PESHAWAR, July 16: The Public Account Committee of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Monday ordered the formation of a committee to investigate the demolition of 13 buildings inside Hazara University, Mansehra for the construction of a mosque.
The buildings of two boys hostels, a senate hall, museum, laboratories, a bank, the provost’s office, bungalows and different departments were pulled down to provide their land for the construction of a mosque by a Saudi prince, sources said.Sources said the decision to demolish the said structures valuing Rs700 million was made at the beginning of 2009.
They said many open spaces were available on the university’s premises but the then administration chose to destroy the said buildings for mosque construction.
Provincial assembly speaker Kiramatullah Chagharmatti, who chaired the meeting in Abbottabad, told Dawn over the telephone that he had ordered the formation of a PAC subcommittee to probe unnecessary demolition of buildings.
He said he wasn’t opposed to the construction of the mosque but it should not be built at the cost of the future of students.
The speaker said the officials representing the university in the meeting didn’t know the reasons for the building demolition and therefore, he had ordered the formation of a committee to fix responsibility for.
According to him, the committee will consist of two MPA, including Saqibullah Chamkanni, vice chancellor of Hazara University and higher education secretary. The other MPA will be named later.
The committee will ascertain why the decision of mosque construction was made at a place where buildings were already present.
“We will not let the elements responsible for demolition of buildings without punishment. It was a childish decision whosoever made it,” he said.
The speaker said the probe committee would recover the Rs700 million cost of buildings from the culpable officials.
“I will personally visit the place to see the damages,” he said. He said he had issued directions for halting demolition of more buildings for the construction of mosque.
When contacted, Hazara University vice chancellor Professor Sakhawat Shah said 80 per cent of the work on the said mosque spread over 80 kanals had been completed.
Asked if there was no open space available for the mosque, he said there were a lot of open spaces in the university but it was the decision of the then administration to demolish buildings.
He said neither compensation was paid to the university administration nor were new structures raised at the place of demolished buildings. He said all the buildings were in usable conditions.