Finally accepting the stance of Establishment Division, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has affirmed that the appointments and extensions in Management Position Scale (MP-Scale) made by it without approval of the Prime Minister were illegal.

In its meeting the 17-member Commission of HEC on Thursday resolved that the matter would be taken up with the Prime Minister on November 14 by the HEC Chairman who also heads the HEC Commission to take a final decision regarding the appointments and extensions. Declaring the appointments as illegal, the Commission left it to the Prime Minister being the controlling authority of HEC to take a final decision regarding the fate of the officials working on various positions.

The Commission met here with one-point agenda to discuss the legal position of appointments and extensions made by the HEC in MP-Scales as the Establishment Division has declared the appointments from 2004 to onwards as illegal.

Three members of the Commission including Secretary Education and Training Qamar Zaman Chaudhry, former Vice Chancellor of Shah Abdul Latif University, Khairpur, Prof. Dr. Nilofar Shaikh, and Vice Chancellor of University of Sindh Dr. Nazir A. Mughal asserted that the HEC will have to follow the Establishment Division rules and decisions and it cannot formulate its own rules against the government rules.

The Secretary Education and Training was of the view that the letters of Establishment Division and the PM Secretariat cannot be thrown into the dustbin and the Commission is bound to follow the rules and directives of the government as it draws the budget from the government.

Currently nine officials working on MP-Scale I to III including Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi, Dr Riaz Hussain Qureshi, Anees Sadozai, Zia Batool, Noor Amana Milk, Jalil Ahmed, Prof. Dr. Khwaja Azam Ali, Dr. Muhammad Latif and Anwar Amjad will be affected by the decision.

The Establishment Division in the past too had raised questions about the appointments in MP Scales I to III made by the HEC including recently given extensions to Dr. Sohail Naqvi in MP-I and Dr. Riaz Qureshi in MP-II but in its letter of October 24, 2012 the Division had termed all the appointments or extensions in MP-Scales by the HEC from 2004 to onwards as illegal. The Prime Minister had also directed the HEC to put on hold the recently given extension to Executive Director Dr Sohail Naqvi and Advisor (HRD) Dr Riaz Hussain Qureshi, and submit a report about the whole process of extensions.

The HEC Commission in its last meeting had renewed the four-year contract of HEC ED Sohail Naqvi and gave three-month extension to Dr. Riaz Hussain Qureshi.

The Establishment Division is of the view that the recruitments in MP Scales is the prerogative of the Prime Minister, but HEC has been making all such appointments without getting approval from him and even extended their services in violation of set rules and procedures.

HEC Chairman Dr. Javaid Laghari when contacted said that the Commission along with taking decision on appointments had also unanimously resolved not to communicate the decision to anyone until the MP decides anything on the issue, so he cannot make any comment.