PESHAWAR, June 4: The committee formed by the provincial government to investigate the complaints of sexual harassment of girl students by some teachers in the University of Peshawar (UoP) has completed its report, but could not prove the allegations as not a single victim has come forward to record statement.
When contacted, Provincial Minister for Social Welfare and Women Development Sitara Ayaz, who headed the four-member probe committee, told this correspondent on Saturday that the report had been completed and would be submitted to Chief Minister Ameer Haider Khan Hoti on Monday. She said that though people admitted that harassment of girl students was an issue on the campus, not a single girl came forward to substantiate such allegations.
PML-Q lawmaker Nighat Orakzai had raised the issue of harassment of female students in the UoP by some heads of departments on the floor of the provincial assembly on April 19. Later, the committee was formed to look into such complaints.
“We had received a few emails and about eight anonymous letters, but nobody sent us reply when we responded to those emails and sought details,” Ms Ayaz said.
All the committee could do was to suggest in its report that the UoP should plug the administrative loopholes and follow the Higher Education Commission’s guidelines in this regard.
“Though clear guidelines exist regarding such matters, it was shocking to see that many officials concerned are not aware of them,” she said and added that the university had powers to take strict action if there was ever such a complaint.
She said that it was suggested that the university should follow the guidelines and display it prominently.
Now the fate of the five UoP teachers – against the committee received anonymous complaints (letters and emails) – would be decided by the university administration.
The minister said that the committee also felt that teachers against whom complaints of harassment were received should be dealt with according to the university rules. She said that during the probe the accused teachers pointed at others whom they thought could have filed the complaints with mala fide intentions.
Ms Ayaz said that the committee would welcome if anyone came forward to record their statement even by Monday when the report would be submitted to the chief .Dawn