Employees and staff of Pakistan Institute of Fashion and Design (PIFD) are once again up in protest against Vice Chancellor Hina Tayyaba Khalil, accusing her of manipulating an inquiry initiated against her to probe accusations of corruption and abuse of power.
In a statement, employees of the PIFD said VC Khalil “has once again tried to dodge the government as well as the victimised employees of PIFD. In response to various petitions from the employees of PIFD, the chief justice of Pakistan had directed Ministry of Commerce through deputy attorney general for Pakistan to hold an inquiry regarding various complaints of mismanagement, misappropriation, embezzlement and corrupt practices at PIFD.”
However, the employees claim that the vice chancellor was now colluding with the inquiry officer with the help of Ministry of Commerce and Textile. Per documents available with The Academia, it appears that the official appointed to investigate allegations of mismanagement against the vice chancellor has been appointed to a high-ranking position at the institution.
The employees’ statement said, “Hina Tayyaba Khalil has colluded with her partners at Ministry of Commerce and got appointed a like-minded inquiry officer, Nauman Aslam Sheikh. It is very tragic that the employees of PIFD were never informed that an inquiry officer has been nominated, instead another bogus notification was issued by the vice chancellor that Nauman Aslam Sheikh has assumed additional charge of registrar”.
Interestingly, the PIFD notification regarding appointment of Sheikh as the registrar states that his appointment had been in accordance with the Ministry of Commerce’s notification No 7(2)/2016-AOs. However, the same notification, as evident below, does not pass any such directives, and only asks Sheikh to complete the inquiry within 30 days and submit a report.
The PIFD staff claim that it was never disclosed “to the affected employees of PIFD that Nauman is actually an inquiry officer and thus his notification as registrar is not only mala fide but also fraudulent. The employees are further being forced to proceed on summer vacations so they cannot avail any chance of appearing in a fair and transparent inquiry”. The agitated employees are now in making efforts to get an FIR registered against Hina Tayyaba Khalil, Hasib Tahir and Nauman Sheikh under Section 420 and other relevant clauses of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Earlier, the employees of the PIFD had demanded the resignation of the VC for alleged abuse of power as well as victimisation of employees of the institute. A letter signed by 86 teachers and employees of the PIFD had also claimed that Hina Tayyaba Khalil did not have the required teaching experience and thus was not a professor – making her ineligible to be a vice chancellor. The letter had been forwarded to the chief justice of Pakistan, chief justice of Lahore High Court, Higher Education Commission (HEC) chairman, National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman, secretary to the president of Pakistan, secretary to the Commerce Division, secretary to the Establishment Division, FAPUASA president and various other officials.
The Academia was unable to reach PIFD officials for comment despite several tries.