Faculty members at the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) strongly condemned on Wednesday the manhandling of an associate professor by the university’s campus manager.
Following a protest by students on Friday that resulted in the closure of the university for a week, Dr Irfan Zia Qureshi reportedly approached QAU Vice-Chancellor Dr Masoom Yasinzai and said the security staff, including its head, did not perform their duties and that the rowdy students were restrained only by the teaching faculty.
This enraged Campus Manager Colonel Nadeem, who, after the VC left, allegedly held the professor by the neck and threatened to “take care of him later”, and to beat him or worse (“mein tumhain maar doon ga”) in addition to a slew of foul words directed at the educator in front of a number of people near the chemistry department.
The faculty members pointed out that a similar incident took place some months ago at the military-run National University of Modern Languages (NUML) and that “such behaviour by retired or serving army personnel will not be tolerated at QAU”, which is the country’s top ranked university.
A delegation of faculty members met Dr Yasinzai in his office, where Dr Qureshi also submitted a written complaint. As head of the institution, Dr Yasinzai apologised for the treatment meted out by Col Nadeem. He also formed a committee headed by Dean of Social Sciences Dr Eatzaz Ahmad to submit a report.
Col Nadeem admitted that he had exchanged harsh words with the professor but insisted that the altercation was a “mere exchange of harsh words”. He also blamed the professor for initiating the heated exchange, adding that he will present his point of view to the committee constituted to look into the matter. He added that it was not a clash, but mere exchange of harsh words.
Striking students’ press conference
QAU students gathered at the National Press Club on Wednesday to voice their grievances against the non-fulfilment of their demands and the alleged high-handedness of the university administration in the wake of the students’ recent strike.
They reiterated that the strike had remained “largely peaceful and that they had no intention of sabotaging any conference or university activity. Their only demand, they said, was ensuring that their basic needs, such as the provision of water, electricity, food, and internet in the hostels, were met and that students be given a legally recognised platform from which to voice their grievances.
They also criticised the hostels and university closure for ten days, saying it caused problems for students from far-flung areas.
Published in The Express Tribune, May 3rd, 2012.
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