By issuing transfer orders, the Registrar Office of the Punjab University (PU) in Lahore had violated directives of the Election Commission of Pakistan (ECP) due to the general elections, to be held on February 8, 2024.

“No government, autonomous or semi-autonomous or any authority in the federation and the provinces shall post or transfer any officer or official till the publication of the names of the returned candidates in the official gazette,” according to a notification, issued by the ECP on December 15, 2023.

The PU Registrar, on a directive of the Vice-Chancellor Dr Khalid Mehmood issued two separate notifications regarding two specific transfers without any consultation with the relevant department, the Dept of Journalism Studies. “The Vice Chancellor, in exercise of the powers vested in him under Section 15(4)(vi) of the University of the Punjab Act 1973, is pleased to transfer Dr Muhammad Rashid Khan, an Associate Professor, from the Department of Film & Broadcasting to the Department of Journalism with immediate effect,” according to the notification, issued on January 26, 2024.

In another notification, issued on January 26, 2024, the Registrar  transfered Professor Dr Mian Hanan Ahmad from the School of Communication Studies to the Department of Journalism with immediate effect.

Department of Journalism Studies Chairperson Prof Dr Bushra H Rehman – in a letter to Pro-Vice Chancellor Dr Khalid Mahmood, who is acting as the vice chancellor of the university as well as the Dean of the Faculty – showed serious reservations over these parachute transfers to without consulting her and without suitability. She requested the acting vice chancellor to withdraw these transfer orders for the smooth functioning of the department, and to avoid intra-department seniority issues.

In her letter, she pointed out that these parachute transfers issued without consulting the relevant heads of the departments, including herself, as this practice contravene the established practices of the university as well as the School of Communication Studies. “Such a deviation from the norms is likely to sow discord and create chaos within the six departments of the school, adversely impacting the efficiency of everyone involved,” she wrote.

It is pertinent to mention here that Dr Mian Hanan Ahmad is brother of Dr Nosheena Saleem, who is Head of the School of Communication Studies. Dr Hsnan’s controversial appointment at the age of 55 on Usman Buzdar’s support, is already challenged by by an in-service associate professor Dr Shabbir Sarwar.

Further, Advocate Salman and Dr Shabbir Sarwar have also challenged the transfer orders at ECP Punjab office. A formal complaint pplication vide diary no. 193794 -ECP Punjab dated 1-02-2024, states that the orders were made in violation of ECP orders. “Media professors are generally considered active inside and outside university campus. Several student wing of political parties are active in University in making the transfer sensitive at this time.” Hence, the EC must take notice and issued a directive to withdraw the said transfer orders, the complaint application, reads.

Related: Punjab University Joins Festivities to Mark Chinese New Year

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