IIUI includes accused official in inquiry committee

Islamabad – International Islamic University initiated a probe into payment of HEC grant to a foreign faculty member without fully acquiring his services, but included the official allegedly involved in the scam in the inquiry committee.

The Nation also learnt on Wednesday that the said official had already made his mind to shift the blame to others by summoning officials having nothing to do with the matter for inquiry.

According to the details, the IIUI paid Rs5,80,000 to Associate Professor Hafiz Farooq Ahmed of King Faisal University as honorariums from the HEC fund, who was later alleged of having received the huge sum without rendering full services liable under the visiting foreign faculty programme. The official mentioned above allegedly prepared the documents for payment to the foreign teacher. An official source informed The Nation that the HEC while taking notice of the alleged embezzlement of funds asked the IIU president and rector to investigate the matter. The source said that inquiry proceedings were being kept secret to save the skin of the persons who allegedly relaxed criteria for the guest foreign teacher.

“Irrelevant people are being summoned for inquiry without giving reasons and are being forced to record their statements,” said the source.  The source added that a separate committee had also been constituted by dean of Faculty of Basic and Applied Sciences (FBAS) Dr Arshad Zia to look out for possible ways to include the name of Hafiz Farooq as co-supervisor in the list of the board of faculty. His name was not included in the list of the board for not being supervisor of any scholar.

As per the documents, the guest teacher requested the dean FBAS to include his name in the list of the board, claiming that he had been supervising a female scholar and another faculty member since 2016. “In this context, my name has to be there and I have requested the dean FBAS to kindly make sure for this,” wrote Dr Hafiz Farooq. Dr Farooq also claimed that he had been paid only Rs200,000 till now.

Meanwhile, documents reveal that the dean FBAS had requested the student and her co-supervisor to approve Dr Hafiz Farooq as her co-supervisor. The dean also requested the scholar to reply with recommendation letter before the meeting of the board. “A three-member committee has been constituted to review the case of Dr Farooq for enlisting his name in the board,” said the source.

A member of the inquiry committee, Additional Director ORIC Adnan Khan, told The Nation that the inquiry in the matter was under process. However, he was levelling allegations against other officials despite the fact that the inquiry has yet to be completed.

A member of the committee, who requested anonymity, said that they had only been mandated to find the facts and they could not recommend action against the people involved in the scam. He said that around 12 officials would be probed in the matter, while so far only four had been summoned. He also said that performance reports were submitted to the HEC so that it should also take the responsibility.

Dean FBAS Dr Arshad Zia confirmed that the HEC had directed for investigating the matter. “Let’s wait for the inquiry to be completed,” he said.  Director Media HEC Ayesha Ikram said that the commission had asked the IIUI to inquire the matter. The IIU spokesperson Hassan Aftab was contacted repeatedly on his mobile phone but he did not reply. 

 

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