Suta split over HEC job quota, resources widens

Hyderabad:012 July: In a joint statement released on Thursday, 19 members of the executive council of the Sindh University Teachers’ Association (Suta) have supported an open letter written by the Suta president to the prime minister seeking an inquiry into HEC’s provincial job quota and resource distribution for the federal and provincial public sector universities.
But Suta general secretary Dr Arfana Mallah termed the statement of 19 members that of the members of Dr Shah’s Reformists group and not official version of the Suta executive council (EC).
A copy of the statement sent to Dawn by Suta president Dr Azhar Ali Shah said that according to Article VI (II) of constitution of Suta, all decisions need to be endorsed by a simple majority i.e. 15 members out of the total 28.
“We believe that this is a reiterated demand which has already been communicated through the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) Sindh and Pakistan and Dr Shah is rightly justified in issuing the statement,” it said.
The members expressed reservation on a controversial statement on the said open letter by Suta secretary Dr Arfana Mallah.
They believe that she is manipulating facts and figures and propagating false information to representatives/colleagues in FAPUASA Sindh and Pakistan to create chaos and anarchy in the community.

They said she had not consulted the Suta executive council (EC) before issuing such a controversial statement and hence grossly violated the Suta constitution by herself. She was hereby warned to desist from such negative propaganda in future, they said.

“We make it clear that from now onwards any communication/statement issued by Suta secretary Dr Arfana Mallah which does not cite any meeting of the EC under chairmanship of president Suta Dr Azhar Ali Shah must not be considered/published in capacity of the Suta secretary,” they said.

Dr Azhar Shah said HEC’s denial had started with a fake argument as the Suta secretary did not dissociate from contents but expressed reservation regarding approval of the said letter from the executive council. He said that the HEC instead of accepting and appreciating demand for transparent inquiry was perhaps using the Suta secretary without knowing the fact that she herself lacked mandate of the EC.

He added that similarly, teachers’ representatives of many other universities expressed solidarity with the contents of the open letter and decision would be conveyed through meeting of FAPUASA.

He said that inquiry being sought would reveal personal interference, threats and temptations given by HEC officials to respective university administration and teachers through different channels to isolate voice of dissent.

He said it would reveal how much development grant the HEC received and distributed. Whether NFC award formula was followed for provincial grants and whether universities in less the developed areas and specially troubled areas in the KPK were given special consideration as demanded by the VCs of 18 universities, he said.

Documentary evidence could be provided to the committee to show how many times a particular person of a particular university was awarded different grants while others were ignored.Published in Dawn, July 11th, 2014۔