The Quaid-i-Azam University Syndicate on Saturday dismissed two officials found guilty of harassing female students. The decision was taken on the recommendations of the anti-harassment committee that probed the allegations.
The Syndicate sent QAU Examination Controller Sardar Muhammad Babar on forced retirement in view of his long service and terminated Noor Mustafa Malik, a Professor at the Information Technology (IT) department, for their involvement in separate sexual harassment cases.
Both the cases were handed over to the anti-harassment committee which submitted its report to the university’s Vice-Chancellor (VC) last month. The VC decided to call an urgent meeting of the Syndicate instead of taking any unilateral action.
The investigation committee in its report proved the allegations against the two officials and suggested that they be removed from their posts. In the last meeting, the Syndicate gave the accused a chance to defend themselves by issuing show cause notices to them. The responses submitted by both the accused officials failed to satisfy the body, which enforced the recommendations of the anti-harassment committee in the third session of the 156th meeting of the university syndicate. The meeting was chaired by VC Dr Masoom Yasinzai.
The first sexual harassment case emerged on June 19 when a Natural Sciences student accused Babar, the controller, of harassing her in his office. This incident was followed by another case on July 9, when Malik, the IT professor, was accused of harassing another female student in his office.
A spokesperson of the university said that the decisions have set a “good precedent”, which would discourage such unethical behaviour in the future. He hoped the university’s action would not only build the students’ trust but also strengthen parents’ faith in educational institutes. He added that the matter was investigated impartially by an independent, neutral body.
The anti-harassment committee constituted by the VC comprised QAU National Institute of Psychology Director Dr Anila Kamal, Chemistry Department Chairperson Dr Saqib Ali, Department of Biochemistry Professor Dr Wasim, and Campus Manager Colonel (retd) Nadeem Gill.
The meeting was attended by syndicate members including MNA Sherry Rehman, Former Information Minister Khalid Ahmed Khan Kharal, and Executive Director HEC Sohail Naqvi, Dean Faculty of Natural Science Professor Qaiser Mushtaq, and Associate Professor, Department of Chemistry Dr Ishaq.
Sardar Muhammad Babar alleged that it was a conspiracy to remove him from the slot as the VC wanted to appoint his “own person” as the controller examination. He told The Express Tribune that he would appeal to the chancellor against the “biased” decision taken against him.
Malik was not immediately available for comment.
Published in The Express Tribune, August 21st, 2011.