LAHORE - Complying with the directions issued by the Lahore High Court, the Punjab government on Tuesday appointed vice-chancellors of the four public sector universities.

The secretary higher education issued a notification in this regard after formal approval of the chancellor, the Punjab governor. All the four VCs are appointed provisionally. Dr Ishtiaq Ahmed, Dr Mohammad Zubair, Dr Zafar Mueen Nasar and Dr Rukhsana Kausar are notified as vice-chancellors of University of Sargodha (UoS), Muhammad Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering and Technology, Multan, Punjab University (PU) and Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) respectively.

An LHC division bench headed by Justice Mansoor Ali Shah had ordered the provisional appointment of the said VCs. The court took these names from the list of nominees finalised by the search committee constituted by the government.

UoS VC Dr Nazra Sultana, Nawaz Sharif UET Multan VC Dr Fazal Ahmad Khalid, PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran and LCWU VC Dr Uzma Quraishi have ceased to work from December 19.

According to notification, the VCs working on look after or acting charge basis are directed to cease work as the university heads and, through the same notification, the new VCs are appointed.

The Punjab CM had already approved the appointment of vice chancellors in four public sector universities in accordance with the LHC order brushing aside all the speculations about litigation against it.

The LHC single bench had also set aside the process initiated by the Punjab government for the appointment of acting VCs at four varsities, including University of the Punjab, Lahore College for Women University, University of Sargodha and Nawaz Sharif University of Engineering & Technology, Multan. It had also directed the government to appoint the senior most professors as VCs in the said universities.

The judges allowed the VCs of seven other universities to continue provisionally till the petition is decided. They include Dr Samina Amin Qadri of the Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi; Dr Hassan Amir Shah of Government College University, Lahore; Dr Rauf-e-Azam of the University of Education, Lahore; Dr Tahir Amir of BZU Multan; Dr Talat Afzal of the Government Sadiq Degree College for Women University in Bahawalpur; and Dr Athar Mahboob of the Khawaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology in Rahim Yar Khan.

All the four VCs appointed by the LHC DB have already given their willingness to the HED Secretary. Sources further told that the HED Minister Raza Ali Gilani has called a meeting with the newly appointed VCs on Wednesday (today). The Punjab HEC chairman Dr Nizam and HED Secretary Naseem Nawaz are also expected to participate in the meeting.

Before the issuance of notification on Tuesday evening, some circles were propagating that the Punjab government will not notify as one stakeholder or the other would get status quo from the apex court. The HED notification proved all the rumours false.