ISLAMABAD: During a meeting of the Academic Staff Association of Comsats University Islamabad (ASA-CUI) on Thursday, resentment was expressed over the attitude of the university’s interim management.

The meeting, attended by elected members of seven CUI campuses, was called to discuss and strategise employees’ concerns over the prevalentsituation in CUI.

“A major fraction of employees is still awaiting salary disbursement which was without any prior information of delay, despite government’s directions for its disbursement even before Eidul Fitr. Despite continuously performing their duties, it is incomprehensible for employees why they were not paid their salaries when operational expenses were on the decline and student fees were collected in advance for the spring semester,” according to a statement issued by ASA after the meeting.

“Salary delay has added to the miseries of CUI employees, who are badly suffering due to many other crucial issues including merger of adhoc allowances, pending since 2010, ban on appointment and due promotions of faculty due to serious administrative lapses, as reported by the Higher Education Commission [HEC] through a review committee. These issues were earlier raised before the Minister for Science and Technology Fawad Hussain Choudhary on May 30, 2020, for his consideration as pro-chancellor of CUI. ASA-CUI believes that interim management of CUI is deliberately damaging the reputation of the university, just to create maximum panic and mess for the new management,” it read.

ASA demanded immediate disbursement of due salaries thereby even rejecting disbursements on installments.

It appealed to the president of Pakistan, who is also the chancellor of CUI, Prime Minister Imran Khan and Mr Chaudhry to constitute an independent enquiry committee against malpractices and financial embezzlements carried out by the current interim management. It also demanded that adhocism in Comsats should end and all those involved in corrupt practices should be held accountable.

When contacted, Comsats Registrar Dr Fahim Qureshi said: “I do not want to respond to their allegations. As far as release of salaries is concerned, the university has been facing financial constraints due to the coronavirus pandemic. We are trying to release at least 50pc salaries soon.”

Published in Dawn, June 5th, 2020