Islamabad-The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has conditioned the withdrawing of its attestation from the degree of International Islamic University (IIU) president’s son, ‘if’ the institution itself cancels the said certificate, The Nation learned on Monday.

The IIU president Prof. Dr. Ahmed Yousif Ahmed Al Draiweesh had awarded Bs (Hons) International Relations degree to his son Abdul Majeed Aldurraywish in a conflict of interest since the former had barely spent time in Pakistan during the undergraduate degree period. The son had spent a total of around 200 days during his degree and missed majority of the attend classes. The HEC had also attested the alleged illegal degree without verifying the ‘Equivalence Certificate’ of the student, obtained by Inter Board Committee of Chairman (IBCC).

The IBCC certificate was a compulsory document for admission and attestation of the certificates of foreign students.

According to the documents available with The Nation, the HEC remained unsuccessful in getting a reply on the case from IIU despite a lapse of several months.  The regulatory body had also attested the degree ‘relaxing’ the prescribed criteria given to universities for the admission of any foreign students.

‘There is a clear contradiction in the written Standard Operating Procedures (SOP) for the universities and the official response of the HEC regarding the issue,” said source. Documents said that one of the dismissed faculty member of IIU, Assistant Professor (AP) Shehhzad Ashraf Chaudhry had sought the reply of HEC regarding measures taken by the Higher Education Institutions (HEIs) regulatory body regarding inquiry of the process.

The letter was addressed to the Executive Director (ED) HEC Dr. Arshad Ali.

The HEC responded “In case the university cancels the BS (IR) degree held by Mr. Abdul Majeed Alduraywish, the HEC will withdraw its attestation which is carried out on the said degree”.

The HEC top executive office regarding the policy for granting the admission to foreign students responded that “HEC grants ‘relaxation’ of equivalence certificate of intermediate level qualification from Inter Board Committee of Chairman (IBCC) to foreign students on provision of verification letter issued by the Education/Cultural Attaché of the concerned Embassy by mentioning the genuineness of applicants intermediate level qualification in their own country.  It is further to clarify that HEC has a transparent process of degree attestation”.

Meanwhile, another official letter issued by HEC to the IIU regarding admittance of foreign students in the institution, contradicted the ‘relaxation policy’ mentioned by the higher education regulatory body.

The HEC executive office also said that HEC has already issued a letter to the International Islamic University Islamabad regarding provision of detailed report of the subject case. Reply of the same has not been received yet from the university. Earlier, ex-chairman for NAStanding Committee on Federal Education Col (retd) Amirullah Marwat had also written to IIU for the unbiased inquiry of the matter. The IIU administration had though announced the inquiry of the issue, the matter was shelved. Meanwhile, the faculty members including Dr. Shehzad Ashraf and Dr. Husnain Naqvi who reached different official forums for the inquiry of the matter were later terminated from the university. 

Responding to The Nation, HEC spokesperson Aayesha Ikram, said that universities are required to abide by all admission criteria, while foreign degrees are not attested by HEC.

The spokesperson said that there is IBCC exemption in HEC policy for foreign nationals and the concerned embassy give in written regarding the educational background of the students and ‘we believe that’.   She also said that HEC has not received the report from the IIU, adding that if university cancels the degree, HEC would withdraw the attestation.