Pakistaniaat No Longer Affiliated with HEC

Yesterday I received an email from Higher Education Commission of Pakistan, an organization that we supported on this forum last year when it was about to be axed, informing me that according to their “new criteria” Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies could not be considered an approved journal of HEC. I was also instructed to delete our assertion that our journal was approved in their “Y” category.

Needless to say I found this decision acutely autocratic: if their polices have changed , why were we not informed to comply with the policies? professional courtesy requires that things like this should not be sent to us sounding like an arbitrary decision.

I have looked for the new criteria on the HEC website, and all that I have been able to gather is that since our journal does not have an Impact Factor and as it is not listed with Thompson’s Index, we, somehow, are not worthy of inclusion into their database. That Pakistaniaat is now a leading peer-reviewed journal on Pakistan and that it is also a sponsored journal of American Institute of Pakistan Studies, and indexed by the MLA does not mean much to the people at HEC.

The reason we are not listed with Thompsons is because it costs a lot of money to register a journal with them and we neither have the resources nor the need to waste our money on corporations that specialize in deciding whether we are a worthy journal or not. I am really disappointed at the outlook of HEC, which seems too corporatized to me, and at the callous method of informing us about this unjust decision.

The reason I wanted Pakistaniaat to be listed with HEC was to encourage quality submissions from Pakistani scholars and to offer our editorial expertise to them in the process. It seems our this mission has been stymied. But we will continue on with or without HEC recognition.

Those of you still interested in publishing with us, please be assured that we are now an established and internationally recognized academic journal. It is, however, sad that a beaurocratic institution of the very country that our journal hopes to represent has failed to find value in our work. In any case, the loss is theirs.

With this decision, HEC has lost my support and in the future I will not waste any more of my time defending their causes. I am pretty sure that Pakistaniaat will keep growing with the help of our contributors and with the great work of our volunteer editorial team.

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By M R

Originally from Pakistan, Dr. Masood Ashraf Raja is an Associate Professor of Postcolonial Literature and Theory and the editor of Pakistaniaat: A Journal of Pakistan Studies.
Raja tweets @masoodraja

8 replies on “Pakistaniaat No Longer Affiliated with HEC”

They should have recommended a ‘transition plan’ after consulting the journals no longer recognized under new criteria, instead of just communicating the blunt decision. This decision defeats the purpose of HEC, therefore, HEC authorities should look into this matter seriously.

Dear sir,
I work at a public sector university in Lahore and have always been a silent appreciator of the work that is done by Pakistaniaat. It is really very sad to know that the HEC is being run by individuals who have absolutely no regard for the sincerity and hard work that goes into an enterprise as worthy as yours.

We too have been victims of similar treatment. I am also reminded of the preface of Dr Tariq Rahman’s latest book From Hindi to Urdu in which he too expresses his annoyance with the way HEC’s management handles things.

I wish the Pakistaniaat team an enriching editorial experience despite all the odds!


Mr.Masood please do not be deterred, HEC was axed like you rightly said and is insignificant unfortunately it probably boils down to bureaucratic red tape of the monetary variety and Thompson’s was just an excuse for the tape to be waxed monetarily as it is with a lot of our Government institutions. Please keep fighting the good fight.

By the way, I have initiated the process for us to be indexed by ISI and pretty sure we will soon be indexed. Also, Pakistaniaat is already listed in MLA Directory of Periodicals and is also slated to be indexed by MLA Biliography.

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