On Friday, the Vice Chancellor (VC) of Punjab University (PU) Zaffar Mueen Nasar resigned from his post. This move comes after the constant pressure of the Punjab government to give up over two-kanal land of the PU Old Campus sports ground to a religious party for constructing a seminary. The government took this amount of land from the religious party for the construction of Orange Line and now want PU to compensate that loss. Khwaja Ahmed Hassaan, Adviser to Chief Minister, in a meeting with the PU administration had practically forced them to make the decision, however, the entire body is against the move. This puts the VC under a lot of pressure, which is why he thought it was better to resign.

This resignation is a proof of how unfair the system is and the extent to which the authorities will go to get what they want. One matter that this entire episode highlights is the haywire construction of the Orange Line. Had there been a proper plan, the government would not be terrorising its own people for its lack of planning. This is the exact reason why citizens of Lahore had a problem with Orange Line in the first place. An effectively chalked out plan would not have included damage to the heritage sites, homes taken away from many, and lastly, coercion of entities to give up their legally acquired land.

The PU Act, a resolution passed by the PU Academic Staff Association, clearly states that the land of the varsity can only be used for academic purposes. Due to this reason, the entire teaching community is insisting on not giving in to the demands of the government. At the same time, if one considers the legality of the situation; it is utterly shameful that the government which is supposed to uphold the laws of the country is incessant upon breaking them. It is not only limited to coercing the administration but personal attacks on the VC as well. He was accused of financial irregularities by he Punjab Higher Education Minister Raza Ali Gillani.

This is not the first time that the government has coerced the admin. In 1997, the then PU VC Prof Dr Khalid Hameed Sheikh had preferred quitting the post, instead of giving four marlas to the government for a slip road at the Barkat Market crossing. It is about time that they take responsibility of their actions, admit to their lack of planning and do not make others pay the price.