Mujahid of PU


How one man can ruin an institute



The recent Paris attacks were a conspiracy to pit the world against Muslims. And so was 9/11. A cabal of banking families wants to establish a one-world government and is arguably behind these two most horrific incidents in the recent history of the world.

What would you say to these disclosures? They may raise your eyebrows, or bring a grin on your face. You would surely want to know about the source of these disclosures. It is neither a Fox News item, nor a gem from Donald Trump, nor from some Pakistani cleric. But what if that person happens to be the vice-chancellor of the country’s largest province’s largest university? Meet Dr Mujahid Kamran, the Punjab University’s two times VC. In a civilised country he would have been asked to explain his theories and face consequences, if proven wrong. But welcome to Punjab where such person is rewarded with unlawful extension as interim VC for his “well-researched” revelations. He completed his second term as VC on Jan 23, 2016, and now is set to rule the varsity as interim VC until the slot is filled.

Probably, that’s what suits Sharifs the best. Empowering personalities than institutions is much easier. It suits individual however it hurts the national cause.

Universities shouldn’t be personality-centric. They should be open for all who want to learn and excel. They shouldn’t act as propagating machines for one individual. This, however, has been the case with Punjab University in the last eight years.

The composition of Senate, the supreme body of the university, was deliberately not completed in these eight years. This has resulted in centralisation of power. And power, in George Orwell’s word, always corrupts.

In the last eight years, some 474 people were appointed in the varsity from BS 17 to BS 21 on contract without publishing any advertisement in newspapers, in clear violation of the Supreme Court orders and the Punjab government rules. Even the Chief Minister of the province cannot appoint anybody in BS 21 without advertising the post. This promoted the culture of nepotism and discouraged many talented teachers to join PU.

A good step taken by the PU administration during recent years was to admit one student in every department from Balochistan on scholarship. But this excellent step couldn’t save the university’s image from getting tarnished in fake degree cases. In one such case, an inquiry is pending under the National Accountability Bureau.

The university administration seems to have been going in circles in the last eight years. Mujahid Kamran takes the credit for eliminating Jamiat (Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing) from campus and reducing its influence. The reality, however, is different. Professors having affiliation with Jamiat have been unlawfully appointed in violation of the laws.

The university administration also takes pride in promoting the culture of research in the last few years. No doubt, the university has plenty of learned researchers. That’s, however, their personal endeavour. The university administration has been promoting people, not researchers, in the name of research. Take the example of University Law College Principal Dr Shazia Qureshi. She has a number of research publications to her credit. Her faculty is law, while one of her research articles is “Learning Experiences of Higher Education Students: Approaches to Learning as Measures of Quality of Learning Outcomes”. Her work in the field of law would have much more value. She was accused of plagiarism, and the honorable Lahore High Court demoted her because of plagiarism charges. The demotion, however, did not affect her and she continues to serve as principal of Law College. She also happens to be the second wife of Dr Kamran.

Universities earn prestige in building connections with industry and technology hubs for research purposes. The Punjab University, however, has turned the green grounds into commercial buildings and highways in the name of “public interest”, whereas it should have been used for research and academic works, or student and faculty housing. While universities invest in research to tap in financial resources, the current administration makes plans to rent out university land to bus addas.

A lot of eyes are fixed on the commercialisation of 700-kanal land around the newly constructed road which connects Allama Iqbal Town to Canal Road and is estimated to have a value worth Rs70 billion. If rumours are to be believed, this is Mujahid Kamran’s smartest card. So, with so many things to his credit, why should anybody listen to the protesting teachers who have come to roads against his unlawful extension?

They certainly have nothing to their credit as compared to Mujahid Kamran. They don’t bash the US like he does while being in the good books of the ruling party. So good luck, Mujahid of PU!