Security agencies, not teachers responsible for protecting

Karachi:September 9:The teachers and administration of the University of Karachi (KU) are not responsible to ensure security inside the varsity’s campus. In fact, the security agencies have the mandate to protect the university from any potential threat, said KU Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Ajmal Khan while briefing journalists at the varsity’s VC Secretariat on Friday.
“The teachers are here to impart education to students, not to serve as security personnel,” he said. “We are standing, by all means, with our security agencies and ready to cooperate with them,” the VC said. “But they should tell us that what are we supposed to do to bring improvement in security system.”

Khan admitted that a central leader of the banned militant outfit Ansarul Shariah Pakistan (ASP), Prof Mushtaq, who was arrested during a raid in Balochistan on Wednesday, did a PhD in the KU.

“But it isn't fair to defame one of Pakistan’s most reputed universities because of one or two students involved in terrorism activities,” he asserted. The VC contended that it was wrong to say that the KU varsity was producing terrorists. “I do not get security input from any agency,” he added.

Khan said people involved in terrorist activities were being arrested from several universities but the KU was being singled out for criticism in media. He requested the media personnel to run only verified news.

The VC further said no decision had yet been taken for checking students’ record or asking the varsity’s students to get police clearance certificate. Responding to a question on security situation, Khan said, “We have decided to build concrete boundary walls and watch towers but for that a huge amount is required, as the university is spreading over thousands of acres.”

Talking about the security grant received by the Higher Education Commission (HEC) for security, the VC said the HEC security grant was not enough to build a single wall in the varsity.

“However, CCTV cameras are installed on entry and exit points and will be installed on other areas as well,” he added. The varsity, he said, was facing a financial crunch. "At least an annual grant of Rs5 billion is required,” he added.

The KU was producing a large number of graduates annually, he said, as compared to others varsities. “The KU is also proud of submitting 1,600 research papers to the HEC.” The VC urged the government to release grant for research and sports activities. “Issues related to terrorism can be curbed through ensuring constructive activities. But I clarify that clarified there is no terrorist group operational in the university.”

Khan said the Indian government had stated that if former HEC Chairman Dr Attaur Rehman could continue to invest in the country’s higher education sector, Pakistan could have emerged as a threat for them after 20 years.

“The KU gets Rs130 million from the HEC monthly, while the varsity pays Rs230 million in salaries every month,” he deplored. “The varsity is compelled to arrange Rs100 million every month on its own to run the financial affairs, including payment of utility bills,” he added.

Khan said the KU received Rs1700 million from the HEC annually, while Rs1800 million was the varsity’s own income. “The varsity is facing a financial deficit of Rs1.5 billion. How the administration even think about security issues while facing such a financial crunch.”

He said the KU needed a grant of Rs5 billion annually. “I am hopeful that the Sindh and the federal government will help us in this regard.” The varsity management would not put students and their guardian into trouble by increasing semester fee, he vowed.

“We even need money to make functional those instruments that we purchase after getting grants from the HEC,” he said. Talking about the ban on student unions, Prof Khan said he personally welcomed restoration of the student organizations in the varsity. “But the security agencies can take a better decision in this regard.”The news.