PESHAWAR -Twenty-four foreign qualified PhD scholars of the University of Malakand took out a rally on Tuesday against Vice Chancellor of the university Prof Dr Johar Ali for depriving them of their salaries and seniority. They demanded the governor, chief minister and other government officials to take note of the injustices being committed with them.

The protesting scholars have been on strike and boycotted classes for the past three weeks after the university administration refused to accept their demands.

After a protest demonstration in Mingora, the Ph.D doctors held a press conference and raise their woes.

The protesters, including Dr Murad Ali, Dr Suhail Abbas and Dr Samiur Rahman and others, complained they had been deprived of their monthly salaries while they were studying in foreign universities in various countries on the Higher Education Commission (HEC) scholarships upon their return to the Malakand University.

They said that the university officials were saying that they were not entitled to the salaries as they had taken their families along with them while staying abroad for studies.

The faculty members argued the university administration had been using delaying tactics and were holding back their salaries on different pretexts.

They said the university had received funds for their salaries but the university administration refused to pay them.

The protesting teachers pointed out that the 24 foreign-qualified doctors had been protesting for the last three weeks yet neither the vice-chancellor nor the chancellor, who is Khyber Pakhtunkhwa governor, bothered to take note of their concerns.

Expressing their regret, they said no other university in the country had meted out such treatment to its staff completing Ph.Ds from world's famous universities.

They slammed the vice chancellor for his funny argument, saying that the teachers besides pursuing their Ph.D studies had taken their families along with and worked.

According to them, the University of Malakand (UOM) and Kohat University of Science and Technology (KUST) have same statutes and KUST has already approved study leave with pay for their Ph.D faculty members and recently University of Hazara followed the same precedent.

"One has to laugh at the funny and poor argument of the administration, saying that the teachers were working there besides pursuing their Ph.D studies and also called their families. The teachers had to work as the fund sent to them by the university was insufficient to meet their requirements," they said.

They said not a single teacher of the university had spent extra time and they all returned with their Ph.D degrees from top universities of UK, France, Germany, Austria, Sweden, and New Zealand.

They alleged that Present Vice Chancellor Dr Jihar Ali, who is junior to many and is nominee of the ANP, has been forcing qualified teachers to leave the university by refusing to give them their due rights.