ISLAMABAD - The Prime Minister, Controlling Authority of Higher Education Commission (HEC), on Saturday approved the appointment of Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani as acting chairman of the Commission.  

The post was lying vacant for two-and-a half months since Dr Javaid Laghari completed his first four-year term on August 26, 2013.

An official concerned at the PM House informed that as per directions of the apex court, the senior most Vice Chancellor has been given acting charge to look after day-to-day affairs while the headhunting for the permanent appointment continues.

The founding president of the Agha Khan University, Shamsh Kassim- Lakha, was offered the post but he could not accept it due to his engagements with the international organisations. Now the Ministry of Education, Trainings and Standards in Higher Education has been asked again to put up a panel of names of suitable candidates to appoint permanent chairman.

The matter of non-appointment of HEC chairman has been heard in the Supreme Court and Islamabad High Court.  And the Supreme Court had directed the government during the hearing to appoint a new chairman of HEC without further delay.

Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, who is a member of the governing commission of HEC and Vice Chancellor, University of Engineering and Technology, Peshawar, will hold the position for a period of three months till the appointment of permanent chairman.

He has also held the position of HEC Executive Director for a month in December 2012 as a stopgap arrangement during the process of appointment of full-time Executive Director. He is a brother of Supreme Court lawyer Iftikhar Gilani who represented PML-N MNA Sumaira Malik in fake degree case.

The ministry had sent a summary to the PM containing a penal of names of all the 17 members of the governing commission of the HEC to select a candidate for three month’s acting charge. The members of the commission include two federal secretaries, representatives of the four provincial governments and vice chancellors of public sector universities.

The ministry had also proposed to extend the tenure of Dr Javaid Laghari but the proposal could not get approval despite extensive lobbying.