LAHORE - Various lobbies have become active to save those appointed illegally to the University of Sargodha (UoS) and they are now threatening the university administration to have their demands accepted, it is learnt.

Sources in the Higher Education Department (HED) said that some elements were trying to influence the authorities after the government decided to surrender the services of the faculty members and other staff members who were appointed illegally. They said the HED had conveyed to the universities that it would de-notify the universities, which would fail to maintain supremacy of law and merit in appointments.

Commenting on the issue, an HED officer said, “The department didn’t close its eyes on illegal appointments to universities, rightly pointed out by the Public Accounts Committee (PAC) of the Punjab Assembly. A probe committee has already been constituted to furnish final recommendations on the matter,” he said.

He said the department had been informed that an MPA, who was also a member of the syndicate, and many faculty members were trying to protect the illegal appointments. He said the department would stand by the university administration on the issue of rule of law and supremacy of merit. He said the department would not compromise on merit come what may.

Also, the HED officer said that an issue between the Kot Momin assistant commissioner and the college administration led to a campaign against the government by former university PRO Tariq Kaleem. He said the department would initiate an enquiry into Kaleem’s alleged misconduct.

The assistant commissioner had gone to Kot Momin Degree College for inspection. The varsity PRO, who was also representative of the vice chancellor, staged a protest demonstration against the AC and used derogatory language against her. He not only harassed the AC but also ridiculed her in the worst possible way on the social media.

The district administration took cognizance of his conduct and requested the VC and the registrar to stop him, but the teacher did not care about their advice and defied the University Administration.

A report of the mutiny created by Tariq Kaleem against the writ of the government was generated by the deputy commissioner and the HED withdrew his services from the UoS. In the meantime, he used the self-proclaimed forum of professors’ association, which has no member from the university. He joined hands with some illegal appointees and corrupt elements of the university who feared action from the VC, the official said.

At a meeting of the Syndicate on July 24, some corruption and fraud cases were put on agenda. The syndicate took notice of the corruption in procurement at Bhakkar sub-campus and appointment of ghost visiting teachers. Another case of illegal appointment of a sociology professor, who had a degree in agriculture, was taken up for proceedings under the PEEDA Act 2006. Besides this, the matter of appointments without advertisement was taken up.

The UoS VC and Tariq Kaleem were not available for comments.