KARACHI: At the University of Karachi (KU), inviting a supermodel facing charges of money laundering as a guest speaker can get you suspended. Bringing weapons to campus will, however, merely get you a show-cause notice.
On Monday, the varsity expelled a student, Araib Khan, for inviting Ayyan Ali to campus without obtaining prior approval from university officials. Ayyan came to KU in August soon after she was released on bail from Adiala Jail in Rawalpindi. Her appearance received media hype and the KU administration faced criticism for allowing her to come as a guest speaker.
As a result, the university issued show-cause notices to Khan and another student, Abdullah Rizwan, for calling her without getting official approval. However, the KU disciplinary committee looking into the case allegedly received pressure from a student group and was forced to expel Khan on Monday.
Read: Karachi University expels student for inviting supermodel Ayyan on campus
Khan had graduated from KU last year but he was currently enrolled a diploma student at the Department of Public Administration. After his expulsion, he has been banned from entering KU premises and seeking admission in any other programme offered at KU. Rizwan has also been subjected to the same punishment.
“The decision to expel Araib Khan and to ban both the students was taken after pressure from political wings in the university and some higher officials,” admitted a KU official, who requested not to be named.
Meanwhile, another official at the university said that the department officials and the security officers were aware of Ayyan’s arrival but they had failed to take action at the time.
Interestingly, when it comes to bringing weapons to campus, the KU management insists that its rules do not allow it to expel students. “The university does not expel any student directly but [only] issues a show-cause notice to him/her,” said KU student adviser Professor Dr Syed Anser Rizvi.
If a student is found in possession of arms, the university has strict orders to impose Section 144 of the Pakistan Penal Code and register an FIR against the student, explained Rizvi. The university cannot, however, expel the student, he added.
“After the FIR, the case goes to court and then the court’s verdict is accepted by the university,” he said. If the court finds the student guilty, then his admission is automatically cancelled but, if he is found innocent, then he is allowed to continue his education, he explained.
According to the university’s rulebook that is shared with all the students during orientation, no student is allowed to hold an event or invite any guest on campus without prior approval from the KU administration. Each department has its own student adviser who should be present at every event held within the premises. The adviser should also take permission from the chairperson to organise any event.
“We have also issued notices to professors and other security officers who have earlier by-passed these orders,” said Rizvi. He cited the example of Professor Riaz Ahmed, who held the seminar on Baloch missing persons in May this year.
Khan’s expulsion is, however, not the first in recent times. “In 2013, two students of the political science department were dismissed when they misbehaved with their instructor, Prof Sameena Khan,” pointed out Rizvi. Initially, the students were suspended for two years but they went to the instructor’s house and misbehaved with her. “They even damaged her car,” he said, adding that they were eventually expelled.
In another instance, two students accused one another of kidnapping over a personal rivalry in 2011, pointed out Rizvi, adding that the police intervened and both the students were expelled.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 7th, 2015.