ISLAMABAD, Dec 28: Employees of the Federal Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education (FBISE) went on a sudden strike on Friday and demanded their chairperson move her residence out of the FBISE compound by Monday or face more agitation.
Interestingly, their fury had less to do with chairperson Shaheen Khan and more with her husband; Col (retired) Zafar, whose alleged altercation with FBISE's Director Research Zulfiqar Ali Rizvi in her office on Thursday ignited the strike.
Colleagues claimed that Col Zafar unnecessarily interfered in the discussions the officer was having with Ms Khan.
“Audaciously, the colonel told Mr Rizvi how to do his work and was answered that it was none of his business,” said one colleague.As the word spread about the ugly encounter, the employees decided to protest, what some of them called, the colonel's “unwanted and domineering presence” in their midst.
They were already unhappy with Ms Khan's alleged indiscretions - like using the FBISE's 16-room Guest House as her residence when at the same enjoying an official house in sector F-10 for the last four-and-a-half years.
Mr Rizvi told Dawn that after his skirmish with Col Zafar, heads of all FBISE departments decided to stop working until Ms Khan's husband stops interfering in FBISE affairs.
Other staff also came out of the FBISE building to join their strike and demand. Secretary FBISE Prof Israr arrived there to negotiate with the protesters; bringing the word that chairperson was ready to give in writing that her husband will not interfere in official matters.
But the protesters said the solution lay in Ms Khan moving out with her husband from the Guest House to her official residence in F-10. Prof Israr sought 15 days for the shifting but the employees insisted she move out by Monday.
According to Mr Rizvi, FBISE had hired and furnished the house and been paying Rs100,000 monthly in rent for last four and half years.
“It was not only unethical on their part to occupy FBISE's Guest House as residence, but Mr Zafar misbehaved with the staff often and misused vehicles of FBISE regularly. Our chairperson should move to her official residence. That is the only way Mr Zafar can be stopped from meddling in FBISE affairs,” said Mr Rizvi.
Secretary FBISE Prof Israr told Dawn he was hopeful the issue will be resolved by Monday. “She assured me that she will move out before January 15. There is trust deficit between the two sides which turn small issues into big problems,” he said.
Although he did not identify the issues and the problems, it is known that the Higher Education Commission has found the degree of Shaheen Khan to be spurious.
She also faced a court case for making a deal with a housing society and spending Rs750 million of the employees’ funds for starting a housing scheme. Her husband's involvement was suspected as he is in property business.