Favoritism and nepotism appear to have gained prevalence in International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI), where “law of the jungle” was depicted in a document that pointed to over a dozen officials of various cadres working in the varsity with inadequate credentials.It is being claimed that the Higher Education Commission (HEC) has declared research publications of around seven senior faculty members as ‘un-recognised.’ Around 12 faculty members have been appointed against various cadres despite not fulfilling the required criteria prescribed by the HEC.The HEC formulates policy guidelines for the higher education sector. The varsity administration is being said to have sent a list of its faculty members with objectionable papers to the HEC for validation of their research at the time of their appointment. The Commission’s Attestation & Accreditation wing submitted its response, in which most of such teachers’ research publications were declared as ‘unrecognized.’According to the Commission rules, candidates applying for the post of Professor should have at least 15 research papers in their domain. However, according to the documents, IIUI had appointed five professors who did not fulfil the said requirement. IIUI’s professors including Dr Muhammad Munir and Dr Tahir Hakeem of Shariah & Law Department; Dr Saif Abbasi at Sociology Department; Dr Munawar Gondal at English Department; Dr Hafiz Bashir at Arabic department and Dr Muhammad Amir at Electronic Engineering department were said to be among those who do not have the required publications.According to an evaluation made by HEC, Dr Munir, who also serves as IIUI’s vice president, was short of 11 research papers published in recognized journals. Out of a total 22 his claimed papers; the commission only validated nine papers. Similarly, Dr Hakeem was appointed despite being short of four publications as he held only 11 recognised publications.The HEC was said to have verified only four research publications of Dr Amir out of his total 28. Two other professors, Dr Bashir and Dr Gondal were said to be short of one paper for the slots against which they had been appointed. They both had 14 verified research publications.As per documents, the varsity administration did not take into account the set criteria while appointing as many as six associate professors, including Dr Muhammad Mushtaq, Dr Naseem Razi, Dr Saeed Badshah, Dr Mujeeb Ahmed, Dr Suhail Abdullah and Dr Munazza Yaqoob. The HEC criteria demand a minimum of 10 years of teaching and research experience and 10 publications in journals recognised by the commission along with a PhD degree in the relevant field.For Dr Mushtaq, an associate professor at the law department, the HEC verified only five out of his total submitted 22 research articles.Similarly, the commission only approved three out of a total of 13 papers published by Dr Naseem Razi from the same department.Sources privy to varsity’s administrative affairs disclosed that both faculty members even lacked the required credentials.The commission passed only four articles of Dr Saeed Badshah, an associate professor at the Mechanical Engineering department, out of a total of 25 submitted for evaluation.Dr Mujeeb Ahmed, working as an assistant professor in the varsity’s history department was only given approval for four research papers by the HEC. He had submitted 12 research publications for vetting.Dr Suhail Abdullah and Dr Munazza Yaqoob associate professors at Electronic Engineering and English Department got HEC’s approval on five and three research articles respectively.IIUI Rector, Dr Masoom Yasinzai, remarked that all such cases have been placed on the agenda of the supreme decision-making body, Board of Governance (BoG), for review. A day prior to the meeting, he had claimed, “We will follow the board whatsoever the board directs.”The rector, however, could not be approached to share the decision taken by the BoG in the meeting held last week.However, a relevant source, willing to remain anonymous, noted that not a single aforementioned faculty had been reverted as per the deficiencies pointed out by the commission. Instead, he disclosed, another council had been formulated to re-assess all cases.Published in Daily Times, March 25th 2019.