HYDERABAD: The provincial education minister Pir Mazharul Haq apparently threw his weight behind the recently reinstated Sindh University vice chancellor, Dr Nazir A Mughal, in the ongoing tug of war between Mughal and the university’s teachers. The minister termed the teachers “enemies of education,” while talking to media personnel at the seventh convocation ceremony of the Institute of Modern Sciences and Arts (IMSA) on Monday.
The Sindh University Teachers Association (SUTA) demanded Mughal’s removal after Prof Bashir Channar was shot dead on the university’s campus this January. Mughal was sent on forced leave on February 21, but resumed his charge on June 29. His return sparked renewed protests from the teaching staff of the university, whose demands include conducting of a judicial enquiry by a Sindh High Court judge into Prof. Channar’s murder, removal of a ban on student unions and the deployment of private security personnel instead of police and Rangers at the campus and hostels.
The education minister warned the teachers that action would be taken against them if they continued “dereliction of their duty,” and accused SUTA president Dr Azhar Ali Shah and others of harassing other teachers.
However, he added that the provincial government will not intervene in the university’s affairs and the vice chancellor would be free to take action against people who were disturbing the academic environment at the university.
While speaking during the convocation, Mughal said that he had assured the teachers of resolving their problems.
During the ceremony, 189 students were awarded masters degrees and 132 bachelor’s degrees in business administration, while 17 were awarded undergraduate degrees in communication and information technology.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 3rd, 2012.