VC Mardan Sent on 14-Day Remand for Misusing Authority
PESHAWAR: A local accountability court on Wednesday sent to prison on judicial remand the four educationists, including Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan Vice-Chancellor Professor Ihsan Ali, arrested for misusing authority by giving affiliation to an illegal medical institution in Abbottabad.
The suspects, including Professor Ihsan Ali, who is also the former VC of Hazara University, former Hazara University VC Dr Syed Sakhawat Shah, Northern Institute of Medical Sciences Abbottabad chairman Dr Mohammad Aziz Khan and former chairman of Higher Education Regulatory Authority Professor Hamayun Zia, were produced before judge Mohammad Ibrahim Khan.
National Accountability Bureau Special prosecutor Nauroze Khan informed the court that the investigation against suspects had been completed and therefore, the bureau didn’t need their physical custody.
The court sent them to the Peshawar Central Prison on 14 days of judicial remand.
While accepting their application, it asked the prison administration to keep suspects in ‘B’ class.
Academicians and students turned up in large number to meet the arrested persons. Strict security measures were adopted on this occasion.
The suspects were arrested a day earlier by the NAB, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, on the charges of misusing authority and cheating public at large by luring students to get admission in an illegal and unregistered medical educational institution depriving them of more than Rs550 million.
The NAB alleged that the inquiry showed that without any medical faculty or mandate as provided in the Khyber Medical University Act 2006, former vice-chancellors Professor Ihsan Ali and Professor Sakhawat Shah granted affiliation to the NIMS Abbottabad with ulterior motives and conducted examination of the said illegal educational institution.
According to the NAB, the inquiry discovered that Dr Mohammad Aziz Khan willfully indulged in illegal business for monitory gains by admitting students without any lawful mandate prior to the recognition of the institute as envisaged in the Pakistan Medical and Dental College Ordinance 1962.
Hamayun Zia illegally registered the NIMS by overlooking criteria for registration and failed to pay periodic regulatory visits.
Also in the day, top management and faculty members of AWKUM expressed dismay over the surprise arrest of the University’s Vice-Chancellor Professor Ihsan Ali.
During an emergency meeting, the AWKUM management and faculty said they were concerned about the way the vice-chancellor was arrested by the NAB regional office.
“The arrest of a sitting VC is astonishing and unprecedented. The NAB action has hurt the reputation of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s most modern and credible university,” said a statement issued after the meeting.
Senior management of the university said Professor Ihsan had not been proven guilty but the media coverage of his arrest had caused discomfort and anxiety among AWKUM staff and students because it had damaged the reputation of AWKUM and its vice-chancellor.
They said they would ensure smooth functioning of the institution.
They hoped that the courts would exonerate Professor Ali of all charges.
Meanwhile, employees and students of Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan and its campus in Buner protested the arrest of Professor Ihsan Ali and warned they would agitate if he was not freed immediately.
In Mardan, a procession was taken out under the aegis of the Employees Union of AWKU, which was led by its president Ajmal Mayar and general secretary Jawad Khan.
Addressing the demonstration, the office-bearers said Professor Ihsan Ali had a very clean career and had rendered unmatched contribution to the fields of archeology and education in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa.
They termed the NAB action against Professor Ihsan Ali and other educationists discriminatory and based on mala fide.
In Buner, the administration officers, teachers and students of AWKU campus took out a procession from the campus up to Main Chowk in Swari.
They said the arrest of Professor Ihsan Ali was a conspiracy against education sector as he had promoted the university’s ranking to 12th in the country and second in the province.
Provincial vice president of AWKU employees’ union Mustafa Khan, lecturer Anwar Khan, clerk Inam Khan and student leader Tauseef Khan criticised the NAB over the arrest and warned the protest would spread to other universities if Professor Ihsan was not freed at once.
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