BUITEMS Demands More Attention – Dostain Baloch

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Author: Dostain Baloch

The education institutions in Balochistan, specifically the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS) demand serious attention. After 2010, the amendment in the constitution known as ‘the 18th Amendment’ directs that the universities in Balochistan are subjects of the provincial government. According to the policies, universities are autonomous bodies, but the BUITEMS University is an exception, as it is not being administered with as per the policies/laws, but it is being ruled with an “Iron Fist.”

BUITEMS is being ruled by Farooq Ahmed Bazai, an authoritative person, holding office of Vice Chancellor for fifteen (15) years. To academia, V.C-ship tenure is three years but extraordinary performance will be followed by two-years or three-years of extensions, but not more. It means V.C with an extraordinary performance can hold the office for five to six years. Bazai is not administering but ruling BUITEMS for 15 years, his V.C-ship is being followed by extensions over extensions. Bazai is still expecting and intending for further extensions in future to keep his hold on the position.

Mr Bazai is not alone in his dictatorial designs, but also has a loyal group close to him. These people are hanging on his every word. They are heading administration, security, and academics. They have no respect for the policy of Higher Education Commission (HEC) and Balochistan Government, they amplify Bazai’s message and watch his back. Bazai’s dictatorial team can be called “Bazai-Squad.” It seems absurd but it is the reality of BUITEM, that is being dictatorially ruled by Bazai-Squad. The role of university directors is nothing but revolving around the Bazai-Squad. If we just take one member from Bazai-Squad for case study, we can surprisingly understand the height of corruption and nepotism in the institution. For example one of his close aides from Pashtun community was once holding more than 10 positions at the same time, and he has appointed closely 45 of his chosen people as employees in BUITEMS. A common employee and a student cannot imagine the height of corruption and nepotism in BUITEMS.

Bazai-Squad is believed to have 11% commission on every construction project. Interestingly, most of the projects are offered to Khan-Trade (Construction Firm) because Bazai is indirectly a partner to Khan-Trade. The project-employees (especially directors and accountants) are outsiders; from Punjab province or KP, as Bazai-Squad have more influence and confidence on them to not disclose the extreme level of corruption and nepotism in the varsity. Buitems has more than 1400 employees, only 8% among them are Baloch. In the Finance section, the majority of employees are settlers. Bazai has spent most of ‘faculty development funds’ on those employees who were from Punjab and KP, after seeking their Ph.D. and Post-docs, they have returned to their provinces.

The case of two campuses is controversial, that were to be functional on Baloch areas, one is “Chiltan Campus” and other is “Kalat Campus.” Chiltan campus is just available on files. While, the Kalat-Campus file has been disappeared, and no one now dares to discuss about Kalat Campus.

Why is no one criticizing and why are political parties silent about Bazai-Squad in Balochistan? The first man who stood against Bazai’s policies was Qamber Chakar (was a Baloch student leader), he was a student in BUITEMS. Qmbar Chakar was framed in a fake case by Mr Bazai.

The other critical step came in the year 2012-2013 when BUITEMS employees opposed Bazai-Squad, trying to form an association to resist against the prevailing his dictatorial policies.. They held a press conference and announced the formation of Buitems Academic Staff Association (BASA). Bazai realized that BASA is a threat to his existence. Bazai’s ruthless squad pressurized employees to disintegrate BASA.

Bazai-Squad terminated committed ones, threatened many via different means and negotiated with opportunists. The offers opportunists received were, the MS programs in the United Kingdom, and to avail deputation. Thus, the BASA was disintegrated. During 2016-17, Aurangzaib Alamgir with few likeminded employees started to criticize Bazai-Squad, compiled a 28-page file against Bazai-Squad. They met with Mister Sana Baloch (from BNP-Mengal) and other leaders of the BNP to disclose Bazai’s affairs in the university.

Unfortunately, that move was just a show to blackmail Bazai to get benefits, and there comes the ironic revelation that BNP-Mengal and the National Party (NP) were/are already stakeholders in these corruption projects. BNP and NP are on the same page in Buitems, their interests are being served and secured by three individuals. File was disappeared from the screen that was compiled by these individuals. Interestingly, most of the Baloch employees (in Buitems) are directly or indirectly related with BNP and NP. Those who criticize Bazai’s policies will be compensated with prestigious positions in Buitems, and they become silent, otherwise; they will be terminated.

Time and again, Buitems’ employees have formed a platform against Bazai-Squad, known as Buitems-Family, its first formal meeting was held on 30th December 2021 in the playground, and its last meeting was held on 9th March 2022 in the football ground. It was formed to defend the rights of Buitems’ employees. Employees formed a “Core-Committee” to represent Buitems-Family on different forums. The Core Committee consists of 18 members, their selection-process is still controversial. On 26th of February, Naoman Khan (Spokesperson of Core Committee) announced that Buitems-Family is the platform of all employees (including daily wages) of Buitems. Buitems-Family is to defend and fight for rights of every employee against every front. And announced that success will be for employees against every odds.

During two to three months, the Core Committee has met with Governor (Chancellor of the University) Syed Zahoor Ahmed Agha, Zahoor Buledi and opposition leaders. The employees have discussed with them about Buitems’ policies under Bazai’s Vice Chancellorship: there is no clear policy related to Health, Pension, GP-Fund, and Service-Rules, and they have also discussed that Buitems’ employees are not receiving “Grant of Disparity Reduction Allowances and House Requisition”. The core committee demanded immediate involvement to resolve the issues in Buitems. They also highlighted to the Chancellor (Governor of Balochistan) that where Buitems today stands in Balochistan is due to the day and night efforts of employees, not V.C. They also added that because of the policies of Bazai-Squad, employees are having psychological impacts.

The Core Committee frequently met with the Registrar and Bazai. Meetings were proved futile, and employees’ psychological and financial conditions are becoming more and more critical because of the dictatorial policy of Bazai-Squad.

Recorded few comments of Buitems’ employees on current scenario of Buitems under Bazai-Squad: It is stated by Habib Zaman Kakar (an employee in Buitems) that “we are helpless, no one is coming forward to resolve the structural problems of the institution. The Bazai-Squad is ruling Buitems in such a way that employees are facing extreme levels of psychological and economic strains. Iftikhar (Buitems’ employee) criticizes that “financial strains lead to mental strain that will have direct effects on the performance of employees and that ultimately costs the Buitems on performance and productivity.

On 15th and 16th of March 2022, students started a Twitter-campaign against oppressive behavior of administration in Buitems. Following Hashtags were used: #BuitemsPrimarySchool, #IncompetentManagement, #SayNoToDisrespect.

Students’ comments on Buitems management were like “Buitems has made itself look like a joke by their incompetency and their God-knows-what dress policy”, “Other Universities: Let’s take the challenge and prosper the world, Buitems: Your pant is not grey, get out from premises of Buitems”, “Raise your voice against unacceptable behavior of management”, and Shoaib Ahmed, a student, says “we cannot get our right through twitter, but we can get it through protest.” Sadia Anjum added that “Buitems is the only educational institution that focuses on shoes-color, not education.” During the campaign, a student commented that “we won’t let Bazai take our university to drain, we won’t let him malign this university anymore, Buitems is ours.”

Buitems’ most employees don’t have faith in Bazai-Squad because they first try to rule by fear. If employees stand against them, they will be threatened to be silent. Bazai-Squad is more powerful than provincial government and HEC, as, the HEC and Government policies are not being implemented in Buitems, it is solely run by Bazai-Squad, as per their personal gains.

Buitems-Family, Twitter Campaign (Buitems Students) and so-called negotiators do not have the will, courage, and commitment to resist against Bazai-Squad. But someone with uncompromising will and courage can drag out Bazai-Squad from Buitems. Otherwise, don’t just criticize!

Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Balochistan Post or any of its editors.

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