PU removals controversy | Minister reading Urdu
Removals in Punjab University spark controversy
Lahore, Feb 18: The abrupt removal of a senior warden and a superintendent of a
hostel by the Punjab University (PU) vice chancellor have sparked a heated
debate among the faculty members who have alleged it as a pure case of
According to sources, the new appointments were not
made as per the university rules while those who were removed from the
administrative posts were not directly informed about the decision.
Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran appointed Dr Muhammad Abdullah,
Associate Professor, Sheikh Zayed Islamic Centre (SZIC) as Superintendent of the
Sheikh Zayed Islamic Research Centre Hostel (SZIRCH) and Prof Dr Mehmood Akhtar,
Director Islamic Centre as Warden SZIRCH for a period of 2 years, each on Feb
Those who have been removed include Dr Mumtaz Ahmad Salik
(superintendent) and Prof Dr Shabbir Ahmed Mansoori (warden). The sources said
both the senior teachers were not informed that their services for
administrative posts were no more required. "They have been merely provided with
appointment orders of fresh incumbents", the sources added. A number of senior
professors believe that Dr Salik has been removed as he openly opposed the
administration when he was head of the PU Academic Staff Association (PUASA).
"Both the warden and superintendent have been performing the duty for
the last many years and there had never been a complaint against them", said a
teacher, adding, "Their abrupt removal was certainly unjustified." "It is also
indecent on part of PU administration not to inform as to why they had been
removed", he further observed. The teachers further said it was strange that the
VC had not accepted resignation of Chairman Hall Council Dr Saeed Ahmed Nagra
despite passage of over a month while he (the VC) abruptly removed the senior
officials without mentioning any reason.
It is important to mention here
that in early Jan, Dr Nagra, after winning elections of PUASA as its president
by defeating Dr Salik, had resigned from his office of the chairmanship of
university Hall Council. However, since then his resignation has not been
accepted by the VC. There is general feeling among the faculty members that PU
VC was allegedly victimizing the former PUASA president and the other senior
professor, as both belonged to the opposite camp, in connivance with Chairman
Hall Council. They also see present PUASA as "friendly-opposition".
senior faculty member, on condition of anonymity, said as per the rules
administrative posts like warden and superintendent were duly circulated among
the teachers and appointments were made after interviews conducted by a
committee. PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran could not be contacted despite repeated
attempts. Chairman Hall Council Dr Saeed Nagra said it was sole prerogative of
the VC to change any warden or superintendent at any time. He said it was an
administrative decision and had nothing to do with PUASA. He refuted the
allegation that it was a decision based on victimization. "This is in no way
victimization", he emphasized.
Dr Nagra however added the administration
had received complaints that some "criminals" were living in the Sheikh Zayed
Islamic Research Centre Hostel.
To a question, he said he did not know
why the VC was not accepting his resignation from Hall Council
Dr Mumtaz Salik when contacted said it was against the PU
traditions that those removed were not informed. "I came to know about the
decision through appointment of a fresh incumbent". "Its tradition in PU that
appointments against such posts are made once one withdraws himself or herself",
He however rejected the allegation that some "criminals" were
living in the hostel. "The administration never informed or nominated any one in
writing or verbally in this regard", he added.
Punjab University announced BSc results
Lahore: The Punjab University Examination Department on Tuesday declared the results of BSc Home
Economics, Third Year, 2nd Annual Examination 2008 and BSc Home Economics, Final
Year, 2nd Annual Examination 2008. Detailed results are available at PU website:
www.pu.edu.pk. The News
Lahore International Book Fair 2009: Over 2,000 students participate in painting, calligraphy competitions
Lahore: Over 2,000 students from 250 educational institutions of the province
participated in painting and calligraphy competitions at the 23rd Lahore
International Book Fair (LIBF) on Tuesday.
The book fair has rapidly
gained popularity among the public, as book lovers have expressed satisfaction
over the convenience of purchasing all sorts of books at one place at relatively
Competition: The Punjab Text Book Board (PTBB) had
organised the competition. Participants were divided into three broad categories
at the competition- primary group, middle group, and secondary group. PTBB
Chairman Sohail Masood was the chief guest on the occasion. Participants were
allowed two hours to paint on topics assigned to them by the judges.
Parallel to the painting competition, the PTBB had also organised a
Towards the end, prizes were awarded to the
winners. Cash prizes, including Rs 5,000 for first position, Rs 4,000 for second
position, Rs 3,000 for third position, and Rs 1,000 for the next ten position
holders were distributed among the winners. Daily Times
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Minister gets applause for 'reading' Urdu
Lahore: Disorder prevailed during question hour at the Punjab Assembly on
Monday when the speaker failed to keep discipline and his repeated requests for
order in the House fell on deaf ear.
The House became more of a co-education
like classroom when the PPP's legislator Syed Hassan Murtaza said the opposition
has no control over its female members.
Opposition chided Minister for
Education Mujtaba Shuja-ur-Rehman by asking him to read written answer, and desk
The opposition legislator Ijaz Shafi asked the minister to read
out a written answer, and when he started reading after insistence, the members
started thumping desks to acknowledge his expertise in reading Urdu.
hooting, the minister tried to turn tables on the Opposition by accusing former
Punjab chief minister Ch Pervaiz Elahi of spending over Rs 500 million in his
personal advertisement campaign. The opposition legislators strongly reacted to
the remarks of the minister and leveled counter allegations. The members from
both the sides leveled allegations against each other and their leadership. They
paid no heed to the speaker's repeated requests for maintaining order in the
The minister said 'the then CM Ch Pervaiz Elahi spent huge amount on
his personal advertisement'.
"The amount spent on the personal campaign of
Ch Pervaiz Elahi was borrowed money. He (Pervaiz Elahi) replaced picture of
Quaid-e-Azam on text books with his own and spent public money on his
The opposition legislators said that instead of
introducing any policy, the present government was criticising the previous
Earlier, the opposition legislators tried to make fun of the
minister by insisting on policy statement during supplementary question on the
issue of allowing leave to students from Lahore College for Women University for
performing religious rituals.
Muhammad Yar Hiraj insisted the minister to give a statement on the floor of the
House that from what date the government was allowing female students to get
leave for performing Hajj, Umra and other religious rituals. The minister said
that he knew the answer but the member should submit a separate question as this
did not fall in the category of supplementary question.
Muhammad Yar Hiraj
said that he had no objection if the minister gets information from the
secretary education and passes it to the House.
question on the issue of recruitment in the education department, PPP legislator
Hassan Murtaza said that the opposition was saying the recruitment was delayed
because the coalition parties had not reached any consensus. He said that the
opposition should answer that for what purpose Moonis Elahi force was made. He
asked the speaker to take notice of the abuses from the Q-League female
"Sir please take action against female members from the
Q-League. They are in the habit of offensive gesturing with eyes and hands. The
female member has abused him and I request you to take action against her",
Hassan Murtaza pleaded. The speaker asked the Q-League legislator that there was
no harm in tendering apology if she had uttered harsh words to her any
Hassan Murtaza said that the previous regime resorted to
registration of false cases and even kicked opposition out of the House. He said
that despite such treatment, the opposition never uttered objectionable words.
"As opposition, we had good relations with our colleague on treasury
benches. Even now we have cordial relations with male opposition members. But
the Q-League members have no control over their females", Hassan Murtaza
remarked. The Nation
Quran teachers should get Rs500 instead of Rs250: PA
Lahore: The Punjab Assembly on Tuesday passed a resolution to increase the monthly
emolument of Quran teachers of the Masjid Maktab primary schools from Rs 250 to
Rs 500 per month amidst strong protests from the mover who termed it peanuts.
The mover, Ms Nighat Nasir Sheikh, had demanded raise in salaries of
Quran teachers from Rs 250 to Rs 1,000 per month when the House was discussing
Public Interest Resolutions during the private members day, but Law Minister
Rana Sanaullah opposed the resolution, saying it would incur a burden of Rs 9
million per month on provincial exchequer. He said the Quran teachers were part
time employees and government would not oppose the resolution if their emolument
was fixed at Rs 500 instead of Rs 1,000 per month.
PA Speaker Rana Iqbal
asked Nighat Nasir Sheikh to agree to the law minister's proposal otherwise her
resolution would not be passed. She said even Rs 1,000 were a token amount as it
was peanuts, but was proposed because teachers were getting shameful monthly
salary of Rs 250. She wondered why the government was opposing it when the
teachers of English and other subjects were given comparatively huge emoluments.
She said no knowledge is better than of Quran but it was a pity that rulers
preferred other knowledge on it. The News
Exhibition at NCA's Zahoorul Akhlaque Gallery : Of cows, trees and archives…
Lahore: An exhibition of paintings by Huma Mulji and David Alesworth is being
held at the Zahoorul Akhlaque Gallery of the National College of Arts (NCA). The
exhibition was inaugurated on February 16.
Both artists' work was
contemporary, bordering on the radical.
Amalgamation: Huma Mulji's work
was an amalgamation of the grotesque and the humourous. Her work dealt with the
urban development of Lahore and how the city still is a surreal combination of
the ancient agrarian society and aspirations of modernisation. The work was a
rather humourous take on how Lahore is a city of these two extremes. The cow was
the main 'object' that was used as a series in all the pictures and the two
sculptures she had displayed in the gallery. What made Huma's work morbid was
that she had used real cows stuffed through taxidermy as her sculptures. One cow
was projected on an electricity pole, which was bending under the cow's weight.
Another sculpture depicted a cow stuck in a PVC pipe with its head projecting on
one end of the pipe and the rest of the body of the cow emerging from the other
end. The rest of the work was digital prints with urban and some rural settings
with cows placed in odd and unlikely places. In her images, she had taken
pictures of these settings and inserted cows in them by using 'photo-shop'. The
cow connoted the typical agrarian Pakistani society.
Huma said, "My work
is about the conflict between old and new Lahore. We live in the past and the
future at the same time." She added that, " People in our local cities like to
collect wealth in the form of property and that in turn, turns against you
because to safeguard your wealth is an added burden in our commodity hungry
One of the images, titled 'Pardesi Pride', which was a digital
C-print in black and white, showed how a pair of towers were bending in an 'M'
shape in front of a pair of cows who posed as onlookers. In another image, cows
were seen peeping from a high-rise building still under construction. There was
an image in which cows were seen leaping over a lush green field – almost as if
they were weightless. In Huma's work, the cow was the one particular character
that added substance, humour, pathos and even abjectness to her entire show.
Huma teaches at the Beaconhouse National University and has graduated
from the Indus Valley School of Art and Architecture, Karachi.
David Alesworth work had a reminiscent quality to it. He had taken multiple
black and white pictures of archival records of old vehicles. His pictures
captured different angles of piles and piles of the neglected archives that he
came across in Karachi. The aim of these repetitive pictures was show how man's
efforts become futile. The archives probably connoted man's efforts to work in a
systematic and an organised manner to try and prevent mistakes and loss.
Eventually, however, all man's attempts come to naught. David said, "When I went
to this archive I even found my own records."
The pictures had a very
nostalgic quality to them and there was a certain rhythm – as one's eyes shifted
one could fathom how gradually but systematically the archives disintegrated.
Another image showed botanical names of various trees and plants the
artist had collected from across the world. The colloquial or local names of the
trees were also written. The artist said, "Through the series of these plant
tags, I meant to depict a graveyard of nature. The signs with the names are like
the epitaphs of graves."
A huge installation covered the centre of the
gallery. It was titled "12.2.42" which was the date when the first nuclear pile
was dumped in a tennis court. The edifice was made of 180 steel blocks piled
together and it appeared as a colossal structure made to commemorate the time
when the mishap first took place. The artist meant to depict how man interferes
On the whole, David's work had a solemn and ominous quality
to it. David Alesworth hails from Wimbledon, UK and is currently
teaching at BNU and heads the Fine Arts Department. Daily Times
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