‘Subversive activities’ on social media: GCU issues notices to two teachers

LAHORE:Government College University (GCU) administration has issued show-cause notices to two of its faculty members for allegedly being involved in subversive activities on social media.

s per the notices, the faculty members allegedly violated “clear-cut instruction regarding use of social media for the employees.” These notices were issued to Prof Dr Hamid Mukhtar of GCU Institute of Industrial Biotechnology (IIB) and Assistant Professor Saeed Ahmad Butt of the Department of History.

“Since you have been replaced from the position of Head of Department by the Competent Authority and you are continuously maligning and defaming the high-ups/officials and the executive officers of the university,” reads the notification issued to Prof Dr Hamid Mukhtar.

The notice issued to Assistant Professor Saeed Ahmad Butt reads: “It is learnt that you have been involved in subversive activities on social media (despite the clear-cut instruction regarding use of social media for the employees) since your case in being dealt by the Anti-Harassment Committee and you are continuously maligning and defaming the high-ups/ officials and the executive officers of the university.”

When contacted, Prof Dr Hamid Mukhtar said that he had expressed his feelings on the university’s Academic Staff Association (ASA) WhatsApp group. It was a closed group of the faculty and meant to discuss the issues and problems of the faculty only. He added he had just expressed his feelings in the group.

“I did nothing for which I’ve been served with a show cause. This is a clear-cut case of victimisation and targeting the faculty,” Prof Hamid said and added in other words it was also a bar on the freedom of expression of GCU faculty in their own group. I record my protest on such restrictions imposed by the Vice-Chancellor,” he added. He said that the show-cause notice was served along with a copy of federal government’s instructions vis-à-vis the use of social media and added these instructions were yet not opted by the university through its syndicate. Assistant Professor Saeed Ahmad Butt termed the show-cause notice illegal.

Talking to The News a GCU official said that instructions vis-à-vis the use of social media were issued by the federal government and were to be followed by all government organisations.

When contacted, GCU Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Asghar Zaidi said that the university had proof against the faculty members for damaging repute of the university and maligning the administration. He added it was right of the university to take measures in the best interest of the institution. The VC said if the teachers had not done anything wrong or their names were misused they could clarify the same in their replies to the notices.