KMC girl thrashing | VCs appointment
KMC girl student's thrashing takes its toll
Peshawar, Mar 22:
The compulsory retirement of Professor Dr Rahim Bangash, a senior
faculty member of the Anatomy Department at the Khyber Medical College,
by Chief Minister Pervez Khattak for allegedly thrashing a girl student
has become a source of concern for many faculty members and exposed the
poor administrative skills of the college administration.
government officials were of the view that the chief minister could
have posted him somewhere else as recommended by the two-member inquiry
committee constituted by the provincial government. It had proposed
slashing his increments and transferring him to the Bannu Medical
However, they argued that the government
had learnt about serious threats to Dr Bangash's life as some people had
fabricated stories and unnecessarily propagated the issue for their
A senior official at the Chief Minister's
Secretariat noted that the college administration had mishandled the
issue. "Its performance was poor as it intentionally or unintentionally
allowed people with vested interest to play their game in the college,"
he added. "Some people in the college administration did not like Dr
Bangash and wanted to get rid of him," he contended.
the submission of report by the initial inquiry committee of members of
the college faculty that was formed when the students staged protests,
the government constituted a two-member committee, including senior
bureaucrat Humayun Khan and head of ophthalmology department of the Lady
Reading Hospital Prof Dr Zafar Iqbal.
Sources said the
committee was tasked to probe whether Dr Bangash had physically
assaulted the girl student and if he was involved in blasphemy or not.
was willing to record statement before the inquiry committee due to the
fear of religious extremists," the government official recalled. He
said the committee could not find evidence to prove that Dr Bangash had
"The committee was supposed to
exonerate him or recommend action against him on the basis of inquiry.
Since there was no video proof of his physical assault on the girl, the
committee recommended minor action against him. It proposed to the
government to cut his increments and transfer him to the medical college
in Bannu," the government official said on condition of anonymity.
said the girl student had violated the rules by holding a press
conference against Dr Bangash. He felt it further damaged his image,
though he remained silent during this period.
committee heard an audio clip of Dr Bangash, telling the student that
there was no toilet during the time of Prophet Mohammad (Peace Be Upon
Him) but it exists now. This didn't mean he was involved in blasphemy,"
The student had alleged that after her refusal
to remove the veil, there was an exchange of arguments between her and
Dr Bangash. She said the teacher lost temper when he failed to argue his
case and thrashed her in the class.
"He got infuriated.
First he thrashed and then kicked me in the classroom," a college
official stated while quoting her written complaint submitted to the
Dr Bangash's version of events was
different. In a statement sent to the media a few months ago, he
stated, "I remained silent as I didn't consider it an issue. To me, all
students are like my children. But some negative-minded people launched a
spiteful propaganda against me."
He said he had been in
teaching profession for the last 28 years and had taught a large number
of students, including those coming in proper veil and hijab.
it is the personal affair of the students, I never interfered or tried
to influence anyone. I preferred to teach rather than practice as a
surgeon with an aim to benefit the medical students," he stated.
the day of the incident, I only wanted to say that medical profession
demands lot of physical involvement of doctors with the patients. I told
them that those observing purdah find it hard to deal with male
patients in our society. Unfortunately, the reaction of one
Pakistan-origin foreign student, who is a Canadian national and is
unaware of the Pakhtun culture in context of the student-teacher
relationship, got involved in a very unruly discussion.
snatched the microphone from my hand and started addressing the class
and exaggerating the issue. I asked her to return the microphone but she
was reluctant to do so," he explained.
Faculty members of
the college said the incident had damaged the image of the college.
"This institution produced hundreds of doctors. Many are serving in
different parts of the world and are identity of the college. This
incident has hurt all of them as the issue was blown out of proportion
by none other but own people of the college," a senior faculty member
Principal KMC Prof Dr Ijaz Hasan Khan said he tried
his best to save the life and service of Dr Bangash but it was beyond
his powers. "I consoled the girl as she was crying and blaming Dr
Bangash for beating her.
I persuaded the students not to
stage protests outside the college. Trainee medical officers and house
officers also protested and demanded termination of Dr Bangash's
services. I immediately constituted an inquiry committee of senior
faculty members," he recalled.
The principal said the
students in the evening blocked the busy Jamrud Road and blamed Dr
Bangash for committing blasphemy. "I formed a six-member committee of
known religious scholars to probe the allegation. The committee didn't
find any evidence that he had committed blasphemy," he added. The news
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Most of UoP girls not aware of harassment law
Peshawar: "The professor had allegedly asked
the girl student to remove her veil for identification," says one
university staffer while narrating what happened at the Centre for
Disaster Preparedness and Management (CDPM) of the University of
Peshawar (UoP) that led to harassment charges against the former.
girl student, who had reportedly gone to complain possible misuse of
her lost phone's SIM card by a male student, had later also accused the
professor of harassing her by asking her to remove her veil in his
closed-door office. The girl's parents later reportedly under pressure
signed a "Razinama" (compromise) calling the entire incident as mere
The issue echoed in the provincial assembly and
a committee was set up to look into it. The UoP has also set up a
committee to probe the matter under its Employee's Efficiency and
Discipline Statutes. Over a month has passed since the incident occurred
and the committee is yet to complete its findings.
"We wear veil
because we feel secure this way," said a number of girls wearing veil,
but they looked evasive when asked if girls faced harassment at the
hands of male students and university staffers. Only one girl, not
wearing a veil, said harassment existed in one form or another. Many
were not aware of the law enacted four years ago to protect women
against harassment at workplaces and institutions.
against Harassment of Women at Workplace Act 2010 proposes a speedy and
transparent probe yet why the inquiry committee under this law could not
be made fully functional in the UoP. Prof Aneesa Qamar, who is the
inquiry committee member, says implementation of laws takes time.
are trying to make the inquiry committee functional but there is also
need for creating awareness of the law," said Prof Aneesa who is also
part of the current committee probing the harassment case at CDPM.
reasons for probing all harassment cases under the university's
statutes rather than the Act, she said that witnesses were needed and
girls often did not come forward due to culturally 'bound society'. All
cases were also not about harassment, which were probed. The UoP has so
far terminated two teachers after finding them guilty.
"The university is not silent on issues (of harassment), but proof is also needed," said Prof Qamar.
an effective mechanism under this Act could not be set up at UoP so
that girls could be assured of protection of their confidentiality to
encourage them to come up and file complaints in such cases, if any.
2011, Nighat Orakzai, an MPA, taking notice of parent's appeal in a
local newspaper, raised the issue of harassment of female students at
the UoP in the provincial assembly.
"There was no proof; neither
Nighat no any victim came forward with evidence," said former minister
Sitara Ayaz when asked what became of the inquiry held during the
Political interference has also often
spoiled such investigations. As was observed recently in provincial
assembly, when once again Nighat Orakzai highlighted the harassment case
at the CDPM, senior minister Sirajul Haq, the Jamaat-i-Islami leader,
opposed it citing 'technical reasons'. It was only when opposition
leader Mehtab Ahmed Khan called it a serious issue that most of the male
members had to lend an ear to it.
However, Nighat Orakzai said
that if there was nothing than what was this 'compromise' all about in
the recent case. She proposed that the genuineness of the copy of
"Razinama" and some text messages should be checked by the committee.
claimed that a 'powerful mafia' involved in such activities in UoP was
the main hurdle in such inquiries. However, she did not mention any
When asked, UoP registrar Dr Abul Hadi said that whenever
evidence was found the UoP had taken action. He gave details of a number
of cases where mostly 'junior teachers' or contract teachers were found
guilty of 'misconduct'.
It is often cited that victims or female
complainants don't come forward, but in one such case in the history
department a teacher, Zahid Ali, was found guilty, but only transferred
to another department. Mohsin Shehzad, a lecturer of Institute of
Physics and Electronics, found guilty of misconduct was terminated.
of a contract teacher Mohammad Saeed at the Institute of Geology were
discontinued after misconduct. In a recent case, a female student at the
Institute of Education and Research, who happened to be sister of a
political activist of a ruling party, complained of harassment against a
staffer, but after intervention of the provincial government the
accused evaded punishment as he ended up calling the complainant
Dr Hadi did not rule out political interference as one
of the hurdles to free and fair inquires into such matters. He said that
this was why the university had set up its own probe committees instead
of referring such cases to the inquiry committee as proposed under the
"We don't want to create ill will. We feel the university law is more appropriate to probe such matters," said Dr Hadi.
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UoP staffers to resist new varsity on botanical garden land
Peshawar: The teaching and non-teaching
employees of the University of Peshawar (UoP) on Wednesday strongly
reacted to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government's decision to allow
construction of a public sector university on the
land of its botanical garden in Azakhel, Nowshera, and warned to start agitation if the decision was not reversed.
Speaking at a press conference at Peshawar Press Club, Peshawar
University Teachers Association (Puta) president Dr Fazal Nisar said
that the botanical garden spread over 677 kanals had been acquired by
UoP in 2005 on a lease for 99 years from the provincial government.
He said that the government wanted to give the garden for
establishment of a campus of Islamabad-based Air University, but the UoP
employees and students would not allow anyone to encroach upon its
Dr Nisar was flanked by Federation of All Pakistan Academic Staff
Association general secretary Dr Jamil Ahmad and the UoP's Class-III and
IV employees associations' presidents Muzakar Shah and
The Puta president said that the administrative control of the garden
was with the UoP as agreement had already been signed by Nowshera
district's former nazim and the UoP
vice-chancellor where academic activities were being carried out for
last nine years.
He said that even one of the students had completed his PhD working
on plants in the botanical garden and many others were busy in research
Dr Nisar said that the provincial government had now decided to hand
over 300 kanals of the garden to the Air University and another 250
kanals for establishment of a technical university.
He said that if the government implemented the decision the size of botanical garden would shrink to only 100 kanals.
He said that establishment of both universities was against the lease
agreement, signed between the then government, district administration
He said that the UoP administration had spent Rs37million on
development of this internationally ranked botanical park with the
support of federal government.
Dr Nisar said that the establishment of universities on the garden's
land was also against the judgments of Supreme Court and international
He said that a general body meeting of the employees would be held on
Thursday (today) to decide future line of action for protection of the
He demanded of Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to save the botanical garden and allot land to new universities somewhere else. Dawn
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Appointment process of two VCs questioned
Peshawar: Alleging violation of merit in the appointment of the vice-chancellors
of two public sector universities, certain candidates who failed to make
it have asked Chief Minister Pervez Khattak to take notice of the
situation and ensure transparency in the selection process.
Some candidates accused the Higher Education Department
(HED) and the search committee for appointment of vice-chancellors of
gross violation of merit in the process for appointment of
vice-chancellor of the Islamia College University (ICU) and the Shaheed
Benazir Bhutto Women University (SBBWU).
Advisor to Chief
Minister on Higher Education Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani could not be reached to
seek his comment despite attempts over the past two days. However,
according to media reports he rejected the allegations as baseless.
contacted, deputy secretary HED for universities, Abdur Rahman, said
the entire process was completed in the most transparent manner. "It is
not something new for a left-out candidate to level such allegations,"
However, sources in the HED alleged that
irregularities were committed in the scrutiny for which some senior
officials of the department including the deputy secretary
(universities) were solely responsible.
He was of the
opinion that all the people included in the search committee were
persons of high calibre and nobody could expect any unfair practice from
them. He said it was not the search committee but the HED that
scrutinized the applications for which they had set criteria like 10
marks for PhD, five for winning gold medal, five for master's level
teaching. "Nothing wrong has been done in the scrutiny. If anyone has
any doubts about the scrutiny, he should come and we would show the
process to him in front of the media," he remarked.
the sources said: "It is true that there is a set criterion for
scrutiny. But a person less than a professor with a tampered PhD degree
and a fake experience certificate, whose case is pending before the
university syndicate and the court, can never meet the required
The two positions of vice-chancellors were
advertised in December last year and for each one more than 70
candidates had applied. Of these, 15 each were shortlisted and were
interviewed by the search committee on March 6, 2013.
search committee, headed by adviser to chief minister for higher
education Mushtaq Ghani, included former chief secretaries Azam Khan,
Ejaz Qureshi and Ghulam Dastageer, former vice-chancellor University of
Peshawar Prof Dr Qasim Jan, former principal Khyber Medical College Dr
Nasiruddin Azam Khan, secretary establishment Sikandar Qayyum and
secretary higher education Farah Hamid Khan.
One of the
candidates for the SBBWU accused the HED of playing the same role it
used to play in appointment of vice-chancellors of other public sector
universities in the previous ANP-PPP coalition government. "In the
selection process a candidate of calibre having PhD from University of
London and research experience of post-doctoral fellowship from UK, vast
research contribution in the form of international publications as well
academic strengthening of postgraduate department at the university
level was marginalized to create grounds for selection of the blue-eyed
candidates," she said.
The three candidates recommended
for the university are Dr. Ghazala Nizam, of College of Home Economics,
University of Peshawar, Shazia Yaseen of the ICU and Razia Sultana of
the Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad.
alleged that all the three recommended candidates were having far less
experience, research papers and other qualification than the ones who
were ignored in the process. One of the candidates, Shazia Yaseen, is
not even a full professor and her appointment as an associate professor
has been challenged in the court on the charges of having a tampered PhD
degree, she alleged.
Similar allegations were made about
the process for appointment of the acting vice-chancellor for the ICU.
The search committee recommended Prof Dr Mohammad Asif from the Centre
of Excellence of Geology, University of Peshawar, Dr Mansoor Akbaar
Kundi, a former vice-chancellor of the Gomal University, and Prof Qibla
Ayaz, a former acting vice-chancellor University of Peshawar, for the
Three candidates from the ICU were interviewed by
the search committee, but none was recommended for the prized office. It
caused concern among the faculty members of the university. The ICU
faculty members oppose appointment of an outsider as vice-chancellor of
the university as they believe there is no dearth of senior, competent
and experienced teachers in the institution to take up this job.
Asked about possible resistance from ICU faculty over appointment of an
outsider as vice-chancellor, the deputy secretary universities at the
HED, Abdur Rahman, said that there was no such rule that only faculty
members of the same institution could be appointed as vice-chancellors.
"The cases of almost all the universities are before you where nobody
from the same institution has been appointed as vice-chancellor," he
pointed out. The news
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AIOU campus in Mianwali opens
Mianwali: Allama Iqbal Open University
Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi inaugurated regional campus of
AIOU here on Wednesday.
The campus building spreading over
13,800 sq-ft has been completed at a cost of Rs92 million within 15
months instead of 24-month time frame.
It is one of the beautiful
buildings in the district having facilities of conference rooms, video
conference, media library, training centre hall, student survey desk,
project labs for students, digital library, media research centre,
workshop rooms and data management. In his address, the vice chancellor
said: "Our mission is to spread education in every nook and corner of
Pakistan because educational growth plays an important role in the
progress of any country.
"This is the 42nd regional office in
Pakistan and we are to build such offices in each district of the
country subject to availability of land by the government."
He said all regional centres were being built with AIOU's own resources without any financial help from the government.
Songi said the campus would cater to educational needs of Mianwali,
Bhakkar and Khushab districts. "The Open University is among top 10
universities of the world and we have introduced an interest-free loan
programme worth Rs20m for poor students."
He said the
computerised system would be introduced for students to get queries
about their results and certificates through computer instead of
travelling to Islamabad.
In his welcome address, Mianwali Campus
Regional Director Hashim Khan said 60,000 students had been enrolled
here and a separate campus was the need of the hour. Dawn
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Convocation of IMSciences held
Peshawar: Special Assistant to Chief Minister Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for Higher
Education, Mushtaq Ahmad Ghani, has said the Pakistan
Tehreek-e-Insaf-led provincial coalition government is determined to
free the province from corruption, mismanagement, nepotism, injustice
and other social evils.
He said this while addressing
the 3rd convocation ceremony of Institute of Management Sciences
Peshawar.The adviser said it was a great challenge for the government
but under the dynamic and courageous leadership of Imran Khan and
committed cooperation and participation by the youth, the government
would eliminate all the evils from the society.
of IMSciences Dr Muhammad Mohsin Khan said merit, transparency and
open-door policy was the hallmark of the institution. He said team work,
innovation and knowledge exchange was highly valued in the institution. The news
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Mardan to have women university
Mardan: Special assistant to Khyber
Pakhtunkhwa chief minister on higher education Mushtaq Ghani has said
that a woman university would be established in Mardan.
He said the provincial government had been taking measures to end the
prevalent education system, which divided the society into different
Addressing a ceremony in connection with the fifth foundation day of
the Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan here the other day, he said the
provincial government had planned to give away scholarships to poor
Mr Ghani said that the government would provide quality education in
medical, engineering, law and other professions to create true
The PTI lawmaker lauded the services of the vice chancellor Professor
Ihsan Ali and administration of the Abdul Wali Khan University for
establishing its campuses in other districts as well, promotion higher
education in the province.
"Keeping in view the PTI chief Imran Khan's focus on promotion of
education in the province, the government has been taking measures to
establish colleges and universities in very tehsil of the
province," he said. Dawn
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