PU female faculty threatens to protest if Baloch is restored
Lahore, June 08: Female faculty members of the Punjab University (PU), while expressing serious concerns over the issue, threatened to initiate a series of protests if any orders were issued by the VC or Punjab governer to restore the rusticated College of Earth and Environment Sciences (CEES) Principal, Professor Dr Ifftikhar Baloch.
The faculty members expressed their concern following the rumours that higher authorities were restoring Baloch, who was convicted of sexual harassment.
PU, the largest university of the country, has a total of 900 faculty members out of which 250 are females.
PU Syndicate Member and Institute of Business and Information Technology (IBIT) Lecturer, Shumaila Gull said that a strong reaction by female faculty would be shown if any attempts for Baloch's restoration are made. "We will observe protests, stage rallies and go to the every possible limit as none of the female faculty wants to work in such an unsafe environment," she said. Shumaila added that would distort the university's image in the minds of 30,000 students and their parents. "Parents would hesitate to send their daughters to study in PU," she said. Over 14,000 female students are currently studying at PU.
Another female teacher, seeking anonymity, said that it was time to take stern action against "culprits who were a blot on the face of the teaching profession".
She said that Baloch must be punished, as he has been proved guilty after proper inquiries. She said that if Baloch is restored then female lecturers, professors and other staff members, not only from PU but also from other universities, would launch a strong campaign against the restoration.
She added that authorities should focus on providing a safe and sound environment to the female faculty members but they were favouring culprits such as Baloch who are involved in harassing females.
Similarly, another female faculty member who is also a department head, seeking anonymity, said that she would also support other faculty members if Baloch was restored. She said that it was illegal to restore him since he had been terminated by the syndicate. Like other female faculty members, she also showed her concern over the working of females in such environment where those convicted of sexual harassment are allowed to work.
Separately, the female faculty members appreciated the Punjab government's stance over the issue, saying that at least somebody had bothered to think of providing a safe environment to them. Upon contact, Punjab government spokesperson Senator Pervaiz Rasheed said that Governor Latif Khosa had committed an illegal act by pressurising the PU VC Mujahid Kamran to restore Baloch. He added that morally, the governer should not have favoured the person who was involved in sexually harassing female colleagues and students.
He said that according to the law, the governer could not challenge the decision of PU Syndicate, that had decided the termination of Iftikhar Baloch after a complete inquiry and legal procedure. He further said that it seemed as if the PPP government had decided to go against the decisions of judiciary, parliament and syndicates, which are all respectful departments.
According to reports, Khosa summoned the PU VC to Governer House on Saturday to discuss the matter of Dr Iftikhar Baloch, who was accused for sexually harassing a PhD student last year. It is noteworthy that two women lodged separate FIRs against Baloch under sections 342, 506, 376 and 511 of the Pakistan Penal Code (PPC) at the Muslim Town police station. The above-mentioned sections deal with illegal detention, threat to life, rape and attempt to rape, respectively.
The VC had formed a fact-finding committee to probe the alleged sexual harassment involving Baloch. The four-member committee was headed by Faculty of Islamic Studies Dean Professor Dr Hafiz Mahmood Akhtar, the secretary was Additional Registrar Professor Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir while other members included College of Arts and Design (CAD) Governor Professor Dr Rahat Naveed and Faculty of Commerce Dean Professor Dr Liaquat Ali.
After the committee's investigation was completed and presented to the concerned authorities, Baloch was transferred and suspended by the PU VC. Later, the syndicate decided to rusticate him. Daily timesYour Comments
Lahore: Punjab University (PU) Examinations Department announced the results of various examinations on Tuesday. These exams include MA Physical Education, Part-II, supplementary examination 2010, LLB, Part-III, special annual exam 2010, held in London, UK, Doctor of Pharmacy, Third Professional, Annual Exam 2010, and Doctor of Pharmacy, Fourth Professional, Annual Exam 2010. Detailed results are available on PU website www.pu.edu.pk.
Flood-hit UET students assisted
Peshawar: As many as 70 students of the University of Engineering and Technology hailing from the flood-hit areas were on Tuesday awarded cheques amounting to Rs0.35 million.
The Vice-Chancellor of University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar, Imtiaz Hussain Gilani, who chaired the meeting, lauded the efforts of Diya Pakistan, a non-governmental organisation for helping the flood-hit people and hoped for the continuation of such initiatives by the organisation in future as well.
Gul Nawab, a friend of Diya Pakistan and Dr Zahid Mehmood, advisor on student affairs of the UET, also spoke on the occasion. The ceremony was attended by Prof Dr Azzamul Asar, dean of the Faculty of Engineering, Prof. Abdul Jabbar, registrar, Muhammad Sarwar Khan, advisor on finance and planning, and Prof Dr Sahar Noor, director admissions. The news