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Arrest of VC and Senior Professors: A Different Viewpoint

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The recent incident of NAB to arrest and then present former VC Mujahid Kamran and his senior colleagues in hand-cuffs has evoked a lot of hue and cry in social and electronic media. No one can justify such an insulting behavior to senior University Professors and academics  and the act of hand-cuffing is really condemnable. However, there is another picture to the whole story which I want to bring to the readers’ notice.

In 2013, University of the Punjab advertised three posts of lecturer in History and as I was about to complete my Ph.D. from University of South Australia, Adelaide, I applied for the post. When I got no information even after one year, I approached the authorities and got this news that the University does not intend to process these applications. On further enquiries, I came to know that the process of selection had started but after short-listing, the interviews were postponed. The posts have now been filled on contract basis and the lecturers are already working in the history department. On further investigation, I came to know that the three lecturers had not even been short-listed for the interview as their academic marks were much lower. As they could not compete in the Selection Board, they were appointed on contract basis and interviews were cancelled.

One lecturer was the wife of Additional Secretary Finance, Govt. of the Punjab who generally represented the Finance Department in University Syndicate. She appeared for interview in many other Universities but could not qualify and therefore, got appointed in PU. Another young lady (a fresh Masters with average marks) was the nominee of an MPA while the third was the ‘favourite’ of the Chairman whose only qualification was that he used to drive his car and do his household chores. These three contract lecturers continued to work for the next five years and to the best of my knowledge, they are still working in the History Department of the University. Seeing this whole situation, I decided not to come to Pakistan and continued my work in Australia.

My question to all, particularly to Academic Staff Associations of Pakistani Universities, is why did they remain silent when the ‘most respected’ VC and his coterie of Professors were making appointments on the basis of political and other pressures and thus deprived the eligible and talented youth?

Dr. Tanvir Jamal,

Adelaide, Australia

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