A female student of Quaid-i-Azam University has accused a faculty member of sexual harassment.
Requesting that her identity not be disclosed, the student, in an interview with The Express Tribune on Saturday, alleged that her teacher, Professor Noor Mustafa, invited her to her office in QAU and made indecent advances at her.
When she resisted, the professor threatened her of “grave consequences”, which also included failing her in her exams.
She alleged that the professor had been trying to allure her for the last two years. “He used to invite me to his office for tea or some other pretext and even offered to grant me extra marks in exams,” she said.
When the professor was approached for his side of the story, he refused to accept his identity. “I am not Noor Mustafa, he is already gone,” he said, and left his office.
Upon receiving a written complaint from the student, Dr Masoom Yaseenzai, the Vice Chancellor of QAU referred the case for inquiry to the university’s harassment committee.
He said that a five-member committee has been constituted to look into the matter and assured that strict action will be taken against the professor if he is found guilty. He said that the university is contemplating ways to prevent acts of sexual harassment in the university.
A similar case of alleged sexual harassment of a female student at the hands of a professor of QAU surfaced a month back, an inquiry into which is currently underway.
Application: Letter sent by students to QAU vice-chancellor
The text of the letter sent to the vice-chancellor reads:
With due respect, it is stated that Mr. Noor Mustafa Awan, Lecturer, Institute of information technology, has been harassing the female students of the institute throughout his time of this institute.
He has been threatening that if the female students do not co-operate with him in his inappropriate sexual demands, then he will fail them. The female students are going through both mental and physical agony and some of the students are so scared that they are afraid of raising their voice on this issue.
But, this situation is prevailing and getting out of hand and we have now decided to not remain silent on this issue and to bring this alarming issue in the notice of all the authorities and at all possible platforms be it electronic or print media.
We here by request that a callous action may please be taken against him as soon as possible so that he and others like him may learn a lesson. It is requested that in order to prevent any further exploitation of the female students by him in future he must at least be terminated.
Students of Institute of Information Technology, Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad
*Note: the original text of the letter contains no paragraphs. The text has been divided into paragraphs to aid readability
Published in The Express Tribune, July 10th, 2011.