Is Dr Ghazanfar being sacked because of his refusal to conform to nepotism?
Internationally, and definitely not nationally, the following news has created utter shock and disdain amongst people. In between baking under the scorching July sun and the long Eid holidays enjoyed by families, the head of our home has been told to leave. I hope that by now you understand that I refer to Aitchison as my home and losing a trusted person from one’s family is unimaginable and the pain is immense.
Dr Agha Ghazanfar, an Oxford graduate who spent 12 years at Aitchison as a student himself, and was a principal at the institute, has officially been sacked from his position as the principal of Aitchison College Lahore. The official reason behind this has publically been announced – economic manipulation and corruption by the principal. But reality, at certain points, begs to differ.
All photos: Facebook (Asim Butt)
Dr Agha is not only a man of principle but his actions highlight his philanthropic nature as well. He has not only carried out multiple social events for under-privileged students as well as religious minorities, but has also fully supported the idea of teaching the children the local staff languages such as French, which is also learnt by Aitchisonians.
Being a friend of a relative of a member of the Board of Governors for Aitchison, I, for one, have had the opportunity to see two different aspects of the situation at hand. Whilst the leaders of our country claim to have sacked him corruption charges, Dr Agha himself openly voices his concerns regarding the deeply entrenched nepotism in the system of admissions at Aitchison.
According to Dr Agha,
“They told me these admissions are my test. If you approve this, you’re through for the next four years and no one can touch you.”
Having seen not one but many students who proudly claim that they got into Aitchison through their ‘links’ and ‘sources’, furthermore proves that Aitchison really has developed into an abyss of corruption that Dr Agha claims it to be. The fact that they proudly and openly claim their illicit references is nothing less than proof of the incapacity of the Aitchisonian Board of Governors.
That said, the other side of the story paints a completely different picture. Some members from the Board of Governors claim that their children were not accepted because Dr Agha apparently asked for Rs6 million to be transferred through illicit methods into his account for personal use, a deal which most of the parents refused.
Although the former principal was found to be extremely student friendly and accommodating, his actions are under severe scrutiny by the Board of Governors. That said, one can simply not help but trust a person who despite having power, refuses to give into illegal ways and methods.
Two members of the Board of Governors refused to support the dismissal of Dr Agha and protested against the majority ruling, but their request and pleas were unfairly denied. This blatantly goes to show how Pakistan’s premier educational institute is now fully plagued by corruption. It seems supporting justice and humanity is now a criminal activity in Pakistan. If one plans on standing up against the will of corrupt governors and politicians, your doom is as eminent as death for a fourth stage cancer patient.
It is high time that we bring about a change and make sure that such blatant instances of corruption and nepotism slowly cease to exist in our country. This incident also highlights that there are still some upright and conscientious individuals in Pakistan who stand up for justice.
In this specific case, the grandson of Ayaz Sadiq, the Speaker of the National Assembly, grandson of Mian Mansha, along with former prime minister Yousaf Raza Gilani’s grandson, failed their admission tests and were rejected admission by Dr Agha. Due to this reason, the inept and unprofessional Board of Governors has decided to dismiss one of the most humble and honest principals Aitchison have ever had.
In conclusion, Dr Agha Ghazanfar is unjustly being sent off from the meadows of Aitchison. Having personally been accommodated by the principal in multiple matters, I assure all of you that this sacking is nothing but an open show of corruption, nepotism, and inhumanity.
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.