses, the source said. The facility was built while bypassing the university’s decision-making bodies, the source revealed.

Construction of any new building or facility in the university can be started only after approval of the Board of Studies or other administrative forums. However, the norm was ignored, the source added.

The ‘khaima’ was constructed in the lawn of Iqbal Institute of Research and Dialogue (IIRD) after the president ‘picked’ the location for being in the foothills of Margallah in E-7, the source said.

Spreading over one kanal of land, the ‘khaima’ reflects a Saudi palace decorated with expensive items including luxurious furniture and more than 7 air conditioners. The ‘khaima’ has four rooms other than a hall which has the capacity of accommodating above 60 people. “It looks like an Arab king’s court when a meeting is underway there,” the source commented.

The IIRD guest house was constructed for teachers and visiting faculty members from far-away areas and were given residence in nearly 12 suits built there, the source said. However, now only four suits have been left for the purpose and rest of the suits and the ‘khaima’ are at disposal of the university president, he said. “The suits have been distributed amongst the blue-eyed officials including the president’s translator and another foreigner,” said the source.

The source said that the CDA had not been consulted before building the ‘khaima’. The PPRA rules were also not followed, the source added.

The source added that the ‘khaima’ was allegedly built with the money sent by Saudi Arabia for the renovation and some additional construction of the Faisal Mosque.

The source also said that the university was in financial deficit of above Rs200 million. Also, there is a lack of academic blocks as the respective facilities have not been extended during the last four years, he said.

“The administration is focused more on adding facilities for their own luxuries than lifting academic standards and building blocks for students,” the source commented. The source said that teachers’ salaries were being paid from the reserve fund of the university but the administrative officials had no shortage of funds.

Director Finance IIUI Sai-ur-Rehman told The Nation that it was not in his knowledge as to who paid for construction of ‘khaima’”. He said that no payment had been made from the university’s account in this regard.

Rector IIUI Dr Masoom Yasinzai while talking to The Nation ruled out controversial status of ‘khaima’ on the land of the university.

He said that the construction was made by the Embassy of Saudi Arabia and it was a gift to the IIUI. The rector claimed that no rules of the government were relevant to such constructions as the ‘khaima’ was built on the university’s own land by a friendly country.    

An official of the CDA, however, said that construction of ‘khaima’ had a controversial status as the area was part of the National Park.