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June 18, 2021

KP VC accuses governor, govt of harassment

PESHAWAR: The Vice-Chancellor of Women University, Swabi, Shahana Urooj Kazmi, has sent a three-page letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan accusing Governor KP and the provincial government of harassment, interference, and political exploitation of VC and female teacher.

The VC said in the letter that she has been subjected to provincial bias from day one and baseless allegations have been leveled against her. She had written a letter to the governor but both the governor and the government remained silent over the harassment. Instead of remedy, the governor has initiated a baseless inquiry against her. The governor has taken a one-sided and derogatory attitude towards her.

“I have all evidence of political interference and harassment. I was convicted and sent on a 90-day forced leave, a reprehensible act that has humiliated teachers across the country. Women scientist and VC is being subjected to political pressure and political exploitation only because of her decisions on merit,” she wrote

Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Governor Shah Farman has rejected all the allegations made by the vice-chancellor and said that there is a financial and administrative crisis in the universities of the province. Mismanagement and violation of merit is on the rise in recruitment. While talking to this correspondent, he said the entire burden of fees has been shifted to poor students and teachers are working in administrative positions.

“I have two options after receiving any complaint. First, to investigate the matter through the Higher Education Department or should ask the Governor’s Inquiry Team to verify the complaint. It’s my constitutional and legal responsibility to take action against the responsible by following the legal procedure, which does not raise any question of excess with anyone,” he said

Shah Farman said the allegations of provincial bias are ridiculous as investigations were underway against all the universities. The government has recently taken action against two vice-chancellors of Gomal and Swat universities, both of them are from Khyber Pakhtunkhwa. Many officers and teachers from other provinces are working in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and nobody has any issue. He said that after the inquiry, the vice-chancellor is given an opportunity to defend himself before the governor and court option is also available to everyone.

“The Vice-Chancellor of Women’s University Swabi Shahana Urooj Kazmi has also approached the Peshawar High Court. The provincial government respects the courts and will accept every decision of the court and let the court decide the matter”, he concluded

It is pertinent that the governor’s inspection team investigated complaints against the Women’s University Swabi and leveled serious allegations of irregularities and mismanagement against her, for which the governor sent her on 90-day forced leave.

Shahana Urooj wrote in her letter, a copy of which is available with this scribe, that it is a difficult task to bring qualified PhD teachers to Swabi, but despite this, female PhD teachers were recruited on merit on a contract basis through proper advertisement. The majority belonged to other provinces because PhDs are not available in these fields but it is unfortunate that I have been subjected to provincial bias from day one. I have been badly accused of recruiting two dozen of my relatives from Karachi.

“All these allegations were leveled by the illegally-employed employees of the university who later started harassing the female teachers of the university and this trend is still going on. I wrote a detailed letter to the Governor Shah Farman, urging him to conduct an impartial inquiry and redress the grievances of my faculty but instead of taking notice of my complaints, the governor set up his so-called governor inspection team on me,” she said.

Shahana said as a result of all these investigations, the incompetent officers submitted a very crude and erroneous report to the governor, which contained unconstitutional allegations. The governor sent me on a 90-day forced leave in the light of these false allegations, making a unilateral decision without any further inquiry.

“We live in a society where FIR holders hold high positions but a vice-chancellor was sent on forced leave based on a few baseless allegations. This proves how much the provincial government and the governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa respect a female teacher and are placing her in the line of the accused, which is a reprehensible act and has humiliated teachers all over the country,” she added

The letter further said that she had offered the governor that if any of his relatives have been appointed in the university, she will resign but the attitude and action of the governor towards the teachers was unacceptable. The governor dismissed the VCs of three universities in the province in just one week’s time and all three have approached the court and a speedy verdict is expected. Whatever the decision of the court, but as the prime inister, you need to be fully aware of all these serious situations and the anti-education measures of the Governor and the Provincial Government.

“The governor has taken a one-sided and derogatory attitude towards her. I have the proof of political interference and pressures of high ups and evidence will be presented to PM. I would like to inform you about the tragic fact that a woman scientist and VC is being subjected to political pressure and political exploitation in making decisions on merit by top government officials. Preparations are now underway to dismiss three vice-chancellors of the province with forced leave and more VCs are also in the line,” she said.

She concluded that the PM should take stern notice of this and take action against those responsible because if this issue is ignored today, not only hatred will arise between the two provinces but no teacher or VC in KP will be able to perform his duties with dignity and honor.