CJ censures DG NAB Lahore; FAPUASA observes black day; HEC, 65 VCs say apology not enough
LAHORE: Chief Justice of Pakistan, media, teachers’ community, politicians and people from all walks of life condemned the handcuffing of senior professors by National Accountability Bureau (NAB). The Federation of All Pakistan Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) observed a black day to condemn handcuffing of senior professors by NAB, demanding Prime Minister Imran Khan, NAB chairman and Punjab chief minister to tender an apology to the nation for the act.
The FAPUASA and academic staff associations also demanded immediate removal of NAB Lahore Director General Saleem Shahzad, holding him responsible for disgracing and humiliating the teachers, who besides teaching varsity students were also authors of a large number of books. Protest rallies were held in the varsities in all the provinces, federal capital, AJ&K and Gilgit Baltistan, where teachers’ wore black armbands and hoisted black flags after holding general bodies meetings on the call of FAPUASA.
The NAB official had produced former PU VC Dr. Mujahid Kamran, former registrars Prof Dr Raas Masood and Prof Dr Liaqat Ali and former additional registrars Prof Dr Aurangzaib Alamgir and Prof Dr Kamran Abid handcuffed before the court. In this connection, Punjab University Academic Staff Academic (PUASA) organised its general body meeting in the varsity, that was attended by more than 400 teachers and representatives of the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA).
The teachers also took out a protest rally from Al Razi Hall to Campus Bridge after the general body meeting. The participants were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against NAB Lahore DG and the government, demanding restoration of the teachers respect. They also chanted slogans “Imran Khan Muafi Mango”, Chairman NAB Muafi Mango”, DG NAB Lahore ko Barkhast kro”.
FAPUASA and PUASA president Dr Mahboob Hussain, talking to the media, demanded immediate removal of NAB Lahore head for disgracing the teachers. He said the teachers would continue demonstrations if a formal apology to the nation was not tendered by Prime Minister Imran Khan, Punjab CM Usman Buzdar and NAB Chairman Javed Iqbal.
PUASA Secretary Sardar Asghar Iqbal said the accused teachers were treated like convicts, and they were arrested unnecessarily in spite of cooperating with NAB officials for the investigation. He warned that if the government did not take any action against the NAB Lahore DG the association would give another call to the teachers and students to suspend the academic activities all over the country.
Similarly, the Government College University Academic Staff Association (GCUASA) also staged protest on the campus against humiliation of varsity teachers in an accountability court. They also demanded legislation to bar a teacher’s arrest without court’s permission, saying a nation that did not respect its teachers ultimately fell a prey to moral, economic and social decadence.
Meanwhile, addressing a meeting of academic staff at the university’s Main Block, GCU ASA president Prof Dr Hamid Mukhtar said under no circumstances, a law enforcement or investigation agency should be given an authority to handcuff or torture a teacher.
Later, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Hassan Amir Shah also joined the protest on ASA’s request to express solidarity with the teaching community. A large number of teachers and members of GCU ASA executive body were present.