Friday, March 14, 2008

Punishing plagiarism: An episode from Pakistan

Googling a bit led me to this recent report about a plagiarism scandal at the Punjab University in Lahore:

Renowned physicists on Monday lauded Chancellor/Governor Lt General (r) Khalid Maqbool for taking action against the five Punjab University (PU) plagiarists, said a PU statement on Monday.

The scientists also demanded that the governor should impose heavy fines on the convicts for damaging the repute of the 125-year-old educational institute.

‘Forcible’ retirement of plagiarists: In February, on the recommendations of an inquiry committee, the governor ‘forcibly’ retired on charges of plagiarism PU Centre for High Energy Physics director Dr Fazle Aleem along with four other teachers of the same department: namely, Rashid Ahmad, Sohail Afzal Tahir, M Aslam Saeed and Maqsood Ahmad. ...

At the end of the report, we get this too:

PU’s pending grant: On February 24, Higher Education Commission (HEC) Executive Director Dr Sohail H Naqvi had said the HEC would release PU’s pending grant of Rs 110 million. The grant had earlier been stopped by the HEC last year due to the plagiarism issue. ...

Threat of withdrawal of grants and 'forced' retirements are harsh punishments indeed.

* * *

While on the topic of plagiarism by Pakistani academics, take a look at this case from the University of Karachi:

The person who has allegedly committed the act [of plagiarism] is no other than Dr Jalaluddin Noori, professor and the dean of faculty [of Islamic Studies]. While Dr Noori denies the charges, documents present incriminating evidence. Even his colleagues and high-ups in the university do not doubt the allegation.

The News contacted Dr Noori on Wednesday to find out what he has to say in his defence. According to him, the affair was so old that it had simply gotten 'stale' and hence had no importance. ...

How old was this 'affair'? It dates back to 1969, in Noori's PhD thesis!

Oh, you'll also be interested in this blacklist of sorts...


  1. Anonymous said...

    As you must be aware of the ping pong of plagiarism at the University of the Punjab. The VC Mujahid Kamran has also committed plagiarism on the peak of his life. Now he commits that he has no research publication in the last 18 years. So his research career can be judged. I want to show the Mujahid Kamrans black face.
    Please visit the web site at
    Its just that I want to show the right face of these people. Hope you will spare some time for it.

    Here are few prominent forgerers who are considered “Forgery Masters”
    * Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran
    * Prof. Dr. Najma Najam
    * Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi
    * Prof. Dr. Rukhsana Kausar
    * Prof. Dr. Shaukat Ali
    For the time being we will be giving information regarding malpractices, forgeries, curruptions of above metioned culprits. Later on we will add forgeries and curroptions of other members and associates of this mafia.
    Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran
    Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran is the present Vice Chancellor University of the Punjab. From the day of his appointment as VC, University of the Punjab is in the clutches of his comrades Prof. Dr. Najma Najam, Prof. Dr. Mujahid Mansoori, Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi , Prof. Dr. Shaukat Ali etc. Dr. Mujahid Kamran is known as “Forger” and “Political Blackmailer” With the blessing of Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman (Chairman H.E.C), Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi (Executive Director H.E.C) and sheltered by Begd. (rtd) Ijaz Shah (Former I.B Head), present Vice Chancellor is bent upon ruining the peace of the University of the Punjab.
    Copy of letter to Chancellor's Office pointing the objections raised in syndicate meeting

    He and his companions are the pioneers of Plagiarism in the University of the Punjab. Some facts of Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran's plagiarism are as follow.
    view the newspaper copy of above mentioned article
    Plagiarized article without references
    1. LANDAU: A Great Physicist and Teacher by Anna Livanova published in 1980 (Annexure-I)
    2. Men of Physics: L. D. Landau by D. Ter Haar published in 1965 (Annexure-II)
    Annexure of Article 1

    There is another article that was plagarized from a book "Rutherford, Simple Genius"
    Article plagiarized from book: “Rutherford, Simple Genius”

    Please see web site
    His competency can be judged that he was dropped in M. Phill (Physics) programe at Quaid-a-Azam University, Islamabad in 1972.
    Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran is also involved in serious forgeries like tempering and producing fake documents to gain illegal benefits. He illegally promote his wife Prof. Dr. Najma Najam to Professor Meritorious despite of the fact that she is still in active service (Visit University of the Punjab website). Using political influence is a common negativity of this gang. There were some serious objections upon his selection raised by the chancellor’s office.
    • Prof. Dr. Najma Najam

    Prof. Dr. Najma Najam is Ex. Vice-Chancellor of Fatima Jinnah Woman University, Rawalpindi and current Director External linkages(University of the Punjab) and also wife of Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran (present Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab). She is involved in forgeries of serious kind. She is promoted to Professor Meritorious by her husband Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran despite of the fact that she is still in active service(Visit University of the Punjab website). She with the help of her husband was involved in tempering of official documents, producing fake documents to gain illegal benefits like" leave with pay" as well as various scholarships. Following are some facts of her forgeries.
    Letter by Registrar pointing a tempering in official letter(1982)
    Service Book Pages

    Following are some facts of Prof. Dr. Najma Najam's financial forgeries in Center for Clinical Psychology, University of the Punjab.
    Audit Report for Center for Clinical Psychology

    Following are some facts of Prof. Dr. Najma Najam's financial forgeries in Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi.
    Audit Report of Fatima Jinnah Women University

    In addition to academic and financial malpractices, Prof. Dr. Najma Najam has come to rescue of her group giving illegal benefits. Among the illegal beneficiaries are Umniya Khan and Sadia, who were removed from service of the University of the Punjab because of inefficiency/dicipline, were recruited on contract in the Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi. Within a period of six months, Umniya Khan was awarded scholarship with the active collaboration of Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi (Executive Director H.E.C) and was sent abroad within few months of their appointment.
    • Prof. Dr. Shaukat Ali
    [Head of Physics Department, PU , Lahore, who was not eligible for associate professor]
    Prof. Dr. Shaukat Ali

    Prof. Dr. Shaukat Ali is an important member of kitchen cabinet of Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran. He has been accused of tempering his date of birth in secondary school certificate. An inquiry was conducted against him in which it was found that he is a sole beneficiary of the forgery in order to obtain bogus certificate. But the report was postponed after extreme pressure from Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran.
    Original Certificate (1954)
    Forged/Bogus Certificate (showing date of birth year 1959)

    • Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi
    Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi

    Another case of forgery (plagiarism) is Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi (Current Chairperson and Professor, Department of Psychology and Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, Lahore). She is a notorious personality in University of the Punjab because of her immature attitude (Click here for more information) . Almost all of her research articles are taken from students work without recognizing them. Saveral complaints about Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi's plagiarism had already been made to the H.E.C through Executive Director Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi but no action has been initiated by the Higher Education Commission against her. According to Daily Dawn dated March 1, 2008 "Her entire work is based on students research/dissertations, undertaken during their academic years as practical assignments and which are being published by her without acknowledging the students’ efforts and without the permission of the department to bag high research claims. Some facts of Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi's plagiarism are as follow.
    Aalia Shah studied at the Psychology Department during 1996-1998 session. Prof. Dr. Yasmin Farooqi had supervised her M.Sc thesis titled “Pre-post evaluation of depression and anxiety in patients undergoing mastectomy and hysterectomy”. On the basis of that thesis Aalia Shah was awarded degree of M.Sc. Prof. Dr. Yasmin Farooqi published the her research into journals under the title “Depression and anxiety in mastectomy cases” in Illness,Crisis and Loss Vol. 13(3) 267-278, 2005 and “Depression and anxiety in patients undergoing hysterectomy” in Journal of Pakistan Psychiatric Society Jan 2005; 2(1): 13 without acknowledging Aalia Shah's contribution. As goes the established rules in research, the work that primarily belonged to Alia Shah should have written her name as the first author of this paper or have due citation of her M.Sc thesis. View the complaint to Dean, Faculty of Life Sciences
    Prof. Dr. Yasmin N. Farooqi's Papers Orignol Thesis and Research Papers
    Depression and Anxiety in Patients Undergoing Hysterectomy
    (pdf copy)
    (Journal of Pakistan Psychiatric Society; 2(1): 13)

    Depression and Anxiety in Mastectomy Cases
    (pdf copy)
    (Illness, Crisis and Loss Vol. 13(3) 267-278, 2005) Thesis by Aalia Shah (1998)
    (View online copy)
    Download pdf file of Aalia Shah's thesis
    (pdf copy)

    These papers were presented by Prof. Dr. Yasmin Farooqi in following conferences as her own research papers.
    Depression and Anxiety in the hysterectomy Cases.
    National Conference on Role of Psychology in Socio-Economic Development of Pakistan. National Institute of Psychology. Center of Excellence. Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad, Pakistan. ( 2004)
    Depression and Anxiety in Mastectomy Cases
    International Social Sciences Conference. Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi, Pakistan. (2004)
    Depression and Anxiety in Mastectomy Cases
    Second International Congress on Child and Adolescent Psychiatry- Trauma Psychology. Tehran, Iran. (2005)

    The complainer has made complaints to the H.E.C and Vice Chancellor's office. But the matter was concealed.
    Aalia Shah's complaint to Vice Chancellor, University of the Punjab
    Aalia Shah's complaint to H.E.C officials

    News in Daily Dawn (01-06-2008)
    weblink to Aalia Shah's complaint published in Daily Dawn (01-06-2008)
    Aalia Shah's mail to Editor (09-01-2008)
    weblinl to Aalia Shah's mail to Editor (Daily Dawn 09-01-2008)

    Another student Ms. Safia Mahr had stated in a letter that Prof. Dr. Yasmin Farooqi did not return the copy of her thesis and furthermore got an undertaking from her that she had worked on Dr Yasmin Farooqi's project.
    Copy of Safia Mahr's Letter
    (click here to download pdf file)

    Ms. Nayla Maqsood had stated in her ‘undertaking’ to the department that she had conducted her research under the supervision of Prof. Dr. Yasmin Farooqi and she had not permitted the supervisor in writing to use her name in the paper.
    Copy of Nayla Maqsood's Letter
    (Click here to download pdf file)

    Prof. Dr. Yasmin Farooqi is also involved in forgery. According to an inquiry report, she was involved in bogus purchase of books out of Higher Education Commission, Pakistan.
    Copy of Inquiry Report

    * Prof. Dr. Rukhsana Kausar

    Another beneficiary is Prof. Dr. Rukhsana Kausar who was removed from the chairpersonship of Department of Psychology and Applied Psychology, University of the Punjab, when caught red handed in amoral activities.
    View copy of Inquiry report

    She took away departmental records and files and the matter is still pending for inquiry. She was immediately taken on deputation to Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi and has been brought back to University of the Punjab when her benefactor returned.

    With best Regards
    Abdullah MO
    Student forum Punjab University, Lahore.

  2. Anonymous said...

    Governor and HEC Chairman has black faces on Plagiarism case at PU
    Governor being misled by HEC on charges of plagiarism
    LAHORE - The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan’s blacklisting five faculty members of Punjab University’s Centre for High Energy Physics seems to be a biased decision, as they are not considered plagiarists by the foreign institutions.
    Prof Dr Fazal-e-Aleem, who has earned the status of meritorious professor, Maqsood Ahmad, Rashid Ahmad, Sohail Fazal and M Alam Saeed were accused of plagiarism with respect to six different publications. All are continuing to write research papers as the American Institute of Physics never alleged plagiarism against them and continues to publish their papers.
    Of the six papers stated to have been plagiarized, Dr Aleem was shown as one of the authors of five of them. Interestingly he was not among the authors of the paper ‘Benefits of Basic Science’. The paper ‘Current status of exotic hadrons’ was part of the allegations. The paper was revised through an errata handed over to the editor on April 9, 2006. This was before the complaint was lodged by Dr Mujahid Kamran then serving as dean of science at the Punjab University. The other articles ‘Computational methods: Tool for Electronic Structure Analysis of Solids’ and ‘Path of Elementary Particles’ were also retracted and the thought republished. Interestingly this fact was not considered during the inquiry. The HEC in its newsletter declared Dr Aleem and other CHEP faculty members of plagiarism even before the final decision had been made.
    A researcher is well within his rights to send an erratum to the publisher to rectify any mistake made by him or to add/ omit anything published in a research journal or even textbooks. Errata/Retractions are a normal and internationally acknowledged way of dealing with inadvertent mistakes, human and electronic errors and even to incorporate further developments or changes. It would be of interest to notice that Nobel Laureates like Rutherford and Chairman HEC Ataur Rehman had errata published to their research papers.
    Meanwhile, ‘Current status of exotic hadrons’ was published by AIP as part of the conference proceedings held in Cairo. Editor of the proceedings and the Program Chair Lotfia El Nadi on receiving the complaint termed it “out of place”. “The paper is a review article in which the authors presented recent experiments of worldwide laboratories, not their own work. The authors do not claim any results of their own. The authors handed over errata. We consider the complaint of Dr Mujahid Kamran as out of place,” she wrote to the then VC. The referring conference committee found no plagiarism.
    The paper ‘Technology in Aid of Physics Teaching’ was never published and Dr Aleem also did not participate in the conference.
    The paper ‘Benefits of Basic Science’ was published in a web magazine ‘Science of Africa’. It was without and ISSN number and for this publication no credit can be claimed by the authors. It was not a research article but a popular one. The paper ‘Mystery of matter’ was not published in any research journal or conference. Therefore the issue of plagiarism could not be raised.

    Total publications of CHEP faculty members from 2004 to 2007 was more than 180. The faculty of CHEP published their research work in journals of international repute including AIP Conference Proceedings, Physical Review Letters, Physical Review D, Computational Material Science and Physica B. Last year 20 research papers were published including ‘Evidence for BO’, ‘Evidence for the Rare Decay B+’ and ‘Search for Lepton Flavor Violating Decays tau +’. ‘Design and performance of high uniformity linear filament electron gun’ and ‘Ab-intio Study of Structural Properties of III Nitrides’ have been highly acclaimed.
    Punjab University Syndicate fully debated the issue and settled the matter with minor punishment for the four lecturers. PU sources disclosed that HEC is exerting pressure on the Punjab University to again take up the issue.
    As the issue has been settled by Syndicate, only the Chancellor/Governor can review the decision. According to sources the Chancellor is being misled about the whole issue. The fact that the AIP and the foreign institutions do not consider the five CHEP faculty members to be plagiarists was kept secret from the Chancellor.
    “PU is the oldest seat of learning and has a prestige and reputation not matched by any other institution in sub-continent. It should not come under the pressure of HEC. The stand of the PU Academic Staff Association on the matter is clear. It has voiced its concern on the growing interference of HEC in the affairs of varsity.
    “The new vice chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran was the complainant against Dr Aleem and other CHEP faculty members. Dr Kamran and Dr Aleem are both professors of Physics and their careers run parallel to each other. Dr Aleem has published more than 150 papers and won many national and international awards. He did not need to plagiarize for conference papers, which has no academic value.
    “The whole issue was blown out of proportions and the fact that AIP and other international journals did not consider Dr Aleem and other members of CHEP faculty as plagiarists was not taken into account. It would be in the best interest of PU if the chancellor also takes into account the correspondence of foreign institutions with the then VC before taking any decision ” sources said.

  3. Anonymous said...

    What about forgeries in research centers? Take a look at this link: