Islamabad - The faculty of the Quaid-e-Azam University is divided over the proposed sale of its 17 acres of land to Pakistan Institute of Development Economics, terming it against the interests of the institution.

Professor of Political Science and former Head of the Department, Dr  Zafar Nawaz Jaspal expressing his strong reservation on the leasing of land said it was being given at a throwaway price for some vested interest, which will harm varsity’s own interests. He termed the management’s initiative against the rules to establish “an institution within an institution” and said in future this land will be required to cater to QAU needs.

Another Professor of the university on condition of anonymity said the varsity’s Syndicate Committee authorised to deal with the issues, has already rejected the plan and there was no question to go ahead with it. He said the most expensive piece of land on prime location was being gifted for some certain interests of the people and termed Vice-chancellor’s step as commercial initiative which will not serve the cause of education.

Vice-Chancellor QAU, Dr Javaid Ashraf, however, clarified that the land is neither being leased nor sold to any party; rather it was being given as a gift for educational purposes. The land would be offered to PIDE near Murree Road, Bhara Khau, the VC said, and “it will give us Rs 500 million in return. It is a deal between two government organisations,” he added.

The PIDE institute intended to expand its operation by receiving 17 acres of land from the Quaid-i-Azam University to set up a full-fledged university. The present land of the PIDE was only four kanal and it required 17 acres more to establish its own university. PIDE was set up on the Quaid-i-Azam University’s land as a research institute in 1970s but in 2005 it started awarding degrees in various disciplines. Last year, the Capital Development Authority (CDA) had allocated a piece of land to PIDE in sector H-11/2 on subsidised rate.