7,000 sacked employees likely to be reinstated
Karachi, Feb 26: The Sindh Assembly unanimously passed a resolution on Friday, urging the government to reinstate 7,187 sacked lower grade employees of the Education Department and then consider their regularisation sympathetically.
The resolution, moved by Kulsoom Chandio of the PPP and supported by M Moin Aamir Pirzada, Syed Waseem Hussain and Anwar Ahmad Khan Mahar of the MQM and Nusrat Abbasi of the PML-F, read: "This House is of the opinion and resolves that the Sindh government may consider sympathetically to provide the regular employment to the lower staff of the Education Department under Sindh Civil Servants Act-1973, who were employed on contract basis for three-and-a-half years, which has expired resulting to which about 7,187 poor employees would be otherwise deprived of their livelihood."
The lower grade employees were denied extension under a notification issued by Chief Minister Syed Qaim Ali Shah on August 20, 2010. Hired on a contract basis for three years, they had been working at different schools in the province since 2007.
The MQM's parliamentary leader, Syed Sardar Ahmed, pointed out that a "commitment" was made with them that as soon as the resolution passed, the chief minister would announce on the floor of the house the reinstatement of the ex-employees within a week. However, the chief minister was not present in the house.
PPP parliamentary leader and Senior Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq, apparently irked by the observation made by the MQM leader, regretted that it was not advisable "to disclose things" that came under discussion at their joint meetings.
"The spirit of the reconciliation is that we have to trust each other," Haq said, adding that if there was no trust then what the use of reconciliation was. He said that their coalition partner should demonstrate at least "some patience", adding that the chief minister could not attend Friday's session owing to some pressing engagements.
The education minister said that he was in the house to speak on behalf of the chief minister. Haq said Qaim had approved a summary to reinstate the lower staff of the Education Department through interviews, adding that advertisements would be given in newspapers soon. He promised that no one would be expelled.
The senior minister said had there not been reconciliation, the joint resolution could not have been moved. He said that both the parties had demonstrated the "political will" to continue reconciliation. He said the reconciliation policy also continued partly because the Presidency was not the hub of conspiracies as compared to the past.
Without naming the PML-N, Haq said some "hidden forces" were bent upon creating "polarisation" among the political parties. He said those who signed the Charter of Democracy (CoD) were expelling them while those who did not sign the CoD stood united with the PPP.
Haq urged the "big brother" to learn lessons from "the younger brother".
Law Minister Ayaz Soomro explained that the chief minister had gone to assess the repair work on the Tori Bund.
Syed Sardar Ahmed told reporters after the session that it was initially agreed that the sacked employees would be reinstated and regularised through legislation. Subsequently, four ministerial committees were formed, which decided that a resolution would be moved in the assembly and the chief minister would announce their reinstatement, he added. He said it would be advisable to get "confirmation" from the chief minister and then an announcement be made on the floor of the house.
MQM deputy parliamentary leader Faisal Sabzwari said the assembly has shown its resolve to reinstate the employees. He said they had heard that the chief minister had approved a summary and things were in the process.
Sabzwari said probably ads would be issued, walk-in interviews conducted along with documents and presumably the character of the employees would be assessed before reinstatement.
HEC refuses to recognise PhD of Iqra University registrar
Karachi: Students of the Iqra University, once full of hopes for a bright and lucrative future, now live in uncertainty as it has emerged that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has refused to recognise the PhD degree of the institution's Dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences and Registrar, Dr Syed Akif Hasan. According to the commission, it does not recognise the university in the Philippines from which Dr Hasan earned his degree.
This fact came as a rude awakening to an MBA student of Iqra University when he applied for an internship at a multinational company and was swiftly rejected as the company refused to accept Dr Hasan's academic credentials.
The student, along with some classmates, looked into the matter and to his utter dismay found that the HEC indeed did not recognise Dr Hasan's PhD.
An Assistant Director (Academic) of the HEC, Syed Asim Hussain, in a letter written on July 20, 2010 informed Dr Hasan that the Philippine School of Business Administration, Manila, was chartered by the Federation of Accrediting Agencies of the Philippines (FAAP), but its Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) Programme was not accredited by the FAAP.
"Therefore, the Doctorate in Business Administration (DBA) degree held by you cannot be recognised by the HEC as an equivalent to a PhD degree from Pakistan," the letter stated.
The students now fear that since Dr Hasan is the registrar of the Iqra University, all their degrees bear his signature and will not be recognised by local and foreign organisations.
The fate of over 400 students has been left hanging in the balance. They are concerned about their future as well as about having wasted a large sum of money in university fees.
These students sent a number of mails to the Chancellor, Hunaid Lakhani, and the Vice-Chancellor, Dr U.A.G. Isani, to inquire about the situation. But instead of taking any action, the Dean threatened the students that more mails would result in their rustication.
When called for his version, Dr Hasan said the HEC had now approved his PhD and that he would send copies of the relevant documents as a proof.
Meanwhile, when contacted the Assistant Director (Academic) of HEC, Syed Asim Hussain, to verify the claim of Dr Hasan that his (Dr Hasan's) PhD degree was now recognised.
"No it is not recognised. We [HEC] had constituted a committee to look into the matter. The committee, which comprised experts other than from the HEC, gave its finding, saying that indeed the PhD degree of Dr Hasan was not equivalent to that of a Pakistani PhD," Dr Hussain said.
He also said that the vice chancellor of Iqra University had sent the HEC a "review petition" to see if Dr Hasan's degree could be recognised after all. According to him, there is no such possibility. The newsYour Comments
KU to organise third SAARC Simulation Exercise
Karachi: University of Karachi (KU)'s Department of International Relations in collaboration with the Hanns Seidal Foundation will organise the third SAARC Simulation Exercise from Feb 28 to March 3. The objective of the exercise is to observe how students see and analyse various issues, both real and virtual, faced by the SAARC member countries and to devise strategies for making SAARC a vibrant regional organisation. VC KU Prof Dr Pirzada Qasim Raza Siddiqui will be the chief guest whereas former foreign secretary Shamshad Ahmed Khan will deliver the keynote address. Daily times
UET plantation drive kicks off
Peshawar: University of Engineering and Technology Vice-Chancellor Syed Imtiaz Hussain Gilani launched this year's spring plantation drive by planting a sapling in the Institute of Mechatronics Engineering at Hayatabad on Friday.
He was accompanied by Dean Faculty of Engineering Dr Azzam-ul-Asar, Registrar Prof Abdul Jabbar, Director Institute of Mechatronics Dr Riaz Akbar Shah and senior members of the faculty, who also planted saplings in the institute.
He urged those present on the occasion to participate in the plantation campaign wholeheartedly. During this year's campaign, hundreds of saplings will be planted in the allied campuses of the UET.
KGMC brings out its first literary magazine
Peshawar: "Havi", the first literary magazine of the lone medical college for girls in the province - Khyber Girls Medical College (KGMC) - has been launched on the premises of the institution.
Two prominent woman literary figures of the province, Prof Dr Salma Shaheen and Bushra Farrukh, were chief guests in the ceremony that was dominated by girls, who of course were the present and also some students who had graduated from the college.
Some students from the nearby Rahman Medical Institute were also invited to the event to add to the strength of participants. There were some male participants in the show as well, with two sitting on the stage. The two on the stage were: the male principal of the female college Prof Dr Zubair Khan and Dr Abdul Jalil Popalzai, chairman literary society of the college. The female vice-principal of the college Dr Sameena Zahid was also on the stage.
Dr Mubashira Ahmad, first literary secretary of the magazine, dominated the ceremony. Dressed in traditional attire, Dr Mubashira was the first to deliver her speech and then call the rest of the speakers to say some words on the occasion.
It would be more appropriate to term those speeches delivered by the two chief guests, principal and vice-principal, as collection of admiration for the newly-released four-lingual magazine of the college.
The magazine had not yet been opened for reading. But every speaker was terming it a great effort, a mature work, impressive designing, a new-born but finer than full-grown "Cenna" magazine of Khyber Medical College and so on and so forth.
Dr Mubashira, in her welcome remarks, shed light on how they thought to have own magazine of their college, how a bunch of girls gathered to initiate the project, how to select name for it. She was all praise for the cooperative management of the institution, the chairman of the literary society and specially the untiring efforts of her fellow students that converted her dream into reality.
Among the chief guests, Prof Dr Salma Shaheen, the former director of Pashto Academy, University of Peshawar, was the first to speak. She spoke briefly and lauded the efforts of the medical students to bring out a literary magazine and also recited some couplets from her famous Pashto poem "Za Hum Haghase Wara Wey".
She was followed by Urdu and Hindko poet and television artiste Bushra Farrukh to speak. The students requested her to narrate her poems and she read one to the editorial board of the magazine.
After the speeches, the guests on the rostrum were provided with beautifully packed copies of "Havi" and they were asked to uncover them. Having no proper tool to delicately remove the covers from the magazine, the guests applied the easiest way to tore up the packing and thus launch the first issue of the magazine in the simplest way.
The not-so-spacious hall was packed with participants to the full. No sooner did the covers were removed from magazine, the hall roared up with deafening shrieks as a sign of their joy.
This was followed by certificate-giving session to the editors and distinctive contributors of the journal. The certificate winners included Sehrish Mansoor Qureshi, Sanam Sultana Khattak, Anam Babar, Rabia Kausar, Laila Azam Shah, Saira Bano, Dr Andaleeb, Dr Ayesha Inam, Dr Saadia Mohammad, Dr Ayesha Lateef, Dr Sobia, new literary secretary, Nadia Altaf, Sabahat, Neelam Maqbool, Mehwish Iftikhar, Sidra Sayyeda, Sania Azeem, Iqbra and Kiran.
Dr Jalil Popalzai was also given away a certificate. The last certificate was given to Dr Mubashira, who announced her own name with a bold and smiling face for the award of the certificate. The chief guests were awarded souvenirs by the principal and vice-principal of the college. The news