VOTING FOR PU’S FATE – JI aims for the VC’s seat


LAHORE – The result of the syndicate’s elections, which will be held today at the Punjab University (PU), will decide if the pro-Jamat-i-Islami (JI) elements in the varsity are going to succeed in grabbing the post of the PU Vice Chancellor (VC) in the coming year 2012 or not. Pro-JI teachers are pinning their hopes on Prof Dr Haris Rashid who is fighting the elections against the panel supported by the incumbent VC.A PU professor, seeking anonymity, said that Dr Haris could be the next PU VC if the current VC was not given an extension.
He said that JI was doing its best to stop VC from getting an extension and to grab the slot of VC for pro-JI teachers. Today’s elections are important for the Teachers’ Front (TF), a pro-VC group, and the Academic Forum, a group of leftists, but it has an added importance for the Academic Group, a pro-JI group, as these elections would bring them closer to the VC’s seat. Dr Harris’ win would strengthen JI’s hold in the varsity. A senior professor, seeking anonymity, said that pro-JI teachers were prepared to start an anti-VC movement after wining the syndicate’s elections.
He said that this year the seat of ASA president was already occupied by a pro-JI teacher and if the same group managed to secure a seat for Dr Haris, then it would be difficult for the PU VC to get another extension. He, however, said that Dr Haris was not an ideal candidate for the VC’s seat because he could not compete with the current VC’s efforts. He said teachers, who do not want to hand over the varsity to ‘extremists’, would cast their votes against pro-JI candidates.
ABOUT THE CANDIDATES: On the professor’s seat, Dr Haris Rashid from AG, Professor Dr Shokat Ali and Dr Zaid Mahmood from AF are contesting elections. A tough competition between Dr Haris and Dr Shokat is expected. Dr Haris is a popular candidate but is facing criticism for defending pro-JI teachers. Around 75 PU professors will cast their votes. On the associate professor’s seat, Naeem Ullah from TF, Dr Asmat Ullah and Dr Nazi Ahmad from AG are contesting elections. According to professors, Dr Asmat Ullah is a favourite candidate for this seat because the other two had little penetration in the teachers’ community.
They said that Dr Asmat had applied for one-year leave and after wining the seat he would not be there to represent teachers, thus Dr Asmat was facing criticism. Around 44 associate professors will cast their votes. On the assistant professor’s seat, Javid Sami from TF, Mumtaz Ahmad from AG and Iftikhar Ahmad Tarar are contesting elections. Sami is the favourite candidate for this seat, though teachers say that his ‘double standards’ may go against him. Around 175 assistant professors will cast their votes.
On the lecturer’s seat, Shumila Raza is contesting against an AG candidate, Rana Abdul Majid Khan. According to a teacher, Rana Majid has an edge owing to his strong campaign but females were supporting Shumaila, who is the only female candidate. Around 223 lectures will cast their votes.