LAHORE - Former vice chancellor of Punjab University, Dr Mujahid Kamran is once again in the race for the top slot.

In December, 2016, Dr Kamran was removed from the post on the LHC orders after about nine years when he had enjoyed two terms and was on extension for a third time.

Other than the former VC, there are two other aspirants including incumbent VC Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir and Dr Zakria Zakir, dean of the PU social sciences.

The Higher Education department (HED) forwarded the case to the Chancellor (Governor) through the Chief Minister Office for final approval. Official sources said that the CM office was contemplating on the issue considering the LHC judgment and may decide after seeking opinion of the legal minds like the law secretary and the advocate general of Punjab.

“Dr Mujahid Kamran approached the concerned quarters, both in the HED and the CM Office, to pave the way for his VC-ship” said a senior officer in the CM office on anonymity.

Despite the fact that Dr Kamran is facing charges in both the anti-graft agencies NAB and the Anti-Corruption Establishment for his alleged involvement in illegal appointments, he wants to be the head of the biggest educational institution of Pakistan for the third time, the officer added.

Also, many of the political figures are reportedly busy lobbying for the former vice chancellor, he told The Nation on Wednesday.

Sources also informed that the third candidate and the dean of Social Sciences, Dr Zakria Zakir, used his official position to serve his personal gains but the search committee recommended his name for the top varsity seat in the panel.

Documents available with The Nation show a seat of the professor at Department of Gender Studies was announced in 2016. Dr Zakir, whose wife was also a candidate for the vacancy in her husband’s department, declared a candidate ineligible for the professorship.

A search committee member, also an office holder in the Punjab government, while requesting anonymity, said that such facts were not brought to the notice of the committee by the departments concerned. “Any candidate facing charges of favouritism could not be declared eligible for the top administrative slot in the public sector universities,” he said, fearing if the government again appointed disputed people another wave of litigation might start to damage the higher education in the province.