LAHORE, Oct 15: The Punjab University Oriental College faculty on Wednesday passed a resolution against the vice-chancellor and the registrar and demanded unconditional a written apology from them.
The faculty threatened to go on a strike if both the officials did not tender an apology.
The Punjab University Academic Staff Association general body is also going to hold a meeting to take up the issue with the university administration.
Most of the university faculty criticized VC Arshad Mahmood for directing them to write and submit their comments on a book ‘Aina-i-Kirdar’. The university even sent reminders followed by explanation letters.
The VC had circulated the book ‘Aina-i-Kirdar’, published by the university, among faculty members and other staff of the university some two months ago with a direction that everybody should submit their comments on the book.
Sources claimed that the university faculty did not give a damn about the book as well as VC’s direction followed by a reminder. Taking notice of the situation, the PU registrar issued an explanation letter on behalf of the VC on Oct 9 to all departmental heads, asking them to explain their positions regarding ‘inordinate delay’ in compliance with the orders.
The explanation letter reads: “Section 15(4) (iv) of the PU Act 1973 empowers the vice-chancellor to direct teachers, officers and other employees of the university to take up such assignments in connection with teaching, research, examinations, administration and such other activities as he may consider necessary for the purpose of the university”.
Though the university had given teachers Aug 30 as deadline for the submission of their comments, the sources claimed that only a few teachers had submitted their comments on the book. The teachers said that they had failed to understand what the book had to do with the business of the university and its administration’s official obligations.
The ‘Aina-i-Kirdar’ by Zahid Muneer Aamir, an assistant professor of the PU Urdu department, was printed by the university and all 500 copies were distributed among university staffers, including sports officers and others for comments. In the resolution, Oriental College teachers maintained that the book had no academic or research value. It said that the VC’s letter demanding comments was inappropriate.
Meanwhile, a few teachers have decided to submit the response under protest.
When contacted, PUASA president Dr Iftikhar Baloch said the VC was wasting university resources and time of people concerned on petty matters. He said the association was already demanding that a military general should not be made the VC of the Punjab University. He said the VC had also used abusive and derogatory remarks against a university teacher in a meeting.
Dr Baloch said the association’s general body meeting had been convened for Oct 25 to discuss the issue of teachers’ humiliation at the hands of the VC and the registrar. He said the association would definitely take a bold stance on the issue and support the faculty demand of a written apology from the two officials. In case of failure in tendering an apology by them, he said the association would also back the Oriental College teachers in observing a strike.
Book’s author Mr Aamir said that he had only authored the book and was not aware of a controversy about comments. “At present, I am compiling the history of the PU and not going to the department regularly”, he said. He said that he only knew that the book had been sent to university staff members and vice-chancellors of other universities by the PU VC.
PU registrar Masudul Haq said the purpose of sending the book had been misinterpreted. He said the VC just wanted the faculty to read the book that dealt with moral values and nothing else. He attributed the controversy to political differences among the university teachers.
Answering a question, he said that he did not know that the Oriental College faculty had passed a resolution and was demanding a written apology from him and the VC.