Violence at Punjab University

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And the VC who thrives on it

 

The recent altercation between the staff of Punjab University and the Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) over the issue of permission for holding a seminar by IJT activists is most unfortunate. Use of force and violence to pontificate their jaundiced version of ethics and morality has become a trademark of the IJT, something they have been practicing for decades now.

 

Jamiat is notorious on campus for enforcing their backward views on the “acceptable” amount of contact and conversation between male and female students. This is made sure through a system of monitoring followed by harassment and eventually violence.

 

The Lahore High Court (LHC) has ordered the Punjab government to replace Mujahid Kamran who has been serving as Vice Chancellor of Punjab University for nine years, but the latter remains intact. Apart from filing an intra court appeal against the LHC verdict to remain at his post, Kamran is also using the IJT to give an indication of what may happen after he leaves. Coincidentally acts of violence such as the most recent one have increased since the LHC order providing an excuse for Kamran to carry on as VC.

 

In the last two years the counter terrorism department (CTD) has arrested numerous students and professors by conducting raids on the University premises for their alleged links to proscribed militant organizations. With an already tough uphill battle against extremism, universities should be the last place to serve as breeding grounds for future terrorists.

 

The PU administration is right in demanding the arrests of all individuals responsible for the incident that took place. The Punjab Government’s appeal against the LHC decision shows the prevalence of non-merit based public service appointments. A contempt of court petition has also been filed against the Higher Education Commission (HEC) by a former PU professor for not enforcing the LHC verdict.

 

There is a dire need to bring in new unbiased professionals to replace the one-man show that Kamran has been running for so long. The Punjab government instead of filing appeals should lead by example and bring in a more competent team starting with the VC.