Karachi: Over 217 faculty members of the University of Karachi have signed a petition by the KU Teachers Guild (KUTG) in protest against the awarding of an honorary doctorate to Pakistan Interior Minister Rehman Malik.
Earlier this month, Malik was conferred with an honorary Doctorate degree by the KU in recognition of his “matchless services to the country in the war on terror and particularly in restoring peace to the citizens of Karachi”.
The guild’s chief and KU Teachers Society (KUTS) general secretary Dr Shakeel Farooqui said that they hoped to reach out to all teachers during their campaign.
“By signing the petition they have declared their resentment and have announced that awarding the degree to him [Malik] was an illegal act,” he said.
According to Farooqui, if a majority of the teachers signed the petition, they would be able to take back the degree from Malik.
The KU teachers’ society president Dr Abid Hasnain said that their executive council had condemned the decision in a meeting held on October 08 and it was important for the teachers to stick together in this situation.
“The conferring of the honorary degree was a covert and hasty action on the part of the varsity’s administration. Had they presented the proposal before the syndicate, it would have been rejected,” he said. “I believe that all teachers should protest and campaign against this.”
On the other hand, pro-vice chancellor Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi said that the vice-chancellor had to do whatever the chancellor wanted.
The decision to award the honorary doctorate degree to Malik was initiated from the Governor House and the vice-chancellor had to follow through orders, The Express Tribune quoted Dr Kazmi, as saying.
According to Dr Kazmi, the degree cannot be taken back as it had been awarded by the chancellor.
However, the faculty has a right to protest and the KU syndicate will be told of the chancellor’s decision as a mere formality, she added.