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NWFP Governor sacked Kohat University VC

KOHAT, Oct 2: NWFP Governor Lt-Gen Ali Mohammad Jan Orakzai is reported to have sacked the vice-chancellor of the Kohat University of Science and Technology, following confirmation of allegations against him by the governor’s inspection team. It may be mentioned that the vice-chancellor was expecting a service extension.

The university had been without a vice-chancellor for more than two weeks because of the governor’s preoccupation in the Waziristan Agency. He had also been summoned to brief US officials on the recent peace deal in the Waziristan Agency.

It is learnt that the action was taken after an anonymous letter was dispatched to the chancellor, accusing the vice-chancellor of misusing authority in the award of contract to build the university’s new campus to one of his favourites. It also cited the handing over of the contract for the university’s canteen to his maternal uncle allegations involving women’s students being exploited by young staff members and their subsequent blackmailing.

The inquiry team, which visited the university a few months ago, submitted a ‘bad’ report about the vice-chancellor after verifying documents and interviewing women students involved.

A copy of a complaint, which was addressed to President Gen Pervez Musharraf, was made available to this correspondent in which the vice-chancellor had termed his removal ‘unethical’. It was also signed by a few of the university staff members. It said that the action would have a long lasting impact on higher education and hurt the government’s policy of enlightened moderation.

Under the heading ‘vulnerabilities of the incumbency and pleasure of the chancellor’, they questioned that if he could be removed on the basis of a single anonymous letter, then “what about an anonymous letter to the president against the governor? Will the president not be justified in taking a unilateral action against the governor; without giving him the opportunity to clarify his position; or without giving him the benefit of doubt?

They regretted that such enquiries had left ‘very negative bearings’ on the women students’ psyche, as Kohat was less developed, relatively poor and conservative area. ‘Has the Governor not been trapped by the mullah-cracy?’ the letter questioned.

They said that the complainant had somehow succeeded in convincing the governor of his innocence and of the (presumed) guilt of Dr Shinwari by copying documents from personal files of the staff, a crime punishable under the Official Secrets Act, 1969. But in this case, the letter regretted, action was taken against the vice-chancellor only.

It said that so far, the governor had no in-house meeting with the vice-chancellors of the province: His only interest (had been) in universities is to accommodate his (favourites) on important positions.

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