By Sarmad Ali
Like on many other fronts the PTI government in Punjab will have to take corrective measures in higher education.
There are institutions where Shahbaz Sharif last government in its last days appointed it’s favourites on top posts.
One such example is that of Punjab University’s Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar. He is a known sympathiser to Islami Jamiat Tulaba (IJT) and remained it’s member in the past and now virtually bringing a varsity of over 45000 students into a complete control of IJT activists and Jamat-e-Islami backed faculty and administration.
For Prime minister Imran Khan this scene will be quite familiar. On the morning of Nov 14 2007 Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) activists at the University of the Punjab (PU) manhandled Imran Khan when Hafeez Ullah Niazi brought Imran Khan in his Suzuki van and dropped him in front of the Center for High Energy Physics (CHEP) and Center for Undergraduate Studies, a huge enthusiastic crowd of PU students changed welcoming slogans for the legendary Pakistani cricketer, who was then in hiding and wanted the police to arrest him among the PU students. However, soon thereafter, a small bunch of IJT activists surrounded Imran, manhandled him, took him inside the CHEP building, and beat and shoved him.
After some time, police came and took Imran away.
Click the following link to see the chaos created by the episode on November 14, as reported by the British Broadcasting Corporation (BBC).
The incumbent PU VC, Dr. Niaz Ahmad Akhtar, a close friend of Hafeez Ullah Niazi from his university days and an IJT chum, was the superintendent of Hostel No. 1 and Director Student Affair (DSA) at the time. Hostel No. 1 was the stronghold of IJT activists’ illegal activities and also used to “take care of” their opponents. Dr. Niaz himself was an IJT Nazim during his student days and a leader of Tanzeem-e-Asatza (teachers wing of Jamat-e-Islami) after becoming a teacher at PU due to his deep-rooted association with IJT. He was the known protector, and mentor of these activists. The bloody clashes between the IJT and Imamia Students Organizations (ISO) loyalists also took place during his tenure as Director Student Affair. Dr. Asmatullah from Zoology Department was the Resident Officer I (RO-I) at the time and was responsible for PU’s security—the Chief Security Officer and security guards reported to him. Prof. Dr. Muhammad Arif Butt had been appointed PU VC until the appointment of the regular VC for the full 4-year term.
Dr. Niaz, Hafeez Ullah, Dr. Asmatullah, Dr. Butt, and their Tanzeem-e-Asatza cronies planned the beating up of Imran and having him arrested via IJT in order to ensure Dr. Butt’s appointment as regular VC for the full term.
However, powers that matter had other plans and Dr. Mujahid Kamran was appointed as regular VC in 2008 by the Musharraf government.
A large number of students organized a huge rally in support of Imran on November 15, 2007. Dr. Niaz, Dr. Asmatullah, and their Tanzeem-e-Asatza cohorts at PU again assembled a group of IJT hooligans to organize a counter demonstration against Imran. In the following November 15 video, Dr. Niaz can be seen guiding IJT mobsters during the times 1:09 – 1:18 and 2:29 – 2:32 minutes.
That was in 2007. Hafeez Ullah Niazi’s hatred for Imran Khan and love for the Sharifs has been long known. Our sources say that Mr. Hafeez Ullah Niazi, along with Mr. Mujeeb ur Rehman Shami, Maulana Fazal ur Rehman, and Mr. Awais Laghari, finally succeeded in rewarding Dr. Niaz Ahmad the VCship of PU for the role that he had played in manhandling Imran Khan and having him arrested through ITJ hoodlums in November 2007. His appointment has been challenged by PTI’s MNA, Ms Andleeb Abbas, in a letter to the Pakistan Election Commissions (PEC). In the letter, she contended that since the PEC had announce the schedule for national elections on May 31, 2018, Dr. Niaz’s appointment on June 2, 2018 is, therefore, illegal according to election rules.
Dr. Niaz has appointed Dr. Asmatullah (who was RO-I when Imran Khan was arrested in 2007) as Director Student Affairs, so he could play the role that Dr. Niaz played from 2003 to 2008 in strengthening the IJT, and planning and sponsoring it coercive activities. Another IJT and Tanzeem-e-Asatza die heart, Additional Registrar, Jaleel Tariq, has been given the additional charge of RO-I, thus completing the clique of power at PU to disrupt peace in the university and the city, as well as harass faculty, students, and staff of the university, as and when IJT and/or Jamat-e-Islami so desire.
Dr. Niaz has also appointed ex-Nazims of IJT, members of Tanzeem-e-Asatza, and their allies to key administrative posts, including Director Office of Research, Innovation, and Commercialization (ORIC), Director Institute of Quality & Technology Management (IQTM), Chairman Department of Polymer Engineering, Registrar, Additional Registrar II, Additional Registrar I, RO-I, etc. PU is fast heading to the dark days and of mid 1980s.
Former interim Vice Chancellor, Prof. Dr. Zaffar Mueen Nasar, had appointed IJT and Tanzeem-e-Asatza comrades at the remaining key administrative posts including Registrar, Chairman Hall Council (CHC), Deputy CHC, Additional Registrars, hostel wardens and superintendents, etc.
The grip of IJT and Jamat-e-Islami at PU is almost complete and will show up in the form of demonstrations and hooliganism on campus and at other parts of the city any time the government tries to take action against their vested interests. Alas, the 4-decade old dream of IJT and Jamat-e-Islami to take control of PU and its over 600 affiliated colleges has finally been fulfilled.
If the PTI government does not intervene, the oldest and largest institution of higher education in the country is heading to the darkest days in its 136-year history, leading to its ultimate demise. — Pak Destiny