PESHAWAR - The senior faculty members of Islamia College (Charted University) (ICU) have warned to strongly resist any move if the government tries to impose any outsider as acting vice-chancellor in the ICU.

"We are in favour of appointing a fulltime permanent vice chancellor instead of bringing an outsider as a VC just for five months," Zahir Shah, a senior faculty member of the university, told this scribe.

The controversy over the appointment of a new vice chancellor in ICU is deepening day by day, as the faculty members and teaching association have called for a permanent and full-time vice chancellor instead of acting one.

Since the abduction of Mr Ajmal Khan, the first vice-chancellor, in September 2010, the university has remained without a fulltime vice-chancellor. According to official record, the abducted vice-chancellor Ajmal Khan is still a permanent vice chancellor and his family members are residing in the VC house, taking monthly salary and other incentives.

In the absence of a fulltime and permanent vice chancellor, the respective teaching staff, university administration and students as well are facing numerous difficulties. On the demand of the faculty and teaching staff association of the ICU, former ANP-led government was compelled to appoint an acting VC to run the routine affairs of the university smoothly.

A split among the faculty members was surfaced when one of senior most faculty members Prof Haider Shah was named for the slot, but allegedly the Higher Education Department opposed the decision. But soon Shah resigned of his post for unknown reasons.

He was followed by a junior faculty member Dr Noor Jehan, and then the vice-chancellor Hazar University, Ihsan Ali as acting vice chancellor of ICU.

The situations took a new twist when parliamentarians in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly and faculty members of the university as well raised objections upon the dual offices of Ihsan Ali. Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pervez Khattak, took the issue to resolve and asked the concerned Committee to put forward names of candidates for the slot. According to internal sources, the university search committee put forward a summary consisting names of Prof Dr Adnan Sarwar, former chairman International Relations and also principal Law College University of Peshawar, former acting VC university of Peshawar, Prof Dr Qibla Ayaz, and Prof Inyatullah of University of Engineering and Technology (UET).

It was also learnt that Chief Minister Pervez Khattak approved the name of Dr Adnan Sarwar for the top slot as acting vice chancellor. Reacting upon the expected decision, the ICU faculty split over the issue, as a number of senior teaching staff regretted the decision of choosing an outsider for the top slot.

A senior Prof of the Islamia College Charted University Prof Zahir Shah said that unfortunately the former ANP government from the day first violated merit in appointing the first vice chancellor of the university. A total of 54 candidates applied for the post and out of them only two candidates were PhD scholars, he said, but the government ignored merit and appointed a blue-eyed Ajmal Khan as vice chancellor of the ICU. Prof Zahir Shah also said that appointing acting VC was not a sustainable resolution to the issues persisting.

Contrary to the opinion, a senior professor of the University of Peshawar, who have been remained at the top most position of the university, requesting anonymity said that appointing a vice chancellor from outside was not in violation of the rules or regulations of the university. It is an administrative post, he added.

Actually there are various groups in ICU of faculty members, whom are doing illegal activities and don't want a fair person to be the head of the university. Adnan Sarwar is a fair, competent and experienced person, he maintained. But now it was a 'test case for the Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to implement its decision and not to compromise on party commitment of eradicating corruption from government institutions, he maintained.

Prof Faisal Shehzad, President Islamia College University Teaching Staff Association, proposed appointing a permanent and fulltime vice chancellor, to overcome the existing issues. "We have no concern whether the vice chancellor should be from senior faculty members of the university or from outside, he said, demanding a qualified and experienced person for the slot. He further said that he on behalf of the association earlier too demanded the government to take a permanent vice-chancellor, who has a vision for the betterment of the university and for the welfare of faculty and students.