As per reports appearing in a section of the press, the present government is considering appointing a political person, Senator Javaid Laghari, as chairman, Higher Education Commission (HEC). Mr. Laghari is currently heading SZABIST due to his PPP connections but has no other significant experience in the field of education. HEC, though, is a most important organization in the sense that it handles decisions affecting careers of millions of students pursuing higher education within the country and abroad. Appointments, as sensitive and crucial as this, should not be made on political ground but on sheer merit. Appointing a political person to this job would surely have an adverse affect on the higher education sector and would affect various other fields that cull resources from it. The vital educational sector in the country is already in a dilapidated condition. Such political appointments are bound to further weaken it. Since the country is passing through a turbulent period, we cannot afford to further weaken it by appointing political persons in institutions responsible for academic excellence. -MARVI MEMON, Islamabad, via e-mail, October 17.