Deadlock: QAU shutdown enters fifth day

Teachers say administration committee sent for parleys lacked authority

Our Correspondent March 17, 2018
ASA has put locks on QAU gates. PHOTO: ONLINE

ISLAMABAD: The country’s top-ranked university remained closed for a fifth consecutive day on Friday as teachers continued their protest against the vice chancellor.

Teachers part of the Academic Staff Association (ASA) have been protesting against the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf for his alleged incompetence for nearly two months. While staffers have been boycotting classes and other research activities, earlier in the week, the staff association resorted to blocking the main transport centre and a key artery, effectively grounding the university’s fleet of buses.

A meeting between representatives of the ASA and the administration committee of the varsity also failed to break the deadlock.

Strike continues: QAU protest enters fifth week

The ASA committee claimed that it was dismayed to see non- serious attitude of the administration and expressed serious reservations on the disempowered mandate of the committee.

“The meeting was a great disappointment,” stated ASA President Dr Aqeel Bokhari. He further stated that the meetings seemed to come to an end without reaching a mutually agreeable decision.

He added that the committee did not have a mandate nor were they empowered to make any suggestion to the vice chancellor.

Dr Bokhari added that their single-point demand calling for the VC’s resignation thus remains in place and that their lockdown will continue until the VC steps down.

The ASA president, who has proven to be a thorn in VC Dr Ashraf’s side, expressed the fear that due to the resistance of the incumbent VC, there was a possibility the next semester at the varsity may be put on hold. He urged the relevant authorities to take immediate notice of the situation.

Protests shut down QAU

“Apparently, the incumbent vice chancellor has resorted to time-buying tactics and thinks that with this he can further linger on but he is sadly mistaken,” Dr Bokhari stated.

The ASA president said that they were determined to force Dr Ashraf out.

Later on, the protesting faculty held a press conference and met with representatives of the media to explain the current impasse.

ASA also shared a white paper published against the VC.

Last week, in a point-wise response, Dr Ashraf had dismissed contentions of the ASA by terming it a move by a few professors whose promotions had been halted and had been endorsed by the syndicate of the varsity. 

Published in The Express Tribune, March 17th, 2018.


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