Controversial BoU VC banned as President arrives to attend convocation

ISLAMABAD: The Skardu administration banned the highly controversial head of University of Baltistan (BoU) in the city on the occasion of President Arif Alvi arrival in Skardu to attend convocation of the university on Tuesday.

The decision was taken in view of the strong protest by students and civil society in Gilgit-Baltistan against the VC.

University of Baltistan (UoB) Vice-Chancellor (VC) Dr Naeem Khan, who has been accused of immoral chat (sexual conversation) with students apart from financial corruption, is likely to get another term through his own handpicked senate of the university, which is now being opposed strongly not only by the students but political, religious parties and civil society.

Keeping the various protest rallies and sit-ins held in the city against the vice chancellor, Skardu Deputy Commissioner Karim Dad Chughtai has banned the entry VC Prof Dr Naeem Khan to Skardu for two months.

As per the notification, the ban on the controversial VC has been imposed to avoid any untoward situation on the 5th convocation of the UOB held on June 14, wherein President Arif Alvi was the chief guest.

Last year, a number of female UOB students accused Dr Naeem of sexual harassment, irking the local residents who staged protests for his ouster from the city.

However, after a gap of nearly a year, Dr. Naeem recently regained the post using his connections, causing resentment among the locals once again.

As per the audit reports of the university the controversial VC has also committed financial irregularities/corruption during his three years long tenure. Surprisingly, the VC in May 2021 had managed to get an indefinite extension after retirement through the varsity Senate in violation of the rules.

As per details, Naeem Khan, who completed his term on May 31, 2021, holds the position even after over one year of retirement as he has been given an extension till the appointment of a new VC, which is still awaited.

A faculty member who is part of a group of staff members who have filed a petition in the Islamabad High Court (IHC) against illegal appointments in the university informed this scribe that the VC, who had earlier made a failed attempt of approaching a local court in GB for extension, used the forum of the varsity’s Senate, members of which were all of his choice, to get the unlawful extension. As per normal practice, acting charge is given to the senior most faculty member in absence of the VC.

Interestingly, he kept the post while influencing the appointment process of new VC during the past two months. Despite Dr Naeem, being on number 3rd on merritt set by search committee of the university, he managed to jump to number 1st in the recommended list through the senate of the university, where the majority of members were of his choice. The President Arif Alvi, after getting informed about the illegality in the selection process, has reportedly withheld the appointment of VC UoB to date.

For the prolonged protest against the controversial VC for the past one year, Dr Naeem has been sitting in Islamabad while running affairs of the university through registrar and social media tools (emails).

Ghulam Abbas
Ghulam Abbas
The writer is a member of the staff at the Islamabad Bureau. He can be reached at [email protected]

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