Committee to probe scholarship awarded to Shahbaz Gill’s wife

Former special assistant to prime minister on political communication Shahbaz Gill Dr Shahbaz Gill addressing a press conference in Islamabad in this undated photo. — APP/File

ISLAMABAD: An inquiry committee will be investigating the allegations levelled against the wife of PTI leader Shahbaz Gill for not completing her university scholarship within the mandated time.

The directions came from Science and Technology Minister Agha Hassan Baloch on Wednesday after it came to light last month that the PTI leader’s wife Izza Asad Rasool owed around Rs18.6 million to the Commission on Science and Technology for Sustainable Development in the South (COMSATS) University, Islamabad.

The federal minister, according to a statement issued in this regard, has ordered the science and technology ministry to form a committee and include officials from the ministry in it.

The order comes after the varsity sent details of the matter to the ministry. Baloch said following the recovery of the funds, they would be used to educate underprivileged children.

Background

A notice sent to the wife of the PTI leader last month from the varsity said that it demands the payment of official expenses worth $99,000 and Rs86,000, spent on account of tuition fees, living allowance, and airfare.

According to the notice, Rasool went to the United States 11 years ago in 2011 to pursue an MS leading to PhD studies in the field of Labour and Industrial Relations at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign, USA (UIUC). The scholar was expected to complete the studies by 2016, and come back to Pakistan but she didn’t.

Read more: SAPM Shahbaz Gill fails to declare foriegn employment

However, Rasool was not married to Gill — who is an employee of the same American university — at the time she left for her studies but got married in December 2011.

The notice stated that Rasool could not complete her studies by the due date while she was also irregular in submitting her academic progress reports, which are supposed to be submitted every six months.

Moreover, Izza neither applied for the extension of her employment contract with COMSATS which expired on June 30, 2016 nor requested the extension in ex-Pakistan leave granted from August 1, 2011, to July 31, 2012.

The COMSATS also warned Rasool of responding to this notice within 15 days or the university will initiate legal and administrative action against her.

It is pertinent to mention here that Rasool has not returned to Pakistan ever since she left for the US. 

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