Lahore:Pakistan Muslim League-N has condemned the government’s attack on autonomy of the HEC by appointing a Federal Secretary as Executive Director HEC and removing Executive Director of the HEC Prof. Dr Sohail H. Naqvi in an illegal manner. The targeting of the HEC is sabotaging the future of this nation in real sense by destroying the foundation of excellence in higher education. It is an attempt to politicize the universities for political motives.
HEC has been one of the few public sector organizations which produced excellent results because under its Act it has been operating as an autonomous body led by eminent professionals. Now the present Government wishes to destroy all of this work with one illegal notification jeopardizing the future of hundreds of thousands of bright meritorious students who are the future of this country. In one go, the federal government is destroying the past investment of billions of rupees of this country, but also the future as well. Just when PhD scholars were beginning to graduate in large numbers from Pakistan, returning from studying abroad in the world’s best universities, just when research linkages with industry were being launched, just when new companies were being launched by our graduates. Today our universities are being considered among the best in the world, today, when other developing countries including India, Sri Lanka, Nepal, Jordan, Vietnam and Commonwealth countries are adapting the model of HEC being one of the best models for higher education development the government is destroying this efficient and corruption-free institution.
The government had contravened the Supreme Court order of April 2011 by appointing a bureaucrat as Executive Director, whereas the court order has categorically asked the government not to violate HEC Act 2002. Legally, according to the HEC Ordinance, the Commission has the power to make all the appointments at HEC. This move by the federal government to destroy autonomy of HEC through Establishment Division is to be condemned in the strongest possible manner as it will destroy the future of this nation by reversing the globally noticed progress made in the higher education sector during last decade.
If PML-N comes into power, it will give top priority to education, and not only will preserve the autonomy of HEC but enhance its role as well so that the youth of Pakistan are able to take advantage of the many opportunities available nationally and contribute to the socio-economic development of Pakistan, so we become a knowledge economy and power.