ISLAMABAD: Education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain on Wednesday requested Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman to initiate inquiry against the Government College University (GCU) Lahore vice chancellor for allowing PTI chairman Imran Khan to deliver speech in the university.

Through a letter, the education minister has requested the Punjab governor to initiate inquiry against GCU vice chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi under section 11 of the GCU Ordinance 2002.

Sources said the education minister wrote to the governor that the VC had organised a political gathering on the campus and brought the institution in dispute.

They said the minister also stated that the federal government through the Higher Education Commission was providing recurring budget of Rs700 million annually to the university, but according to the minister, the VC misused his powers for political purposes.

The GCU on Monday became a ‘centre of controversy’ following Imran Khan’s speech targeting his political opponents especially PML-N vice president Maryam Nawaz on the varsity’s oval ground.

Acting swiftly, the PML-N-led federal government removed Dr Asghar Zaidi from a search committee formed for appointing VCs of Quaid-i-Azam University, Allama Iqbal University and rector Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI).

Talking to Dawn, the GCU vice chancellor was quick to remind his detractors that in known universities of the world, students got the opportunity to hear all kinds of political views from the university forum.

“Universities have the right to be engaged in political debate of the time. The world over, political leaders come to universities to address youth, and we do not discriminate on the basis whether they are in the government or opposition,” Dr Zaidi said.

Earlier, in a tweet Maryam Nawaz said: “Strict action must be taken against the GCU VC for desecrating an educational institution by lending it to a Fitna & organising his jalsa on the premises. Using a seat of learning in the middle of for political hate-mongering is a crime that should not go unpunished.”

Published in Dawn, September 29th, 2022

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