IHC and University of Karachi face off in Dr. Iqbal Choudhary’s appointment case.

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ICH has issued a warning regarding the formation of a committee to resolve the matter – Photo: File

Karachi: Federal and provincial authorities are at odds over the appointment of the head of the Institute of Scientific Research at Karachi University, ACBS. Dr. Iqbal Chaudhry, and the Higher Education Commission (ICH) in Islamabad has challenged Dr. Iqbal Chaudhry’s appointment. ICH has refused to accept the appointment of retired professor Dr. Iqbal Chaudhry at the prestigious scientific research institute in Karachi, stating that it is in conflict with the institute’s regulations and that the appointment of the director in ACBS should be through advertisement.

In a letter to Vice-Chancellor Professor Dr. Khalid Iraqi at Karachi University, ICH Islamabad clearly stated that if this is not done, ICH will be forced to form a committee to find a solution to this matter, as approved by Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed’s advisor Owais Ahmad.

ICH’s letter addressed governance issues at the “International Center for Chemical and Biological Sciences (ICCBS)” and expressed deep concern over recent issues in institutions like ACBS that have come to light. Recent events have raised serious concerns about leadership issues, administrative protocols, and overall integrity, along with irregularities in governance, financial mismanagement, audit observations, internal discord, operational incompetence, and administrative irregularities that are not only affecting the reputation of this prestigious institution but also having negative effects on the scientific research and community.

The letter also criticizes the recent board meeting of ACBS and states that ICH was not officially informed about the last executive board meeting held on May 6, 2024, nor did it receive any email on May 13, 2024. It further states that not informing ICH about such matters deliberately raises concerns and doubts about the intentions of the administration. The minutes of the meeting on May 13, 2024, and the last executive board meeting have not been shared yet.

According to section 4 (b) of the rules of ICCBS, the executive board has the authority to appoint the director of ICCBS based on the recommendations of the selection board, and there is no provision under which the appointment of a director can be made on an acting basis.

ICH has stated that in the current situation, ICH Islamabad does not authenticate the illegal notification of the appointment of the director of ICCBS and recommends that the executive board meeting be called soon, reconsideration of eligibility criteria for the mentioned post, and discussion on a new advertisement based on those criteria.

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