The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) Lahore has forwarded a case of irregularities during the tenure of former Punjab University Provisional vice chancellor Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir to the Higher Education Commission of Pakistan (HEC) for appropriate action.
A letter along with relevant documents has been sent to HEC Chairman Dr Mukhtar Ahmed in this regard. The letter by NAB has been sent after a complaint was lodged against the provisional vice chancellor and other senior members of the Punjab University administration by Advocate Farhat Manzoor.
According to the original complaint submitted to NAB by Advocate Farhat Manzoor, Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir has been accused of involvement of financial corruption to the tune of Rs 320 million as well as other administrative irregularities.
The complaint said, “Dr Zaffar Moeen Nasir, vice chancellor, University of the Punjab, is a corrupt person and making millions of rupees through unfair means, causing loss to public exchequer. Dr Nasir is involved in award of civil work contracts worth Rs 320 million and he has abused his authorities in various university matters. Dr Nasir has also used Chancellor’s powers regarding appointment of acting dean Faculty of Health Sciences, registrar and treasurer unlawfully”.
The complaint further alleges: “It is noteworthy that in the matter of awarding civil works illegally, in which tenders were not advertised, Mr Faiz ul Hasan Sipra, former acting Chief Engineer, University of the Punjab, has submitted a written statement that he was instructed by Vice Chancellor Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir to do civil works ultra vires”. The complaint adds, “Dr Zafar Moeen has also admitted this fact in a video statement while addressing a meeting of superintendents and wardens that he ordered the civil works and the work was not up to standard”.
The letter also refers to another letter sent by Punjab Higher Education Minister for the removal of Dr Zafar with similar allegations. The allegations included awarding Rs 300 million civil work contract of an HEC project to non-qualified individual consultant, spending over Rs 20 million on civil works without observing codal formalities during convocation, extending illegal benefit of Rs 3.7 million to PUCIT Principal Dr Masnoor Sarwar and Rs 5 million benefit to IBIT lecturer Shumaila Gul.
It also makes claims about Nasir deliberately overlooking reported corruption of resident auditor and paying millions of rupees to an engineering firm for the proposed PU Medical College, as well as corruption in PU Employees Housing Society. The letter also refers to several ‘illegal’ appointments as well as strengthening a political student group in the university.
Dr Zafar Moeen Nasir was given the charge of provisional vice chancellor of Punjab University by the Lahore High Court. He took charge of his post on December 28, 2016 and resigned on January 5, 2018. Many controversies arose during his tenure and his resignation also gave rise to several controversies. Dr Nasir claimed he was being forced to cede university land to the Punjab government so that it could hand it over to a seminary in exchange of their land for the Orange Line Metro Train.
Other theories claim the VC bid adieu to the post after succumbing to pressure from both inside and outside the varsity. He had remained engaged in tussle with Higher Education Minister Syed Raza Ali Gillani, with both sides accusing each other of malpractices.