QAU VC, ASA at loggerheads over university’s opening

  • Dr Javed Ashraf says university will remain open come what may

ISLAMABAD: The on-going tug of war between the Academic Staff Association (ASA) of Quaid-e-Azam University and its Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Javed Ashraf took an ugly turn as the association wants to close the university at all cost on Monday while the VC has announced to keep it open come what may.

Owing to the political wrangling, the students of the country’s top-ranked university are suffering the most as the ASA members have been boycotting their academic duties for the last few weeks.

The university went into a virtual lockdown on Sunday as the ASA has blocked the transport unit and entryways. The impasses at the QAU have been unstinted for the past six weeks where the disgruntled faculty is protesting against the vice-chancellor and has been demanding his ouster.

ASA President Dr Aqeel Bokhari said that the university will remain closed for an indefinite period of time unless the VC steps down. He added that they would now take this issue to task as they believed that the incumbent vice-chancellor had failed to run the varsity’s financial, academic and administrative affairs efficiently.

On the other hand, QAU VC Dr Javed Ashraf categorically announced that no one would be allowed to forcefully close the university and it and all routinely educational activities would continue on Monday. He added that the university bus transport section would arrange buses for the students, as well as the university employees.

The VC said that ASA was making a baseless demand of his resignation, adding that the association rejected the repeated offers of talks with deans and the university registrar to ensure negotiated settlement of the issue.

Javed Ashraf vowed that APS’ bid to forcefully close the university would not be tolerated and would be considered illegal.

Dr Aqeel Bokhari said that the faculty is adamant on this stance and will not be deterred by the threats of the vice-chancellor.

He went on to say that the faculty has refused to work under the incumbent VC and the same was reflected in the two general bodies of the ASA. Moreover, a referendum was carried out in past where an overwhelming majority of faculty demanded the removal of the VC from his position, he added.

The vice-chancellor is hell-bent on destroying the university and they can’t leave the university at the mercy of such an irresponsible and incompetent man, the president said. The faculty shall only allow the resumption of the varsity’s affairs after VC’s removal, he added.

A senior official said that both the sides were levelling serious allegations against each other but no side comes with any concrete pieces of evidence to establish the wronging of the other. He added that the game of allegations and counter-allegations continued for a long time but no solution was in the sight because the efforts to bring both parties to the table did not work.

This showed that both sides were little bothered about the university’s affairs and wanted to settle personal scores, the official added.

The official lamented that both the sides were little concerned about the academic loss of the students, therefore, they should sit together and find out some solution to the problems forthwith.