After a one-and-a-half-month investigation, a lecturer at the Islamabad campus of the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science, and Technology (FUUAST) was sacked for harassing a female student over WhatsApp.
The harassment committee discovered evidence to support the student’s claims that Professor Zahid Sarfraz sent her improper text messages and asked her to meet him alone.
The student reported the incident to three senior lecturers, including Zubair Khan Niazi and Dr. Imran Ashraf, who instructed her to keep the issue quiet and even threatened her with bad academic repercussions and the chance of her parents discovering the truth.
The girl also accused the physics department’s head of failing her by one mark. She further stated that Zubair Khan Niazi and Dr. Imran Ashraf requested a written statement from her to drop the lawsuit and remove the texts on her phone, and threatened to cancel her semester and harm her reputation if she refused.
The harassment committee suggested that the physics department head and the teachers who encouraged the student to keep silent be fired. The committee further directed that the student’s results and exam papers be verified by an independent third party.
As per a FUUAST spokesperson, the event was discovered in December of last year, and the university administration organized an investigative committee to look into it. The accuser was a contract worker who was just terminated.
Professor Zahid Sarfaraz was found guilty of harassment by the investigation committee, and the report concluded that he had harmed the dignity of his profession.