Dr. Tariq Javed Banuri, Chairman of the Higher Education Commission (HEC), has said that former HEC chiefs overused their authority and that “efforts were made to damage the department and universities.”
Dr. Banuri told journalists in Islamabad that the Vice-Chancellors of public sector institutions were appointed under duress and that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) was forced to pay specific people their preferred salary.
“Some people even designate extra funds for preferred universities, infringing on the rights of those who deserve adequate funding,” he stated.
The HEC chief claimed that corruption cases were filed against him after he requested a research centre audit, which led to a center’s resistance.
“While 29 research facilities across the country were prepared for the audit, one refused to participate. HEC was thereafter barred from auditing that particular research centre,” he explained.
Dr. Banuri claimed that the Husein Ebrahim Jamal Research Institute of Chemistry received a Rs. 1 billion grant from the HEC, but that the research centre refused to be audited.
“Later, the Ministry of Education restricted HEC, requesting that it not tamper with the institution,” he claimed, adding that no investigation agency had been informed regarding the suspected misconduct.
Similarly, he stated that HEC had designed a PC1 for the Prime Minister House University for Rs. 700 million. On the other hand, another PC1 has surfaced, with Rs. 25 billion set aside for the project. In fact, he said that a university could be built for Rs. 3 billion to Rs. 5 billion.
He voiced his disappointment that the government was spending money to build new universities while old ones were on the risk of closing owing to a lack of funding.
Dr. Banuri stated that he had no beef with anyone, but that he wanted the intervention in HEC’s affairs to stop.