University Of Balochistan’s VC Resigns Amid Protests
The vice chancellor of the University of Balochistan, Dr Javid Iqbal, has resigned from his position after accusations of his involvement in a harassment scandal and protests against the university’s administration across Pakistan.
A notification issued by the Balochistan governor’s office stated that the vice chancellor had stepped down to allow the Federal Investigation Agency to conduct a fair inquiry into the recent cases of harassment at the university.
Recently, Dr Iqbal and the university were at the receiving end of severe criticism after students claimed that the administration was using CCTV footage to blackmail female students for sexual favours.
Students had claimed that they were being monitored by the administration through the use of additional cameras and microphones in washrooms and smoking areas. Moreover, university’s professors and staff members confirmed to media that they had seen ‘secret cameras’.
The FIA had been directed by the chief justice of the Balochistan High Court last month to investigate complaints of harassment of students. The agency had examined the case but not released its findings.
Student organisations had protested, criticising the VC as being part of the blackmailing of students.
The incident had received widespread backlash on social media. A Twitter user shared the news of the incident whilst pointing out that people still asked why Pakistan needed feminism.
Female students were being covertly filmed in Balochistan by their university administration and then subsequently being blackmailed. And people still ask why we need feminism in Pakistan?
— Hassan A. Niazi (@HNiaziii) October 18, 2019
A member of the Balochistan Assembly, Asad Baloch, had called for the VC to step down in light of the harassment allegations.
MPA Asad Baloch About VC of Balochistan university..
Part 1..#StopHarassment #ShowTheRedCard @Sarawaan1 @S_ismail777 @ZehriiiBaloch @farahsyed07 @zehrinaeema @LaraibJamil10 @balochsadia2 @Baloch_BSO pic.twitter.com/oR9TChlbWY
— hassnain_BaloCh_10 (@HassnainBaloch_) October 18, 2019
Students across Pakistan had protested and had called for action against the vice chancellor.
Proud of students from FC for demonstrating solidarity with victims of sexual harassment at Balochistan university. This issue has led to unprecedented unity among students across the country. Hope they are able to sustain this momentum to ensure safety on campuses. pic.twitter.com/aijFlJo5xR
— Ammar Ali Jan (@ammaralijan) October 18, 2019
— Anwar Baloch (@MAnwarZehri) October 18, 2019
— Khalid BALOCH (@KhalidMHasni) October 21, 2019
Following the news of the vice chancellor’s resignation, people ‘hailed it as a victory for student rights and the fight against sexual harassment’.
Big victory in the struggle for students' rights and fight against sexual harassment. VC of Balochistan University has resigned due to growing student's pressure. If the probe is fair, this incident can set precedent for safety on campuses in Pakistan.
— Waheed Umrani (@AbdulWa83621027) October 21, 2019
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