Kundi extends olive branch to Gandapur

Javed Aziz Khan
Thursday, May 23, 2024

PESHAWAR: After an exchange of harsh words and diatribe for over a week, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Faisal Karim Kundi on Wednesday extended an olive branch to Chief Minister Ali Amin Gandapur, asking him to work together to address the key issues facing the province, particularly those related to the financially-crippled public sector universities.

The governor sent a letter to the chief minister, stressing the need to launch collective efforts to address the issues related to higher education.

About 25 public sector universities in the province have been facing serious financial challenges while some have been without vice-chancellors and other key officials for a long.

The two top government functionaries from the same Dera Ismail Khan district have exchanged heated words in the media, challenging each other’s authority and powers.

“I am writing to bring your attention to a critical issue affecting 25 public sector universities in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. The prolonged delay in appointing vice-chancellors has led to serious administrative, academic, and financial challenges, jeopardizing the future of students at these institutions,” stated the letter.

It added that Section 12(3) of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Universities Act, 2012 (amended up to 2016) stipulated that the process of selection of a new vice-chancellor shall be initiated six months before the expiration of the existing term of the incumbent. Despite recommendations from the Academic Search Committee, it added, the approval process for the recommended candidates has not been initiated, worsening the situation.

The letter mentioned that recently the Peshawar High Court, in writ petition No 2523/2024, observed that the University of Science and Technology, Bannu has been without a registrar, vice-chancellor, and pro-vice-chancellor for a considerably long time while no efforts have been made to fill these posts.

“In light of these facts, I urge you to work together to address the administrative, financial, and academic crisis faced by Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s public sector universities. Failure to act promptly may jeopardize the future of higher education in the province and may also lead to the displeasure of the Honourable Peshawar High Court,” stated the letter.

It asked the chief minister if his cooperation in resolving this issue was essential for securing the future of the province’s youth.