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April 9, 2021

Teachers want probe against Malakand University VC expedited


April 9, 2021

PESHAWAR: The teaching fraternity has stressed the need for expediting the inquiry by the Governor’s Inspection Team (GIT) into the alleged anomalies and irregularities in the Malakand University and suspending the vice-chancellor till completion of the probe.

The university teachers have levelled serious allegations of nepotism, mismanagement, irregularities against Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Gul Zaman. They have also accused him of threatening and harassing teachers and violating laws pertaining to the university affairs.

The administration on the other hand rejected the allegations as baseless and said that the university was functioning well in a transparent and effective manner. “These are mere allegations, which can’t be accepted until proved,” said spokesman for the university.

The teachers under Malakand University Teachers Association (MUTA) had already submitted a five-page letter to the provincial government containing a list of allegations against the vice-chancellor.

The letter had been duly signed by some 70 faculty members of the university. The teachers had alleged that during their token protest in February this year, the vice-chancellor had threatened the faculty members that he would order the security guards to shoot them if they did not call off their protest. Some video clips of the vice-chancellor threatening the protesting teachers had also been attached to the letter.

The university administration called an emergency meeting in March to discuss the situation arising after the teachers’ protest. The meeting decided to assign the matter to the Governor’s Inspection Team (GIT) for proper inquiry. However, the inquiry is yet to be made. Later the universities were closed due to Covid-19 pandemic.

The teachers’ protest is continuing as they have reiterated their demand to the KP government to suspend the vice-chancellor, expedite the inquiry and ensure transparency in the probe.

The teaching community alleged that the university administration violated the KP Universities Act and the model universities’ statutes by adopting the statutes of the university of Peshawar in the beginning and later committing serious anomalies in the drafting of the statutes.

Some alleged manipulation in the university statutes’ draft were pointed out in the detailed letter. “The HEC statutes and policy for meritorious professor BPS-22 has been violated in the draft statutes. It seems that the violation has been incorporated in draft statutes to make the incumbent Vice Chancellor Professor Dr. Gul Zaman eligible for meritorious professor.”

They alleged that further manipulations had been made in the draft including creation of BS-21 positions for some administrative staff, no promotion policy for BPS faculty, promotion policy for TTS faculty and inconsistency with the model statutes on a number of occasions.

The teachers informed the university administration about their concerns over the alleged manipulations in the draft statutes. As no action was taken, the teachers decided to launch a token protest.

The teachers during the protest demanded of the university administration to stop victimization of faculty. They wanted statutes draft of the review committee (duly signed by the members) should be placed before the syndicate. They also demanded that discriminatory promotion criteria in various cadres of the draft statutes shall be rectified.

Some more demands had also been made by the teachers to the university administration. However, the teachers alleged threats were hurled against them to call of their protest instead of listening to their demands.

The series of protests in the university continued in March. The protesting teachers asked the vice-chancellor to tender an unconditional apology for the threats he had made against them. They have also sought removal of security guards from the campus.

A spokesperson for the university, when contacted for comments, said that the university was functioning well. “We are also part of the university. We have never observed any such anomalies. The record of selection boards is there. No such illegality has been committed,” he maintained.

He said that the allegations had been made due to some internal issues in the university. The teachers had some problems with the vice-chancellor after which the allegations were made, he added. He said that no illegal, immoral or illegitimate practices could be made in the university.