KARACHI: Public-sector universities in the province are heading towards destruction due to the political appointments of ineffective vice chancellors, said representatives of the Sindh University (SU) Teachers Association in a press conference on Wednesday.
A delegation of academics and civil society activists, led by the president of the association, Dr Azhar Ali Shah, demanded the immediate removal of the university’s vice chancellor, Dr Nazir Ahmed Mughal, over the killing of Professor Bashir Ahmed Channar.
“The university has already witnessed five murders during the tenure of the current vice chancellor,” said Dr Shah. He added that political appointments are not only creating an ineffective administration but are also giving way to corruption within the institution.
He demanded a judicial commission to probe the killing of Professor Channar and also criticised the role of the law enforcement personnel at the university. “Despite the Rangers deployment, student wings of political parties perpetrate acts of hooliganism. It is time to remove the Rangers from the campuses,” he said. Student wings should be banned and student unions should be restored in their place.
During the press conference, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) council member Asad Iqbal Butt, Dr Riaz Ahmed of International Socialist Pakistan, and Pakistan Fisherfolk Forum’s general secretary Saeed Baloch, extended their full support to the association’s demands and announced a decision to hold a protest demonstration in front of Karachi Press Club on Friday, January 20.
The representatives expressed concern over the increasing violence at the SU Jamshoro campus, due to which the academic environment is being hampered by miscreants.
Earlier, a consultation of civil society representatives, academics, political leaders, student unions and trade unions was held at the HRCP office. It was demanded that the governor, who is also chancellor of the public-sector universities, resolve all the problems of the SU Jamshoro. They demanded the arrest of the killers of Professor Channar and restoration of normalcy at the campus.
Published in The Express Tribune, January 20th, 2012.
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