The National Accountability Bureau (NAB) on Monday arrested the Sargodha University former VC and registrar on various corruption charges, including allowing establishment of illegal sub campuses across Punjab. The former top officials will be investigated against accusations that they took bribes to allow illegal campuses to operate with impunity, putting the careers of hundreds of students at risk.
The arrests come days after students affected by the University of Sargodha’s sub campuses staged protests in Lahore over not receiving receognised degrees from Higher Education Commission of Pakistan.
The arrested officials include Sargodha University former VC Dr Muhammad Akram Chaudhry and former registrar Brigadier (R) Rao Jamil Asghar. NAB also took into custody University of Sargodha Lahore sub-campus CEO Mian Javed, Director Administration Muhammad Akram, Mandi Bahauddin sub-campus CEO Waris Nadeem and his partner Naeem Mukhtar.
The accused will be presented for today (Tuesday) before NAB court. The arrests follow the directions passed by Chief Justice Saqib Nisar on Saturday while conducting hearing into a suo motu notice against a petition by aggrieved students. The CJP had directed NAB Lahore DG Saleem Shahzad to record the statement of incumbent Sargodha University Vice Chancellor Dr Ishtiaq Ahmad.
Earlier, the Higher Education Commission had reported that five sub-campuses of the university were set up in complete violation of Public Private Partnership Policy, while the Lahore and Mandi Bahauddin campuses were allowed by former VC Dr Akram using emergency powers vested in him, also in violation of given laws.
The sub-campuses in turn affiliated hundreds of substandard colleges and campuses that kept minting money off novice parents and students for years, without offering them anything concrete in return.
Last month, hundreds of students duped by these illegal sub-campuses of Sargodha University had staged protests on Lahore’s Canal Road over the recognition of their academic degrees. The HEC had earlier refused to recognise degrees of students who studied at these illegal sub-campuses, but later allowed concessions.