The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has issued a directive banning universities from independently engaging in contracts with international non-governmental organizations (NGOs). The announcement came to light through reports on Friday.
HEC Chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed sent a formal letter to the vice-chancellors of universities and heads of educational institutions. The letter emphatically states that no agreements or activities with international organizations should be initiated without prior consultation with the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
The chairman expressed concerns about several universities collaborating with international organizations, including the United Nations (UN), on sensitive and political matters. Such collaborations, according to the HEC, risk tarnishing Pakistan’s global image, leading to reservations voiced by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.
HEC’s directive instructs universities to cease these activities immediately and requests that they seek permission from the Ministry of Foreign Affairs before entering into any such contracts or engaging in related activities. HEC emphasizes that this directive will not compromise the autonomy of educational institutions, reassuring them to continue their operations independently, free from external influences that could potentially jeopardize the country’s stability.