Instead of making some kind of effort to resolve the ongoing controversy between administration and faculty members, Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) vice chancellor has approached Syndicate members to grant him powers, which is against the rules, to terminate those faculty members he doesn’t like and to whom he has already issued show-cause notices. In a letter, QAU Vice Chancellor Dr Javed Ashraf requested Syndicate members to provide him authority to take disciplinary action against ‘some’ faculty members. “You are aware of acts of indiscipline of some faculty members. I have recently issued show-cause notices to these individuals under Section 13 of the University Act 1973. I am seeking your assent and post-facto approval to act as Authorised Officer in these cases and in other acts of indiscipline,” reads the letter, the VC sent to all internal and external Syndicate members. The VC sought their response for choosing one option among three. He mentioned in the letter for authorisation to allow him to be ‘authorised officer’ in discipline cases. Option-I “Vote in favour of allowing Dr Javed Ashraf to be the Authorised Officer.” Option-II “I do not vote in favour of Dr Javed to be an authorised officer” or option-III “I am abstaining from voting in this case.” The sources said that Dr Javed intended to terminate those faculty members who had held a strike against him a few months ago. The Syndicate is the apex decision-making body of the QAU. It consists of nominated members from the university itself, the Supreme Court of Pakistan (SC), Parliament, the President’s House, the Higher Education Commission (HEC), ministry of federal education and the Armed Forces Postgraduate Medical Institute (AFPGM) Rawalpindi and a woman nominee by chancellor. A religious scholar, appointed with the consent of president, is also a member. According to the sources, most of the Syndicate members denied to approve the proposed request by Dr Javed. However, Dr Javed told this correspondent that he got approval for action from four Syndicate members. He also quoted names of some members such as major General Amir Raza of AFPGM and Dr Samina Qadir, saying that these couple of well-reputed members among some others who endorsed his request. When contacted, Dr Samina Qadir rejected the VC’s claims. She said that she did not give any such kind of approval as this was not provided in the QAU act. “The way the VC sought for consent was illegal and the Syndicate powers also could not be split to him,” she clarified. When asked about the VC’s response regarding her written reply to him, Dr Samina claimed, “I could not prohibit him whatever he wants to say but I did not support him in anything which is not persisted in the law.” According to an available letter, Joint Education Adviser (JEA) of the Ministry of Education Muhamamd Rafique Tahir, who generally represents ministry’s Secretary in the QAU syndicate meetings, also termed the act of VC as contradiction of basic rules. In March this year, the academic activities in QAU remained suspended for over 50 days due to strike by faculty members as they demanded the removal of Dr Javed alleging that “he was incompetent for this post and had failed to run the university in an appropriate manner”. After a long suspension of classes, the ministry of federal education intervened and academic business was restored. The ministry formed 10-member probe committee comprising of five members from each side under chairmanship of JEA Muhamamd Rafique Tahir. The committee was supposed to investigate the accusations by both sides. As per obtained information, the inquiry by the committee was yet under way; Dr Javed issued the show-cause notices to around 20 faculty members a couple of weeks ago and four of them were part of the said inquiry committee. In accordance with the notices, the VC approached syndicate members for further disciplinary action to terminate them. A senior official in the university wishing anonymity said that this is no more than victimisation and blackmail. Published in Daily Times, July 12th 2018.