KU denies sharing student records with law enforcers

KARACHI:09 september:Amid speculations in the media about intelligence agencies wanting to obtain students’ records from the University of Karachi (KU), the varsity’s vice-chancellor, Professor Dr Muhammad Ajmal Khan, denied that any decision had been made to share student records or obtain clearance certificates from police stations.

On Tuesday, media reports emerged that law enforcement agencies were looking to comb the data of students enrolled in the city’s public sector universities after failing to make headway in collecting data of seminary students in the city.

Insiders had claimed that they had yet to develop a mechanism to implement the plan, however. The move supposedly came after the alleged mastermind behind the assassination attempt on the life of Muttahida Qaumi Movement – Pakistan MPA Khawaja Izharul Hassan was found to be a former KU student.

“We are ready to cooperate with security agencies but the security is not university administration or teachers’ responsibility. It lies on the shoulders of law enforcement agencies, who must make efforts to ensure KU’s security,” he said during a press briefing on Friday at the varsity’s VC Secretariat.

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Dr Khan said the teachers’ job is to teach and conduct research, not indulge in other activities like monitoring security measures. “It is not fair to defame Karachi University because of one or two students,” he said, adding that terrorist activities have been taking place all over the country, but some elements have started targeting KU, one of the country’s biggest universities, which is lamentable.

The vice-chancellor stressed upon the need to join hands to combat terrorism and requested the media to verify acts before printing stories.

Regarding the financial constraints faced by the university, he said that KU is in the midst of a severe financial crisis, as it gets Rs130 million from the Higher Education Commission every month but pays Rs230 million in staff salaries. “We have to raise Rs100 million on our own,” he said, adding that there are several other expenses the university must bear, such as utility bills, but no one helps in this connection.

“KU needs a grant of Rs5 billion annually and I am hopeful that the Sindh and federal governments will help us in this regard,” said Dr Khan.

Responding to a question on the security situation on campus, he explained that the administration has decided to construct concrete boundary walls and watch towers, but needs more funds to complete the project, as the varsity is spread over a vast area.

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He said that they have installed closed-circuit television cameras at the campus’s entry and exit points and soon these cameras will also be spread in other areas of the varsity. Talking about the security grant given to KU by the Higher Education Commission, Dr Khan said the grant was also not enough and they need more funds.

In a press release issued by the Karachi University Teachers’ Society (KUTS), Dr Khan said when injustice is being perpetrated against any citizens of country, members of any religion or ethnic group, the academia would raise their voices in support of the oppressed.
KUTS President Dr Shakeel Farooqui said no institution had asked for records of the varsity’s students, nor would the university share such records. He said it was the aim of terrorists and terrorist organisations to defame educational institutions in the country. On the contrary, education is needed to counter extremist elements, Dr Farooqui added.The news.