The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has expressed serious reservation over temporary appointment of the higher education secretary as Punjab Higher Education Commission (PHEC) chairperson. In a statement, FAPUASA President Dr Mahboob Hussain, Punjab President Dr Hamid Mukhtar and other executive said that the temporary appointment was based on mala fide intention of bureaucracy as it wanted to bring higher education system under its clutches.In a jibe, they said that the appointment of a non-PhD person as chairman of the Punjab’s apex higher education body showed the level of government’s seriousness regarding the higher education sector. They said that the government should appoint any member of PHEC commission, who could meet basic eligibility criteria for the post. They said that teachers of all universities in Punjab had expressed disappointment over government’s decision.They said that the government, instead of ensuring autonomy of higher education system, had taken a step to strengthen bureaucratic control over higher education institutions, which would have drastic consequences. They said that the controversial appointment would make PHEC non-functional for another three months. They added that universities were the only institutions in Pakistan, which were rapidly making progress at national and international level only because they “remained free of political and bureaucratic influence”.FAPUASA office-bearers called on Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar and Higher Education Minister Raja Yasir Humayun to immediately withdraw the appointment of a non-PhD person as PHEC’s acting chairman. They also demanded the government to immediately advertise the post of PHEC chairman so that the seat could be filled in a regular manner and appropriate steps could be taken to improve higher education sector in the province.Published in Daily Times, January 14th 2019.