Regimental suppression: Teacher sacked for speaking his mind

Published: April 5, 2011
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The students and teachers of Bahria University on Monday staged a protest demonstration against termination of a university teacher.

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

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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Reader Comments (16)

  • truth speaks
    Apr 5, 2011 - 3:47AM

    Dilemma of Pakistan, in addition now government is planning to dissolve HEC….They know more education will bring reform in country and no more support they can gain from masses.

    So only way to keep support from masses is to make them ignorant, deprive them from education.Recommend

  • Imran Hussain
    Apr 5, 2011 - 6:38AM

    Time has come that we need to get rid of the hegemony of the armed forces from all aspects of our lives. They treat the people of Pakistan as their subjects rather than their brethren.Recommend

  • A. R.
    Apr 5, 2011 - 9:35AM

    The navy needs to kick Admiral Haroon and the retired naval officers out of Bahria University if it wants to clean up its image. The present administration has been making the university into a cadet college. The university’s agenda is only to offer jobs to retired naval officers that are otherwise unfit for the job market and to give degrees to its officers children. Shame

    This used to be a great university, shame to see it wrecked. By the way, what qualification does a retired admiral have to run an academic institution? Especially one that can not even maintain discipline because this is not the first time that protests have happened in Bahria under his tenure. Karachi campus was also protesting some months ago when the administration tried to make them wear uniforms like cadets and school childrenRecommend

  • A K
    Apr 5, 2011 - 1:10PM

    Mr Vice-Admiral Muhammad Haroon,

    Don’t push us to limit, we are already fed-up of you and your fellow goons roaming in the country.

    These three and four stars generals and admirals etc. are the real problem our country is facing!!

    Nation need to get rid of this bigots otherwise the end is near.Recommend

  • Critical Thinker
    Apr 5, 2011 - 2:24PM

    and where does our ‘highly respected’ HEC stands!Recommend

  • HAS
    Apr 5, 2011 - 3:57PM

    not many people will know this but admiral haroon has post graduate degrees for quaid e azam university……and also most of the military officers posted in bahria university are also graduates of either quaid e azam university or university of karachi or national defence university. some of them have got their degrees from abroad.

    letting people vent their feelings doesnt mean that discipline is being broken.

    HEC has got nothing to do with this matter. The professor concerned is a known idiosyncrant and has been for a while and has been dismissed for his lack of ability. even his doctorate is not verified by HEC Recommend

  • ahs
    Apr 5, 2011 - 3:58PM

    not many people will know this but admiral haroon has post graduate degrees for quaid e azam university……and also most of the military officers posted in bahria university are also graduates of either quaid e azam university or university of karachi or national defence university. some of them have got their degrees from abroad.

    letting people vent their feelings doesnt mean that discipline is being broken.

    HEC has got nothing to do with this matter. The professor concerned is a known idiosyncrant and has been for a while and has been dismissed for his lack of ability. even his doctorate is not verified by HEC Recommend

  • Dr Naqvi
    Apr 5, 2011 - 4:46PM

    This is the show-case event, highlighting everywhere in the media as well, two respectable Doctors lost their job, but what about the similar misbehavior with the staff every day in the universities by those in-competent people? I believe such universities are only to give job to the retire navy, army and air-force guys. According to the Qudrat-ul-shahab, those fogis are like used bullet, with no other use!!Recommend

  • A. R.
    Apr 5, 2011 - 5:22PM

    @ahs – Adm Haroon may have a degree but it seems that you don’t otherwise you wouldn’t be saying he has a degree ‘for’ QAU instead of ‘from’ QAU

    Secondly, not all military officers are not posted in Bahria University, only naval officers. Are there no competent retired army and air force officers?

    Thirdly, kindly point out one university in the top 500 of the world that is being run by a military man

    Fourth, ‘idiosyncrant’ is not a word. The correct term is idiosyncratic and there is nothing wrong with being one if it doesn’t affect your academic ability. If Prof Riaz eccentric and if it does affect his academic ability negatively, then why has the university tolerated him for years and only thrown him out now?

    Fifth, is Dr Shafqat Hameed Rana also a maniac?

    Sir, you’re insulting yourself by defending a worthless cause, using flawed logic. Thousands of university students and many of the faculty know the truth. Hats off to the few that have the courage to speak it. Recommend

  • A. R.
    Apr 5, 2011 - 5:23PM

    @A. R.: Lets see if you spot the grammatical mistake in this para. LoLRecommend

  • Hasan Abidi
    Apr 6, 2011 - 2:02AM

    KIND ATTN: Mr HAS
    ( & Kind Attnt to all the students of Behria University + A.R. Dr. Naqvi + A.K)

    Mr. HAS, apart from ur command over English language ( as duly pointed out by A.R.), kindly lemme know wat wd u gain by propagating a lost cause?

    Thats right Mr. HAS , before advocating these Admirals and Generals , as the only hope of academia in this most unfortunate country, I hv a few questions for you:

    1) How many Admirals and Generals from the “civilized” world u know, who retire from their services, only to be seen teaching as professors in elite or community schools n colleges n universities?

    2) How many professors, after retiring hv been hired by the armed forces into their ranks , as officers ? Get the point Mr. HAS ?

    3) Wherever we c in Pakistan, y is it that running an educational instituion like a barrack, is always the hallmark of these retired and imposed servicemen on the hapless students and the faculty?

    4) Y is it, that these imposed retired servicemen, suffering from some misguided , untrue, misplaced superiority complex, are always less qualified academically speaking, inept , inarticulate, loud n brash , inflexible, unacceptable in general to those they r serving , totally stuck in their armed forces mindset and always believe they hv an inherent right to bully around and humiliate those who dont conform or “fall in line”?

    5) Y is it , that this bright idea of hiring these spent forces in educational facilities, who have nothing to do with education in the first place, predominantly a Pakistani phenomenon only? Y not in developed , civilized , 100% educated nations? Are we missing the point here?

    6) How in the world these armed forces personnel are allowed to be inducted in educational institutions,with such blatant disregard to the availability of much more qualified, suitable and career academics around, who are not just professional teachers, but hv an inherent riht to be teaching? U know y Mr. HAS, bcoz thats wat they do. TEACH.

    Just like u dont c teachers fighting on the frontlines in war gear, pleeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeeze leave the burden of educating this illiterate and abused country, to those who are better qualified.

    Do us a favor, and allow the youth of this suppressed, abused, looted country, to be taught by real academics and intellectuals, by Professors n Scholars, not by retired majors, colonels , bigadiers n generals/admirals.

    Last but not the least…………………….You guys hv already served with distinction in the arenas of insurance,housing, banking , real estate , travel…………..etc etc. Werent u guys supposed to be for armed forces ONLY?

    For God’s sake dont play with the youth and their futures, in an attempt to satisfy your autocratic , elitist and unethical practices of incorporating retired armed services officers in every facet of existence, specially when they hv no business there. Period.

    Hvnt u guys had enough of a ride on the back of this country, and continue to do so?
    Kindly leave ATLEAST education alone.

    May GOD hv Mercy on this deprived and victimized nation.

    HASAN ABIDIRecommend

  • Truthseeker
    Apr 6, 2011 - 6:55AM

    @A.R
    This nation is full of kickers , a few are kicking the whole nation in the back and the pocket all the time, very few get the opportunity to kick the nation in the back and pocket
    some time, and the ‘kicked’ who are at the receiving end are not sure that they will ever be able to kick back their kickers.
    It is a never ending saga in the land of the pure, so enjoy it till one is kicked in the …..Recommend

  • lmn
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:00PM

    mr hasan abedi and all the other who are trying to be champions of english, you are just BIGOTS and LIARS. lets see if you can get any positive result for your side or I will give you a proposal …why dont you go to supreme court or is it because both the doctors have fake degrees ….maybe they should teach english ! Recommend

  • QAR
    Apr 6, 2011 - 7:03PM

    professors, you are lost to history ! bye bye Recommend

  • A. R.
    Apr 7, 2011 - 10:13AM

    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 brainRecommend

  • Jamal Gondal
    Apr 11, 2011 - 12:58PM

    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.Recommend

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