ISLAMABAD: The Vice Chancellor’s Committee has condemned the public humiliation of the Punjab University’s former vice chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran and other academicians by the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

A meeting of the committee was held at the Higher Education Commission (HEC)on Mondayand was chaired by former rector of the International Islamic University Islamabad Prof Dr Masoom Yasinzai. It was attended by over 65 VCs from across the country, with many participating via a video link. The meeting adopted a resolution in light of the public humiliation of Dr Kamran and five other officers by NAB officials a few days ago.

Reportedly, they were arrested over allegations of corruption, illegal appointments and nepotism. However, the main charge is against former VC who is accused of appointing over 500 officials in violation of rules.

Last week, NAB had produced the former Punjab University VC and other professors in accountability court in handcuffs. The other professors include Prof Dr Raas Masood, Prof Dr Liaquat Ali, Dr Aurangzaib Alamgir and Prof Dr Kamran Abid.

“We, the vice chancellors, condemn the maltreatment and public humiliation of respectable professors and teachers,” the resolution says, adding that the VCs also condemn the media trial of the teachers before they are prosecuted or before any legal procedure.

However, they appreciated the chief justice for taking suo motu notice of the matter but maintained that a mere apology is not enough compared to the humiliation faced by senior academicians.

In the resolution, the VCs decided they will call on the NAB chairman to seek an inquiry against the officials involved.

The VCs have said they will stand by the HEC in its endeavour to improve the quality of education and its access and complained of problems they face due to external interference.

“We urge the government to ensure university autonomy,” the resolution says.

Dr Yasinzai told Dawn the teaching fraternity is very concerned after the arrest and humiliation of senior academicians.

He said the professors have not been convicted and that even if they were, their treatment would still not be justified.

He added that the VCs of Multan and Sargodha universities have also faced similar treatment and urged all university heads to work proactively without any fear. However, he said, all VCs should abide by the rules and regulations.

Dr Yasinzai said a delegation of VCs led by the HEC chairman will meet with the NAB chairman to convey the concerns of the committee over the arrest of the professors and for a strategy to deal with such cases in the future.

He said public-private partnership is the root cause of corruption in universities and that the initiative should be abolished.

Published in Dawn, October 16th, 2018

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