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From Our Member HRCP, Pakistan – Deep Concern about Sindh University Situation

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Lahore, February 9: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has strongly condemned the recent developments at Sindh University where, following the killing of Professor Bashir Channar on January 2, unjustified action has been taken against protesting teachers.
A statement issued by the Commission on Thursday said: “HRCP notes with alarm that the services of two representatives of Sindh University Teachers’ Association, Dr. Arfana Mallah and Dr. Azhar Ali Shah, have been terminated and show-cause notices issued to other teachers. The university had only reopened a few days ago on the assurance of the Sindh Governor that the vice-chancellor of Sindh University, who is past the age of retirement, would be replaced in accordance with the demands of the teachers.
“HRCP also has serious reservations over the authorities’ apathetic approach towards acknowledging and addressing teachers’ concerns. It defies reason why the teachers must protests for weeks upon weeks before their concerns register on the official radar. The teachers have protested long and in a peaceful manner for demands that are not unreasonable: a judicial probe into the assassination of Professor Bashir, withdrawal of police and Rangers from the campus, restoration of student unions and removal of the vice chancellor.
“It is regrettable that Sindh University and most other universities in the province are headed by academics who have crossed the retirement age. In a recent meeting with the HRCP vice-chairperson for Sindh and members of HRCP Council, the Sindh Governor had agreed to look into the issues concerning the Sindh University. HRCP calls upon the Governor, in his capacity as chancellor of Sindh University, to rescind the decisions regarding the dismissal and issuance of show-cause notices to teachers and take effective steps to fulfil the government’s obligation to ensure an atmosphere free from intimidation and conducive for academic progress at the university.”

Zohra Yusuf