KARACHI: The Karachi University teacher accused by students of harassment will be sent on forced leave if allegations made against him were proven true, said Dr. Jamil Kazmi, the KU Teachers Society President. While speaking in Samaa’s three hour long especial transmission ‘Bolo, Daro Mat’ on the issue of harassment, the teacher shared progress in...KARACHI: The Karachi University teacher accused by students of harassment will be sent on forced leave if allegations made against him were proven true, said Dr. Jamil Kazmi, the KU Teachers Society President.While speaking in Samaa’s three hour long especial transmission ‘Bolo, Daro Mat’ on the issue of harassment, the teacher shared progress in inquiry against the accused teacher.He revealed that the teacher has been directed to appear before the inquiry committee on Monday.“The student filed application on 27 Feb, then, under the law, seven days were granted to the accused. One of the victim students has given interview to the committee and presented evidences, now the accused has been directed to appear on Monday,” he said, sharing details of the case.He said the decision to suspend the teacher will be taken after his appearance on Monday, adding that if convicted, the teacher will be sent on forced leave.The teacher admitted that Samaa has presented many proofs in the case.He said the KU harassment committee has heard three complaints so far, and has issued sentence in one case.
Samaa’s special transmission on #SpeakUp
The issue of harassment has taken centre stage in global politics as women spoke out against US President Donald Trump and Hollywood producer Harvey Weinstein. Using the #MeToo hashtag, other women across the globe also spoke out against harassment and other forms of sexual misconductWhile it is a reality that has long existed in our society, it has been brushed under the carpet in our country due to misplaced religious sensitivities and patriarchal insecurities.Nevertheless, Samaa TV has taken it upon itself to become the voice of victims of harassment. It began with students of Karachi University who spoke out against a teacher. Next, we received numerous complaints under our hashtag #SpeakUp from across Pakistan.As a result, we held a three hour long special transmission, titled ‘Bolo, Daro Mat’, on the issue from 6 to 9 pm.Our anchors, Kiran Naz, Saadia Imam, Madiha Naqvi, Farah Iqrar and Kiran Aftab, Karachi bureau chief Faryal and reporter Sonia Shahzad were part of it.During the transmission, we took calls on air as well as comments from social media through our Facebook and Twitter feeds and Vidpresso.The guest panel included students, teachers and government representatives.Victim student 1: Our aim is to unmask the black sheep, and not to malign all teachers of the university. The student said she filed complaints to authorities against a teacher but faced various hurdles.Samaa reporter Sonia Shehzad: Our campaign is being misinterpreted by some segments, and we are also facing threats. It’s our resolve that we are on the side of truth and so we will continue to stand by the victims.Sonia Shehzad said she was barred from entering Karachi University on Saturday, but at the same time, one of the teachers helped her.Victim student 2: The teacher, who is at the center of harassment charges, called her in his room and indecently spoke to her. “A teacher has to become a role model for students, but can we call elements our role models”?When asked that did she discuss the issue with parents, she said ‘no, I feared that they may discontinue my education. It’s not easy to get admission in Karachi University and get permission from family.’She said the students who supported her were also victimized by the teacher.Professor Akhtar Hashmi: I pay tribute to all of you, I’m 65-years-old, retired from Karachi University in 1978, I have done M.A English. There are good and bad people in every field of life but let’s see how we can stop this issue of harassment.The university authorities should set criteria while appointing a teacher. They should include a psychiatrist and a retired professor in the recruiting board, he suggested.Victim student 3: The teacher asked me to get his printer fixed. I got it checked at all the shops in the university but to no avail. The professor then told him that his two-year degree would be prolonged for four years if he doesn’t do as told.“I even washed his car and got songs downloaded in his USB on his orders, but issuance of my degree is still in pending,” he revealed, while taking part in the discussion from the studio.Sadia Imam (Actress): The issue is that character building in our society and institutions has come to an end. I can’t believe that women are weak; they are stronger and can raise their voice through such platforms. “Why do we wait for widespread protests to highlight the issue we just need to speak up and wake up.”She appealed Chief Justice of Pakistan to take notice of the situation in Karachi University and other government-run education institutions.Maria Wasti (Actress): This is not the first incident, we have been facing this in almost every field, but whenever we speak about empowering women the victim-shaming begins, we need to break harassment taboo from the society.Nusrat Sahar Abbasi (PML-F): “I congratulate Samaa for doing what institutions should have done. Samaa is running a successful campaign which is now joined by students as well as teachers from different education institutions of Pakistan.” She said Samaa has given courage to victims.I will file an adjournment motion in the Sindh Assembly on the issue of Karachi University, Abbasi pledged. “I have never tolerated such acts in my life, not even in the assembly.”A victim’s father: “My daughter is so talented, I sent her to Karachi University hoping that she will succeed in CSS examination… Three female professors deliberately failed her in three teachers despite her top position. The department’s head assured me that she will be passed in the next term, but unfortunately she was failed again without no reason.”He said the teachers ruined the future of his daughter.Dr Seema Zia (PTI): “I promise to take the issue to Sindh Assembly and raise the voice for victims. I also appreciate Samaa for coming forward.” She condemned political appointments in education institutions.Dr. Jamil Kazmi (President KU Teachers Society): Teachers should also be given due share in the campaign; they should be contacted to offer their point of view.About progress in inquiry against the teacher, Kazmi said.“The student filed application on 27 Feb, then, under the law, seven days were granted to the accused. One of the victim students has given interview to the committee and presented evidences, now the accused has been directed to appear on Monday,” he said, sharing details of the case.He said the decision to suspend the teacher will be taken after his appearance on Monday, adding that if convicted, the teacher will be sent on forced leave.He said the harassment committee has heard three complaints so far, and has issued sentence in one case. The teacher admitted that Samaa has presented many proofs in the case.Aliya Sarim Burney (social worker): I’m happy that Mr. Kazmi agrees with us. I think that if woman is right and you agree with her, this attitude can bring change in the society.Victim student 4: Even before my admission in university, I was advised by a friend to beware of the teacher, he said. “I was failed only because some friends of my group were supporting the student who was being harassed by him,” he said.“Were complained for rechecking of papers but were given a shut up call by him.” He revealed that student organizations often ignore harassment issues.Live Caller: I appreciate Samaa’s stance to offer such a platform, it’s ‘resisting journalism’ according to me since you are raising voice for the oppressed. We should change the collective behavior and thinking about working women in the society.Faisal Kareem (Samaa anchor): Students have a great contribution in prestige of the Karachi University, he said, and lamented that ‘our collective wisdom has died’.“All that Samaa is doing today is to empower and strengthen the name and reputation of Karachi University,” he said, urging authorities to take action against culprits and prove the institution’s sovereignty.