Good bye Arshad Mehmood: Vice chancellor's legacy to stay with Punjab University for long
LAHORE, Sept 24: Lt-Gen (retired) Arshad Mehmood stepped down as the Punjab University
vice chancellor on September 22 after – reportedly – failing to get his term
extended for a third time.
Prof Dr Muhammad Arif, a close aide of Gen
Mahmood's and a known Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) sympathiser, has been given
charge of the VC's office for the time being.
University insiders said that Gen Mahmood left behind a legacy that would be remembered for a
Governor Gen (retired) Khalid Maqbool supported Gen Mahmood
unconditionally throughout his career as vice chancellor. This was evident when
the governor personally visited the campus, called an emergent meeting of the
deans and appointed Gen Mahmood as vice chancellor for the second time. This
appointment was made even before Gen Mahmood's first term was over. The governor
trusted Gen Mahmood completely and never believed a word against him.
Mahmood – with the governor's help – got the Higher Education Commission (HEC)
to give the university lots of grants. He also developed the university
infrastructure and increased the number of departments to more than
However, the university later concluded that some departments were
not needed while others were merged. Insiders said one of Gen Mahmood's failures
included the supposed construction of a 'super computer' by the Centre of High
Energy Physics (CHEP). The centre was given a lot of money for the project. A
few people working on the project were the same who had been accused of
plagiarising the research papers of foreign teachers.
Gen Mahmood's dream
of the 'super computer' has not come true, but if it does then tribute should be
paid to him for funding the idea even though he has spent many a day rejecting
arguments against the CHEP teachers for not working properly.
chief minister Shahbaz Sharif appointed Gen Mahmood as vice chancellor in
October 1999. University of Engineering and Technology vice chancellor Muhammad
Akram Khan was also appointed at the same time. The two men were tasked with
improving the education standard of both institutions and getting rid of
political elements from campus.
A pamphlet published and distributed by
the IJT on the Punjab University campus last Friday, which alleged wrongdoing by
Gen Mahmood, suggests his failure in controlling such elements.
office has never come up with an efficient mechanism to tackle such elements.
Gen Mahmood denied backing the IJT, but also appointed IJT sympathisers to key
posts on campus. A 'special' person has been going from department to
department, urging their heads to host farewell parties for Gen Mahmood. Even
though he is no more the vice chancellor, it seems he will stay on campus for
some time to attend the parties. Daily Times
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