Chitral deserves a University
It is a measure of leadership failure in Chitral that it is without a university of its own. Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University (SBBU) Dir which has been given jurisdiction over Chitral, is located in a far flung narrow valley of Sheringal. Mercifully a sub campus of the University has been established in a rented building in Chitral town, which saved Chitralis from negotiating the tortuous road to Shringal for routine business.
This University should have been located in Chitral but due to poor quality of leadership in Chitral, Najmuddin Khan succeeded to take it away to Sheringal and Chitralis were given the lolly pop of a sub campus. Even in that sub Campus majority of the staff and faculty is from the down districts. It may be noted that 75% student strength of the university comes from Chitral. Dir has only three colleges affiliated with the University, while Chitral has 24 plus colleges affiliated with the University. The number of registered students with the university from Chitral is 7500 while from Dir the number is 2500. The main campus has about 200 students as against 700 students in Chitral sub Campus.
The most unfortunate aspect is that only three Chitralis are permanently employed in the University. All the faculty in Chitral is working on contract drawing fixed salary and the share of Chitral sub Campus in salary component is not more than Rs.5 million as against Rs. 190 million of the main campus. More than 50% employees at the Chitral sub campus hail from down districts. This injustice needs to be rectified. With PTI in power, Chitralis hope that justice will be done and Chitral will get its own University. PTI chief, Imran Khan is committed to establish more Universities in Pakistan and Chitralis expect policy paradigm whereby every district will get a public sector University and private sector will be encouraged to follow suit to create a competitive environment to promote quality education. Until that is done discriminatory policy in staff recruitment may be reversed and Chitralis given their genuine share on University positions commensurate to its literacy rate and stake in the University by virtue of student strength/income that it generates for the University and those on contract may be regularized in the same way that has been done with regard to others in similar situations.