Islamic International University (IIU) Remains Without President

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Islamic International University (IIU) Remains Without President
ISLAMABAD, March 9: A meeting of the Board of Trustees of the International Islamic University (IIU) called early this month to appoint its new president was postponed for lack of quorum, according to Dr Fateh Mohammad Malik, rector of the university.
But sources told Dawn that 13 trustees – five foreigners and eight Pakistanis – had consented to attend the meeting planned for March 2. Presently the quorum requires the presence of 11 trustees. This number, they said, could have risen as more responses were awaited.
Sources said 10 days before the meeting to appoint a replacement to Dr Anwar Hussain Siddiqui, who retired December last year, some top officials of the university manoeuvred a postponement by misleading the Presidency that no responses had been received from the invited trustees. President Asif Ali Zardari is the chancellor of the university.
“It is no news,” Dr Zafar Ishaq Ansari, secretary of the board, brusquely said. “There were some reasons,” he admitted after a pause but refused to reveal them. “Ask President Zardari because he is the chancellor,” he advised.
Rejecting the allegations of manoeuvring a postponement, Prof Malik asserted that only four trustees had confirmed participation. There are 35 foreign trustees on the board and none of them had shown consent, he said. “Many could not be contacted due to the ongoing turmoil in the Arab World. Some excused for security reasons, two regretted saying the date did not suit them,” the rector said.
He said he had regret letters from all the foreign members. “I took these letters to the Presidency and held a meeting and after which the president’s secretariat postponed the board meeting.” The rector said even if all the ten members from Pakistan are available, the quorum is incomplete. He said another date would be fixed soon. “We want the meeting to take place as soon as possible. We are trying to fix a date convenient for the members and the president to attend,” Prof Malik said.
According to papers available with Dawn, the university’s Board of Trustees has 45 members. The IIU Ordinance 1985 says that onethird of the total number – 15 – should be present to complete the quorum. But presently 13 seats are vacant as some members have passed away and the terms of others have expired.
With the board’s existing strength at 32, it requires 11 members to complete the quorum. And that number was available, sources said. In his capacity as chancellor, President Zardari was to chair the board’s meeting on March 2.
Sources said the trustees who had shown consent to attend the meeting included Prof Malik, rector IIU; Dr Mumtaz Ahmad, acting president of the university; Justice Agha Rafique Ahmad, chief justice Federal Shariat Court, Islamabad; Dr Javed Laghari, chairman Higher Education Commission; Mohammad Athar Tahir, secretary education; Salman Bashir, secretary Foreign Affairs; and Senator Prof Khursheed Ahmad.
Five foreign members who had confirmed participation are: Dr Abdullah bin Abdul Mohsin Al-Turki, secretary general Rabita AlAlam Al-Islami, Saudi Arabia; Dr Sulaiman Ibn Abdullah Aba Al-Khail, rector Al-Imam Mohammad Ibn Saud Islamic University, Saudi Arabia; Prof Dr Mohammad Bin Ali Farraj Al-Uqla, president Islamic University of Madina, Saudi Arabia; Sheikh Yousuf Jasim alHijji, former chairman International Islamic Charitable Organisation, Kuwait; and Dr Ahmad Mohamed Ali, president Islamic Development Bank, Saudi Arabia.
The last meeting of the trustees was held in 2006. Since then, no meeting had been held to nominate the president for the university and new trustees in place of those who have died or retired.

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