ISLAMABAD, Aug 7: Minister of Professional and Technical Training (PTT) Sheikh Waqas Akram was shocked, when during the meeting of National Assembly Standing Committee, evidence was showed to him that his ministry’s ancillary department’s chairperson was involved in plagiarism.
On the other hand, chairman Higher Education Commission (HEC) Dr Javed Leghari also confirmed that Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) Chairperson Dr Shaheen Khan was involved in plagiarism and HEC has withdrawn her recognition of PhD degree.
Sheikh Waqas Akram assured the committee chairman Sheikh Rohail Asghar that he will look into it and submit a report in the next meeting, an eye witness told Dawn.
Meeting of the standing committee was held at Parliament House in which parliament members Rubina Saadat Qaimkhani, Surriya Asghar, Qudsia Arshad, Tasneem Siddiqui, Sheikh Salahuddin, Sufyan Yousaf, Noorul Haq Qadri and others participated.
According to documents available with Dawn in 2010, Shaheen Khan’s case in the light of plagiarism policy was sent to the department of Political Science, University of Karachi. As per policy, the case was to be concluded within 90 days, but even after a year, the university did not reply.
Therefore, HEC’s committee on plagiarism (PSC) took up the case. The meeting of the PSC was held on October 26, 2011; and was participated by Prof Iqrar Ahmed Khan (Chairman University of Agriculture, Faisalabad), Prof Shariful Mujahid (Karachi University), Prof Tahir Amin (Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad), Director-General Quality Assurance (QA) HEC Zia Batool and Deputy Director QA Muneer Ahmed.
After discussion, members of the committee reached a conclusion that it was a blatant case of plagiarism and Ms Khan had copied her thesis from the ECO guidebook, which was against the research ethics and violation of rules of HEC. Due to which HEC decided to withdraw the PhD degree awarded to Ms Khan.
Member of the standing committee and leader of Pakistan Muslim League-N Naseem Siddiqui, while talking to Dawn, said Shaheen Khan was involved in plagiarism but still she is chairperson of FBISE under which hundreds of thousands of students take part in exams and they are advised not to be involved in plagiarism.
“Shaheen was also involved in corruption due to which she remained suspended for three years but later she was appointed as chairperson FBISE. After completion of three years, tenure of deputation was extended for another two years,” she said.
“Being chairperson of FBISE, Shaheen Khan transferred all funds from National Bank to Silk Bank. Besides, she also spent Rs950 million on employees, in a non-registered housing society,” Naseem alleged.
Shaheen Khan, while talking to Dawn, said Naseem Siddiqui was jealous of her position and was trying to defame her.
“I have solved all the issues of FBISE and if anyone has any complaint against me, he should contact the court. I will prove myself innocent,” she said.
HEC Chairman Dr Javed Leghari said according to the policy of HEC, in case of any complaint regarding plagiarism, if a university does not reply within 90 days, the case is closed and considered correct.
The committee’s chairman, Sheikh Rohail Asghar, said he received the evidence which he handed over to the relevant minister for inquiry.
Earlier, while talking to the committee members, Dr Leghari said there are only six countries in the world, who spend less than Pakistan on education. The government has stopped the funds for education due to which universities have no choice but to borrow.