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Unceremonial removal of HEC chairman Dr Tariq Banuri condemned

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Dr Tariq Banuri. File photo

KARACHI: The federal government’s decision to sack Chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Tariq Banuri has been criticised by the experts and educationists who have termed the move as damaging.

“In terms of sub-section (5), read with sub-section (5A), of Section 6 of Higher Education Commission Ordinance, 2002. as amended vide Higher Education Commission (Amendment) Ordinance, 2021, Dr Tariq Bannri has ceased to be the Chairperson. Higher Education Commission forthwith and is accordingly removed from the said post, with immediate effect,” read an Establishment Division notification issued on Friday.

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Dr Banuri was appointed in May 2018 by former prime minister Shahid Khaqan Abbasi for a four-year term and his tenure was due to end in May next year.

Reacting to the development, educationists and experts decried the move saying it would further damage the “already shattered system”.

Dr Adil Najam, Dean, Pardee School of Global Studies, Boston University, slammed the authorities on his removal and said Dr Tariq Banuri is being bullied out by pygmies for trying to mend a broken system.

“What a travesty!!! Its not just that Dr Tariq Banuri is being bullied out by pygmies for trying to mend a broken system.”

He said that the ordinance will further wreck an already shattered system.

“Petty personal interests and a vile malicious campaign proves again that the greatest enemy of system reform is the system itself,” he added.

Renowned public policy expert, Mosharraf Zaidi also lashed out at the federal government on the development.

“This government has devoured many competent people and spit them out—but none were so qualified or so effective as was Dr Tariq Banuri,” he tweeted.

“Gutted for Pakistan and HEC.”

Complaints against Dr Tariq Banuri

There were reportedly widespread complaints against him, accusing him of running the HEC on an ad hoc basis. Dozens of consultants were recruited on hefty salaries of directors, some of whom were not only retired but also just graduates.

Recently, the National Accountability Bureau had launched an investigation against him for corruption, irregularities, mismanagement and appointment of consultants.

Meanwhile, an ordinance was issued to reduce the tenure of the HEC chairperson and dismiss him.

A senior member of the HEC board or Executive Director will now be appointed the acting chairperson, after which a permanent appointment will be made to the post through advertisement.


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