Rawalpindi-An associate professor of a government-run college has requested Chief Minister Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar to hold an inquiry into the appointment of Prof Ashfaq Lodhi as Deputy Secretary Ministry of Higher Education apparently on political pressure, official sources said on Monday.

Sources revealed that the appointment of a professor as DS was made on political pressure of Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun as he was a class fellow of the minister in Aitchison College, Lahore. In a letter, the associate professor alleged that the appointment was made against merit and without seeking applications or conducting interviews from the aspirants by Director Colleges, Rawalpindi and Secretary Higher Education Department, Punjab, they added.

The associate professor also complained in this regard on Citizen’s Portal, the sources added. The Citizen’s Portal, while taking action, referred the matter to Directorate Public Instructions (Colleges), Punjab for further action, the sources added. According to the sources, Farooq Malik, AP of English in Government Postgraduate College, Asghar Mall, has written a letter to CM Punjab that the authorities had picked up Prof Ashfaq Lodhi, who was serving as AP of English in Government Gordon College, and given the slot of DS in Ministry of Higher Education, Punjab against the merit and the criteria for this post. He mentioned Ashfaq Lodhi had worked under his headship on Gordon College for years and proved himself the most inefficient teacher. “Almost every class approached the Principal or me to change Prof Ashfaq Lodhi,” he alleged. Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun, however, when contacted by The Nation for his comments, denied that he influenced on higher authorities for the appointment of Prof Ashfaq Lodhi as DS in Ministry. He said that no merit was violated in the appointment as Special Secretary Sajid Zafar Dal had recommended Prof Lodhi for the slot after conducting his interview.

“We are in dire need of some honest and intelligent persons in our ministry, so Prof Lodhi was selected for the post of DS,” he said.

Raja Yasir Humayun admitted that Prof Lodhi was his class fellow in AC, Lahore, and they passed A-Level from there.

Special Secretary Sajid Zafar Dal was not available for his comments.