It has been over a week since Gomal University was closed. Some say the varsity was closed over a student protest which disrupted law and order on January 12. Others attribute the reason to a financial loss caused by corruption.
A member of Pukhtoon Students Federation, student wing of Awami National Party, Sherullah Wazir, said it was extremely unfortunate the institute was closed when there were exams going on. Talking to The Express Tribune on Wednesday, Wazir said, “There was no reason to close the university.”
He said people lobbying for “a vice chancellor of their choice” were behind the university’s closure. “They can only do so when the university is closed and there is no contact between students and teachers.” Wazir added the particular lobby wanted to bring a VC of their choice who could help conceal embezzlement under way at Gomal.
At present Gomal University has an acting vice chancellor, Saeed Rauf Khattak, who will retire in April.
However, social activist and writer Sohail Azmi told The Express Tribune the university has been going through a financial crisis for a long time.
“[The crisis] is so deep it has affected the administrative and academic affairs of the university,” he said. “[The crisis happened] because vice chancellors who have been appointed have political ties [and do not deal well with university matters],” added Azmi.
“There are people who work at the institute but embezzle funds,” he added. “They are also involved in issuing fake degrees.” Azmi accused the university of awarding a fake degree to Pakistan Peoples Party K-P’s Rahim Dad.
Efforts were made to contact any official of the university, but no one could be reached.
The protest that is said to have led to the closure of Gomal University, occured on January 12 after four students were told to vacate the hostel over alleged misconduct. Other students started protesting, and caused damage to Wensam College property.
The university administration had issued a notice which directed the university be closed to avoid any mishaps. Teachers and staff were directed to remain on duty.
Muttahida Tulba Mahaz, a student organisation at Gomal University, protested the closure and blocked DI Khan-Multan Road which passes near the main gate
of the varsity. They demanded the university be opened immediately.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 21st, 2016.