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PU teacher fired for sexual harassment

April 22, 2011

Students exchange their notes after attending a class at Pakistan's Punjab University in Lahore February 12, 2008.- Reuters

LAHORE: The Punjab University Syndicate on Thursday dismissed Dr Iftikhar Husain Baloch, former principal, College of Earth and Environmental Sciences (CEES), from service after the four-member inquiry committee found him guilty of sexual harassment.

Shabina Gul, a PhD student and a part-time teacher at CEES, and administrator Shafaq Ijaz had complained that Prof Baloch had harassed them sexually. Later, the university administration had also recovered different objectionable items from his principal office's retiring room.

Thereafter, PU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran constituted a four-member inquiry committee headed by Faculty of Islamic Studies Dean Dr Hafiz Mahmood Akhtar that investigated the allegation and found Prof Baloch guilty. The inquiry committee that comprised Hailey College of Commerce principal Dr Liaquat Ali, College of Art and Design Principal Dr Rahat Naveed Masud and additional registrar Dr Aurangzeb Alamgir had recommended that Prof Baloch be dismissed from service under the PEEDA Act.

It is learnt that the inquiry conducted by top officials had also found Prof Baloch guilty of sexually harassing the two women.

On the recommendation of the inquiry committee, the vice-chancellor got approval of the Syndicate by getting signatures of its members through circulation. The PU registrar notified Prof Baloch's dismissal from service.

DELEGATION: Punjab University Vice-Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran has said the university is trying to improve academic relations with South Asian countries but visa issue was a major hurdle.

The VC was speaking to a nine-member delegation of Indian journalists from leading media organisations that called on him on Thursday. He also briefed the visiting journalists about the history, infrastructure and academic staff of the university. He apprised the delegation of the functions of various committees, academic programmes, examination system, collaboration with foreign and local institutes.

Professor Emeritus Dr Hassan Askari Rizvi told the delegation that human interaction between the two countries was limited and younger generation should be allowed to enhance bilateral relations which would help reduce misperceptions. The delegation members later visited various centres, departments and libraries on varsity campus.

Speaking on the occasion, the Indian journalists’ delegation leader Raj Changapa (Tribune, Chandigarh) said media could play a positive role in strengthening bilateral relations and softening the environment.

Other members of the delegation were: Suhasini Haider (CNN-IBN), Rohit Gandhi (TV journalist), Prasannan Radhakrishnan (The Week), Ajit Sahi (Tehelka), Shastri Ramachandaran (Tehelka), Seema Guha (Bengal Post), Roy Agni (Ananda Bazar Patrika) and Geeta Mohan (X News TV).

RESULTS: The PU examinations department on Thursday declared the results of MA philosophy, Diplomacy and Strategic Studies, International Relations, Archaeology, Space Sciences Part-I supplementary examination for 2010 and M.Phil leading to PhD (semester system) session 2008-2010.