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Punjab University in a mess

June 02, 2008: At times it is good for a newspaper columnist to take a break from routine matters and focus on some lighter but equally important issues. Believe me, heavens won't fall if General Musharraf is not reminded for a week that having brought the country on the verge of destabilisation it's time for him to go and let the elected leadership solve the problems facing the masses.

Nor does it make any difference if Mian Nawaz Sharif and Asif Zardari are given some more time to work out the modalities for the reinstatement of the deposed judges. There is not going to be any dramatic change in the political situation in the next few days. Notwithstanding Mr Zardari's warning to General Musharraf that he should either step down voluntarily or get ready to face the impeachment, he won't be able to easily wriggle out of the deal that eventually brought him back home and into power. And Mian Nawaz already having campaigned much for the deposed judges may now well be pondering how to get back the ministries and consolidate his rule in the Punjab.

There would however be few takers for his claim that the PPP co-chairman had fully backed him when he called for the impeachment of the president. But Rashid Qureshi was high on the chutzpah when he dismissed the media reports about the president planning to resign while insisting the latter would remain in office in the national interest. A bit more: "General Musharraf will stay in the Army House until the time the President's House is renovated."

Pity the ruling leadership. It is too deeply involved in power politics to focus on issues of governance. Mian Shahbaz Sharif, who's running the Punjab government from behind the scenes, has not been able to do anything to clear the mess the Punjab University has been in for some time despite his passion for reforming the education sector. One of the sub-continent's oldest seats of higher learning is indeed at the lowest ebb, academically as well as administratively.

If General Arshad Mehmood was being accused of flouting merit and patronising favourites during his stint as the Vice Chancellor of the Punjab University, the new administration is doing the same, even worse. The moral high ground the new vice chancellor had gained by getting the alleged plagiarists sacked from the faculty he has lost fairly quickly. The action seems to have been politically motivated especially when one looks at the way the administration's blue-eyed boys are being accommodated on key positions while those opposed to it marginalized despite their professional competence.

It is indeed depressing that those who had been avowed critics of the military regime for having dealt a deathblow to the institutions of higher education by appointing former generals as vice chancellors are now themselves playing second fiddle to the establishment. The Punjab University's new administration has turned out to be too supine to resist any orders it receives from the Governor's House. It still seems to be grappling with the situation where it has to decide whether the University is to be run by the VC or the Chancellor. Isn't it below the dignity of the vice chancellor to personally supervise the arrangements for a reception for the Governor at a reception on the Old Campus, leaving behind his cronies to take care of his New Campus work? General Arshad stood head and shoulders above his successor because he knew what his job was and where the authority had to be delegated!

Nobody is going to get carried away by Dr Mujahid Kamran's explanations that the book fair fiasco took place only because he was abroad. Perhaps during his frequent all-expenses-paid foreign junkets (which have more to do with his quest for digging deep into the cases of plagiarism) he doesn't have to worry about anything back home. For his protégés are far more efficient when it comes to implementing the orders coming from the chancellor.

But while the Punjab University is nowhere near redeeming its ranking among other universities across the country, let alone attaining academic excellence, it has become a model of bad governance. The book fair organised by the administration is a case in point of poor management. Rs 500,000 spent on hiring a private security company for a three-day event and lot of money wasted on the publicity has made this regular annual feature much costlier than it ever was in the past. Not just that, the administration contrived a couple of fake student organisations in order to neutralise the IJT's influence on the campus.

Dr Kamran and his spin-doctors may have to do a lot of introspection if the Punjab University is to be run independently instead of letting it become an adjunct of the Governor's House. And their real support base in the corridors of power having been eroded with Brig Ejaz Shah's exit, it's time they stopped playing politics and got down to the work they were supposed to do.

E-mail: (The Nation)

Your Comments

"unable to understand"
Name: sehrish
City, Country: Karachi, Pakistan

" Here are few prominent forgerers who are considered "Forgery Masters" * Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran * Prof. Dr. Najma Najam * Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi * Prof. Dr. Rukhsana Kausar * Prof. Dr. Shaukat Ali For the time being we will be giving information regarding malpractices, forgeries, curruptions of above metioned culprits. Later on we will add forgeries and curroptions of other members and associates of this mafia. Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran is the present Vice Chancellor University of the Punjab. From the day of his appointment as VC, University of the Punjab is in the clutches of his comrades Prof. Dr. Najma Najam, Prof. Dr. Mujahid Mansoori, Prof. Dr. Yasmin Nilofer Farooqi , Prof. Dr. Shaukat Ali etc. Dr. Mujahid Kamran is known as "Forger" and "Political Blackmailer" With the blessing of Dr. Atta-ur-Rehman (Chairman H.E.C), Dr. Sohail H. Naqvi (Executive Director H.E.C) and sheltered by Begd. (rtd) Ijaz Shah (Former I.B Head), present Vice Chancellor is bent upon ruining the peace of the University of the Punjab. His competency can be judged that he was dropped in M. Phill (Physics) programe at Quaid-a-Azam University, Islamabad in 1972. Prof. Dr. Mujahid Kamran is also involved in serious forgeries like tempering and producing fake documents to gain illegal benefits. He illegally promote his wife Prof. Dr. Najma Najam to Professor Meritorious despite of the fact that she is still in active service (Visit University of the Punjab website). Using political influence is a common negativity of this gang. There were some serious objections upon his selection raised by the chancellors office. "
Name: abdullah
City, Country: lahore, Pakistan

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