While talking to the students and scholars of the University of Okara, the Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Zakria Zakar said that universities are part of the larger institutional system of society and they must work to promote in their system the values like respect for rule of law, social justice, meritocracy and nondiscrimination.
He argued that a university is not an ordinary institution to produce routine goods and services. By definition, university must assume a leadership role and act as producers of new knowledge and new ways of thinking and doing in a bid to provide the out of the box solutions to social problems.
“If one looks at the most prestigious universities of the world, one may note certain necessary ingredients such as meritocracy, rule of law, rule of reason and nondiscrimination, respect for human rights and human ideas. In essence, Tolerance, pluralism and respect for other cultures and others’ ideas are the corner stone of progressive and scientifically productive university”, added the VC.
Dr Zakar further told that both academia and civil society must work to provide and protect an environment which provides a bedrock whereupon academic freedom of scientists and scholars are promoted and protected.
“If the forces of darkness powered by autocratic elites can trample the merit and rule of law at the Campus, such universities cannot produce new knowledge or revolutionary scientific thinking”, viewed the veteran professor.