Regimental suppression: Teacher sacked for speaking his mind

Students, teachers hold protest to condemn the “prejudicial move” by the university rector.

Express April 04, 2011

ISLAMABAD:


The students and teachers of Bahria University on Monday staged a protest demonstration against termination of a university teacher.


Holding banners and placards outside the university premises in sector E-8, the protesting students and teachers condemned the action of the university Rector Vice-Admiral Muhammad Haroon, and demanded reinstatement of the professor immediately. The students vowed to continue protests till the rector takes back his decision.

Prof Qamer Riaz was terminated for speaking against the university’s policies in presence of the Higher Education Commission (HEC) Chairperson Dr Javed Laghari. The incident took place during a question-answer session of a seminar in presence of the HEC chairperson Dr Javed Laghari, faculty and over 300 students on March 31. “Sir, what is the purpose of a university. And do you think that regimental suppression in educational institutions is affecting students’ creative development?” Prof Riaz asked the HEC chairperson during the seminar. When the rector asked the teacher to elaborate, he began to highlight the “regimental suppressions” being faced by students in the university. The rector, in response, called in the secuirty guards and forced the professor out of the auditorium and got him locked in the teachers’ room.

The following day the teacher in protest displayed a paper inscribed with a question mark on his chest and tied his arms with black band. Three days later, Prof Riaz was sacked. The Head of Department of Management Science Dr Shafqat Hameed Rana was also sacked for protesting against the teacher’s termination.

“[Prof] Riaz asked a valid question from the HEC chairperson and the rector, which is a fundamental right of any citizen,” said Dr Rana. Regarding his own termination, he said the rector took action against him “to settle old scores.” He said that he disobeyed the rector’s orders to give admission to some naval officers’ sons who failed to meet the university’s requirements. Moreover, Rana said that he had also refused the rector’s orders to hire a few retired naval officials as professors in his department. “These naval officers were not qualified enough to teach in the university,” he added.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 5th, 2011.

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COMMENTS (16)

Jamal Gondal | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend Well, it seems to me that there are very few people left in this country who can speak up to the bad guys. If the said professor of my university has done , he has given a good example that day in auditorium in front of all of us. Although I am not studying with Mr. Qamar Riaz MAhmitKhel but he is genuine academic and he truly deserves to teach leadership because he has proved to be a leader. He has worked for Bahria for more than five years! We the students at BAhria are the worst victim of this dictatorship and ignorance spreading by these retired naval miserable guys. I am sick and tired of my university and I regret my admission in it. I pay more than 50,000 but I am told what to wear, what to think, what to say. Are we the students in for training in slavish mentality or what? Enough is enough! we stand by our professor who has been sacked for speaking up against the retrogressive managemnt to save BAhria University.
A. R. | 9 years ago | Reply | Recommend Mr. lmn... I'm sure the supreme court has better things to do than micro-mange universities with no national or international standing. Secondly, if what you're saying about the two doctors having fake degrees is true then Bahria Uni administration must be the most incompetent body in the world for allowing fake degree holders to hold senior positions for so many years. What fools they are if they've been tricked by fake degree holders to give them head of department positions and the opportunity to teach hundreds of master level students. Sir, you need to grow a brain
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