VC Gomal University Sent on Forced Leave as Political Interference Intensifies

The Acting Governor of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP), Mushtaq Ahmed Ghani, has sent the Vice-Chancellor (VC) of the Gomal University (GU), Prof. Dr. Iftikhar Ahmad, on a forced three-month-long ‘vacation.’

The decision has reportedly been taken at the behest of former federal Minister, Ali Amin Gandapur, who had allegedly threatened VC Ahmad and had called for his immediate resignation or forced removal.

Subsequently, the Acting Governor has appointed Prof. Dr. Masroor Ellahi Babar as GU’s Acting VC. The latter is also the VC of the University of Agriculture D.I Khan (UAD).

Meanwhile, the provincial Higher Education Department (HED) has issued a notification about the development.

As per the details, the conflict between VC Ahmed and Gandapur began in July after the Government of KP allocated Rs. 3.1 billion for the construction of an agriculture university in DI Khan. It is to be built on 1,000 kanals of land that was acquired from the GU after the upgradation of its agriculture department, which VC Ahmed had strongly opposed.

His resistance to transferring the university’s assets to the agriculture university had purportedly irritated Gandapur who hails from DI Khan. Resultantly, Gandapur had staged a protest against the VC, which turned violent after students vandalized the VC’s official car and the university’s property.

In a similar event last year, Dr. Ahmad was forced to go on a six-month leave for resisting GU’s asset distribution but he re-assumed his charge after the Peshawar High Court (PHC) approved his petition and declared the distribution ‘unlawful.’

On the other hand, GU’s on-campus activities also remain suspended because of the matter.