ISLAMABAD Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association has demanded immediate removal of Brig (R) Obaidullah Ranjha of National University of Modern Languages who reportedly thrashed a lecturer, Tahir Malik. The office-bearers of the association warned that in case of inaction on part of the university management against the culprit, they would start a protest movement in all other universities. In a statement on Saturday, FAPUASA President Prof Kaleemullah Barheech, Vice-President Dr Abdul Quddus Sohaib and General Secretary Badar Soomro condemned the harsh treatment of an academician by a retired military officer who was illegally appointed at NUML without undergoing the normal procedure of advertisement. Calling it a mean and shameful incident, the FAPUASA office-bearers called for immediate removal of Brig Ranjha from the post of Registrar. They regretted that FAPUASA had already demanded appointment of serving professors as vice chancellors in the universities but the demand had not yet been accepted by Higher Education Commission (HEC). They reiterated the demand of removing ex-army officers and retired bureaucrats from the top positions including administrative ones from all universities in the country. It is important to mention here that the President has already directed the Ministry of Education to constitute a committee to probe the issue and it is likely that Advisor to PM on Education Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali would be included on the committee. The incident has got much hype in the media and it is being depicted as a civil-military issue. Tahir Malik while talking to TheNation said Some media persons have been misusing the incident for their own objectives portraying it as a tussle between civil and army, which is purely a matter of teachers dignity and respect. He clarified that there were some people who had been tarnishing the image of army. Meanwhile, Academic Staff Association, Quaid-i-Azam University, has also strongly condemned the incidence of violence against a professor at the university. Dr Eatzaz Ahmad, President ASA, recommended immediate dismissal of Brig Ranjha. The ASA head said that if the NUML Registrar was not removed, the association would show its resentment and in this respect, it will soon formulate a course of action. They also demanded that even in the universities run by armed forces, the VCs or rectors should be academicians. If HEC envisages VCs in public sector universities to be those possessing the qualifications required by a full professor including a PhD degree, the same criteria should be applied on universities like NUST, NDU, Bahria and Air Universities otherwise, HEC should cancel their charters and revoke degree-awarding status.