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Professors handcuffed!

The humiliating incident of handcuffing of senior professors by the officials of National Accountability Bureau (NAB) remained very high in the public discussions as well as media agenda since their arrests. Chief Justice of Pakistan Mian Saqib Nisar, Chairman NAB, HEC Chairman and teachers associations took notice of the humiliation of the senior educationists. CJ took suo motu notice and reprimanded DG NAB Lahore Mr. Saleem Shahzad who apologised the professors as well the nation in writing before the court.

However, HEC, 65 vice chancellors of various universities of the country have passed a resolution terming the DG NAB’s apology as insufficient and unsatisfactory. On the other hand, Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association observed a Black Day on October 15 to register their protest in many universities in all four provinces, Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan.

The nation has cursed NAB for maltreating the senior professors including Dr. Mujahid Kamran, Dr. Akram Chaudhry, Dr Rass Masood, Dr Amin Athar, Dr Aurangzeb Aalamgir and Dr Kamran Abid. PU professors are mainly facing the charges of some 550 contract appointments. However, such contract appointments were made in almost all public sector universities including some institutions which are being headed by military generals. NAB never think about arresting them.

Also, many contract appoints in PU were made during the tenure of Lt-Gen (r) Arshad Mehmood but NAB officers never took any action against him. The teachers’ community has termed this a “selective behaviour” on part of the NAB officials – seems in the same fashion as alleged by the PML-N leadership. Punjab Speaker Chaudhry Pervaiz Elahi, Punjab Senior Minister Aleem Khan, Babur Awan are being treated in a different manner.

This incident has damaged the NAB credibility further which was already being questioned after the meeting of chairman NAB with Prime Minister Imran Khan and follow up statement of the premier in a press conference in Lahore. Information minister’s statements added more fuel to the fire. Ultimately, the debate against the NAB has reached to its climax and now all opposition parties and even the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf itself are in a consent to make some reforms in the NAB prosecution through some amendments in the existing law.

The whole nation’s unanimous stance against NAB on the issue of teachers’ maltreatment really calls for policy reforms and amendments in the NAB law to make it independent and impartial in real sense. NAB should have not arrested these professors as they were fully cooperating with the investigation officers. Political use and victimization in the name of corruption must come to an end.

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