The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan has taken serious notice of rising allegations of sexual harassment, violation of privacy and intolerance, and lack of amenities in universities across the country.

The notice has come after protests flared in University of Balochistan earlier this week over alleged sexual harassment on part of some faculty members. HEC has placed these issues on the agenda of the upcoming Vice Chancellor’s meeting that is to be held on October 21. The meeting will discuss existing regulations that address such acts, as well as additional measures that might be needed to make university campuses safe and secure places. The university heads will also discuss the funding issues of the higher learning institutions.

Earlier, taking notice of harassment allegations at University of Balochistan, the chairman and executive director of HEC spoke to the university vice chancellor and urged him to ensure swift action against those found guilty of harassing students.

The Scandal

The news of harassment at Balochistan’s biggest university broke about a month ago when Balochistan High Court (BHC) directed Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) to investigate allegations of sexual harassment of students on campus. Investigations later revealed that both male and female students were being blackmailed by through CCTV video recordings obtained through monitoring cameras placed at inappropriate places, even washrooms.

Students at the varsity have been protesting for days, demanding the administration and authorities bring the culprits to justice and make the university campus a secure place for students.

Balochistan Governor Amanullah Khan Yasinzai, the chancellor of the university, has called for calm, as he vowed to take strict action against anyone involved in the harassing students. “Whosoever is found involved in demoralizing educational structure in Balochistan will be brought to justice,” the governor said.

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