KARACHI: The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (Fapuasa) has issued a 15-day deadline for the Sindh government to apprehend the culprits involved in the murder of the University of Karachi (KU) assistant professor Dr Syed Waheedur Rehman.
On Thursday, the central and provincial leadership of the university teachers’ national body converged at KU to protest the killing that took place a day earlier. Dr Rehman was the second professor of the varsity to have been targeted since September last year, when its Islamic Studies dean Dr Muhammad Shakil Auj was also shot dead.
Meanwhile, academic activities remained suspended in all provincial universities in the public-sector, including NED University of Engineering and Technology, Sindh University, Mehran University of Engineering and Technology and Sindh Agriculture University. The teachers’ fraternity from across the province had extended support to their counterparts at KU.
“We offer the provincial government to fulfil our three demands in 15 days,” said Fapuasa central president Prof Dr Naimatullah Laghari in a press conference held at KU’s Arts Auditorium, followed by a condolence reference to commemorate Dr Rehman’s services for higher education. “I want to make this clear that these are the demands of university teachers from all across the country and not only by the KU faculty members.”
Apart from the arrest of Dr Rehman’s killers, the Fapuasa leadership demanded the provincial government to constitute a judicial commission to probe the murder and compensate the victim’s family with Rs50 million. “If the provincial government fails to meet our demands, teachers at the public-sector universities across the country will be compelled to suspend the academic activities for an indefinite period,” said Dr Laghari. “The teachers have united against the ineffectual authorities and will take this extreme step to press the federal and provincial governments to ensure life security for their citizens.”
Fapuasa Sindh president Dr Ayaz Keerio added that the teachers’ general body will sit again on May 16 to make public Sindh government’s progress on the teachers’ demands and will announce its future course of action accordingly. “We suggest the authorities to not press the teachers to come out of their institutions and protest the broad-daylight murders of their colleagues from Karachi to Peshawar.”
Police begin investigations
The police investigation team, headed by West district’s Investigations SSP Arab Maher, reached KU on Thursday, where they held a three-hour-long meeting with the vice-chancellor, Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser, KU teachers’ society president Prof Dr Jamil Hasan Kazmi and KU mass communication department’s chairperson Prof Dr Mahmood Ghaznavi. The investigation team also held a separate meeting with Dr Auj’s son.
“At this stage, the police investigations are at a very preliminary stage and we are trying to gather as much information as possible about Dr Rehman through his family, university colleagues and our intelligence sources,” SSP Maher told The Express Tribune. “I am confident that we will be able to apprehend his killers with the cooperation of university administration.”
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