LAHORE: The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has formed a five-member fact-finding committee to probe sexual harassment allegations against faculty members of Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB).
The committee will ascertain any involvement of the university administration in patronizing such activities, as well as addressing the issue of drug use on campus.
The matter came to light when the district police arrested three IUB officers three weeks ago for possessing crystal meth and objectionable videos and images of students and staff members.
Students and parents expressed deep concern over the alarming issue of harassment and blackmailing within academic institutions, calling for decisive action against those responsible.
The fact-finding committee, led by Bahauddin Zakariya University Multan Pro Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Muhammad Ali Shah, also comprises members Rector of the National University of Technology retired Lt-Gen Moazzam Ejaz, Pro VC of Nur International University Prof Dr Najma Najam, Rector of Imperial College of Business Studies Prof Dr Tahira Aziz Mughal and HEC adviser Dr M Mazhar Saeed.
The committee is to conduct a comprehensive and impartial inquiry into the reported allegations, examining evidence from print, electronic, and social media sources.
The committee will assess the implementation of HEC’s policies on protection against sexual harassment in higher education institutions and identify any administrative gaps or lapses.
The committee will propose corrective and disciplinary actions (if applicable) against the faculty members and administration of the IUB, ensuring compliance with the university’s rules and regulations.
Moreover, it will suggest recommendations and preventive measures to serve as guidelines for all higher education institutions, both public and private, across the country.
The committee is to submit a report to the HEC within 21 working days, starting from July 28, and may co-opt additional members if deemed necessary for the inquiry.
The HEC has directed the IUB administration to extend necessary support and cooperation to facilitate the committee’s investigation.