Black day: FAPUASA to protest against IIUI for ‘curtailing academic freedom’

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  • Varsity does not allow holding of unauthorised events on the campus: IIUI

ISLAMABAD: Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has announced to observe the black day on Wednesday (tomorrow) to protest against what they called “anti-democratic and irresponsible attitude” of administration of International Islamic University Islamabad (IIUI) for not allowing them to hold an event in the university auditorium.

On Tuesday, the university administration locked the auditorium where an event was organised by FAPUASA. The members of the event were to discuss academic and administrative reforms in higher education sector of Pakistan.

The elected-faculty representatives, belonging to public sector universities across the country, gathered at Allama Iqbal Auditorium IIUI Faisal Mosque campus but it was a matter of utter surprise for the out station faculty that the doors of the university auditorium were closed and locked down.

The members weren’t even allowed to sit at an alternative place and hence the gathered faculty observed protest in front of main entrance of the campus and chanted slogans over curtailing the academic freedom and disrespecting professors.

Strongly reacting to it, the FAPUASA decided to convene the emergent meeting of FAPUASA executive committee on Wednesday (tomorrow) to chalk out future line of action.

Speaking on the occasion, FAPUASA President Dr Kaleemullah Bareach said that it is quite unfortunate that the academic staff were not allowed to talk about the current issues universities are facing.

He asked how the heads of the universities who are struggling for safeguarding their own positions could bring about a change in the university.

Bareach said that they are even not ready to listen to the academic staff’s point of view, adding that the powers should be taken from them if they could not tolerate discussion and point of views on national issues. He said that no one could impose a ban on freedom of expression in the universities.

FAPUASA Secretary Dr Shakeel Farooqi, Dr Shehzad, Dr Naimat Ullah Laghari, Dr Javed Ahmed and Dr Khalid also spoke on the occasion and were of the view that the situation could not be improved in the universities until teachers are given respect.

They demanded that the prime minister take notice of the matter as he is also controlling authority of federal Higher Education Commission.

They said that this irresponsible attitude of the university’s administration is not acceptable; therefore, countrywide protests and conventions would be organised culminating in mega faculty convention in Islamabad soon.

When contacted IIUI Human Resource Department Director Syed Hassan Aftab, he said that as a matter of principle, IIUI does not allow holding of any activity on the campus if it is not authorised by the concerned Conferences and Seminars Committee.

The Committee scrutinizes all proposed programmes in the light of themes and agendas. The organiser of this programme failed to furnish any details and justifications to conduct this programme and hence the Committee did not allow the holding of the event.