KARACHI: Amid heightened security concerns, Karachi University (KU) on Tuesday postponed its annual convocation which was scheduled to be held on Jan 30.

Multiple reasons, including the security situation, were officially cited for the ceremony’s postponement, though sources said the event had to be postponed due to non-availability of the chancellor on the convocation date.

“Some administrative issues as well as the non-availability of the chancellor [on the convocation day] and security concerns led to the decision. The next date [for the ceremony] will be announced soon,” said KU registrar Moazzam Ali Khan, without going into details about the nature of ‘administrative problems’.

According to the sources, the decision was taken during a meeting held to discuss preparations for the convocation.

Chaired by the vice chancellor, the meeting was attended by three faculty deans, director evening programme, university registrar, finance director and Karachi University Teachers Society president among others.

While participants in the meeting were discussing arrangements, the vice chancellor was informed over the phone that the governor (the chancellor of all public sector universities in the province) was interested in attending the event but he would not be available on the scheduled date, the sources said.

“After receiving this information, it was decided that the event should be postponed,” said a senior KU teacher, who attended the meeting, on condition of anonymity.

However, some teachers expressed surprise over the ‘desire’ of Sindh Governor Dr Ishratul Ibad to attend the convocation since he has not attended a single KU convocation in almost a decade.

“In fact the vice chancellor seems to be more interested [in chancellor’s presence at the event] as he is about to complete his term next month. The chancellor’s participation in the event will definitely strengthen his position,” remarked a teacher.

Other teachers were of the opinion that the decision about the convocation’s postponement was purely based on security concerns following the terrorist attack on Bacha Khan University in Charsadda.

“Given the fact that the administration has failed to take any significant step to ensure campus security for one year despite having the required funds, most teachers were of the opinion that the university should at least postpone the convocation and they had conveyed these concerns to the vice chancellor,” said a member of the university syndicate.

Published in Dawn, January 27th, 2016

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