ISLAMABAD - Chairman of Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) has appointed a lady without following the legal procedure on the post of former editor (English) and it is also said that former editor (English) has been suspended allegedly to oblige the lady.

Chairman Abdul Hameed who has barely spent four months as Chairman after assuming the charge of the Academy, in a highly unjust and rash move suspended Editor (English), BPS-17 permanent government employee and Urdu-English poet, Khurram Khiraam Siddiqui, without any warning or explanation.

According to information, after suspending him the Chairman, who was holding the charge of National Language Authority (NLA) also at that time, on July 10 directed Dr Rashid Hameed, NLA Naib Motamid to hold the inquiry but he refused to obey the orders terming it as an unjust act. The Chairman again ordered another enquiry on July 31 that is still underway despite that the administration and the Chairman of Academy appointed a lady of his caste Sumera Baqir on the a lot of Editor (English) when the enquiry is still under process, throwing all the rules to the wind and without following any legal procedure.

According to Khurram the Chairman suspended him to oblige the girl which is another legal crime and only to stop the publication of English literary journal, Pakistani Literature and to spoil his genuine case of promotion on next grade BPS-18.

He also alleged that he has been the victim of linguistic prejudice and discrimination since the time of his joining the PAL as he belongs to the marginalized and vulnerable Urdu-speaking migrant community of the country.

“I have always been victimised in cases of hiring and other facilities. The recent examples include the suspension and the non-payment of one month honorary salary after passing of the annual budget 2012-13 which all the officers are given except me. I have also not been given the arrears of hiring of last year,” he regretted.

He alleged that the management does not want him to publish bi-annual English literary Journal, Pakistani Literature and its publication has been deliberately stopped for the last two years. “They even went to the extent of suspending me to stop the publication of Pakistani Literature. To stop Pakistani Literature in such an illegal way is a serious crime against the country, nation and Pakistani writers and a major setback for Pakistani literature for which both the Chairman and Asim Butt, head of publication committee, are responsible and should be subjected to inquiry enquiry” maintains Khurram.

These negative-minded and linguistically prejudiced people working on key positions of Pakistani institutions have been causing serious damages to the institution and the country. If a chairman victimises a writer in his own institution, how can he claim to work for the writers of entire country, he questioned.

According to him he joined the Academy after topping the written test and interview for the post on merit. He has edited and complied over 10 to 12 books of international worth since 2006, two anthologies i.e. Contemporary American Poetry and Modern Poetry of Pakistan are result of international historic exchange between Pakistan and USA completed by him after the hard intellectual labour of solid two years.

He maintained that his performance is appreciated by intellectuals and writers despite but he has been charged by the PAL management that he ‘failed to perform his duty’. This charge is ridiculous and unreal and a figment of Chairman’s imagination as no officer of PAL has produced the books of such a quality and impact since 2006, he added.

However, the Chairman, when contacted, refused to comment on the issue saying: “Write whatever you want. The person has not been able to publish a single journal for the last three years and we have to run the Academy.”