–Social media questions Dr Uzma’s removal in light of her strong academic credentials
–Dr Bushra Khan tops the seniority list at LCWU
LAHORE: Prof Dr Uzma Qureshi, who was suspended from the post of Lahore College for Women University (LCWU) vice chancellor (VC) on Monday by the Higher Education Department (HEC), following chief justice of Pakistan’s (CJP) directives, is still adamant that her appointment was legal.
As per the details, VCs of three public sector universities including the Fatima Jinnah Medical University, Faisalabad Medical University and Rawalpindi Medical University immediately resigned from their respective posts on the orders of the CJP on Sunday. The CJP, while hearing a suo motu case at the Lahore registry of the Supreme Court, had launched the directives while also asking LCWU VC Dr Uzma Qureshi to resign, however, the latter resisted the orders of the apex court and later on Monday a notification for her suspension was issued by the Higher Education Department (HED).
It is pertinent to note that VC of Punjab University Dr Zakriya Zakar also resigned following the orders of the CJP on Saturday.
Dr Uzma took the reins of LCWU on May 29, 2017, for a term of four years, but her appointment as VC was made with subject to the final decision of a representation filed against her alleged illegal appointment by her predecessor, Prof Dr Rukhsana Kausar, who remained the LCWU VC for five months. Dr Rukhsana had moved an application with HED secretary against Dr Uzma alleging that she didn’t fulfill the criteria to become the VC on the day when she applied for the coveted post.
A committee was constituted by the chief minister on June 9, 2017, under the chairmanship of Dr Zafar Iqbal Qureshi, which was directed to submit its report within ten days to examine Dr Uzma’s eligibility. While the report is still nowhere to be seen, the other members of the said committee include Information Technology University VC Dr Umar Saif, Punjab Higher Education Commission chairman and HED secretary.
During the hearing on Sunday, the CJP asked Dr Uzma regarding the role of Interior Minister Ahsan Iqbal in her appointment as VC, but she said that the minister had nothing to do with it. The CJP further remarked that the court was very well aware of Ahsan Iqbal’s role. Over a question, Dr Uzma told the court that the minister was a student of her father.
Meanwhile, a campaign has been launched on the social media for Dr Uzma’s reinstatement keeping in view her strong academic credentials.
“She did Masters of Education from the University of Manchester before doing her PhD and Post Doctorate from the University of Birmingham and the University of Cambridge, respectively. But she was ordered to resign by a person all who has BA and LLB degrees. These people don’t know the respect and status of a teacher,” a post that went viral on social media read.
The social media was also buzzed with tributes to Dr Uzma as people were terming her refusal to resign from the post of VC in the court of CJP as a sign of courage. When asked that why didn’t she resign from the post, Dr Uzma told Pakistan Today that she still thought that her appointment was legal and there was nothing wrong in her appointment as it was completely lawful. However, she refused to further comment on her suspension orders issued by the HED following the orders of the CJP.
Furthermore, the LCWU is currently without a VC as the HED has said that the provisional VC would be announced within a week. The SC has asked the department to appoint the senior most professor from the varsity and according to the seniority list, Prof Dr Bushra Khan is the senior most professor of LCWU, who has been serving the institution since 1985. Prof Dr Shagufta Naz who is the research director at LCWU stands at the second number on the list followed by Prof Dr Farkhanda Manzoor who is currently serving as the Institute of Education director.