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July 1, 2020

Coincidence?

Newspost

 
July 1, 2020

This refers to the satirical essay, 'Just a series of coincidence' (TNS, June 28) by Umber Khairi. The writer starts by bemoaning the death of literary critic; academician and author, Dr Asif Furrukhi. According to Khairi, the death of such individuals is truly a national loss, as they steer the country away from obscurantism and hatred and take it towards reason and harmony. The writer then with a very heavy heart points out the recent non-renewal of contracts of three eminent scholars/teachers: Dr Pervez Hoodbhoy of FCCU; Dr Ammar Jan of the same institution and author Mohammad Hanif of Habib University Karachi. The qualities common in all three individuals besides their very high educational achievements, was their emphasis on independent evaluation; critical thinking and rationality. The writer correctly feels that by not renewing contracts of such illustrious academics, the government may be trying to silence the voice of rationality and independent thinking. The government obviously thinks this is not the case, and that the removal of the three esteemed intellectuals in quick succession can only be a coincidence.

Khairi in conclusion also points towards the Punjab government’s efforts to amend the law so that retired generals and judges can also be approved as heads of universities. This may imply that the government is making efforts to facilitate oppressive right wing elements to take over our universities to stifle any descent.

Akbar Jan Marwat

Islamabad