At first, it appeared to be a one-sided battle when an associate professor at LUMS spoke up against LGBTQ and Period Blood Art events being held on campus in an email to the VC, stating that such events project a ‘brothel-like environment’ at LUMS.
According to well-placed sources, the email written by associate professor Dr. Muhammad Tariq was not received well by the university management, triggering a power struggle within the university faculty, while the LUMS student body has joined the debate.
It is widely rumored that an inquiry had been initiated against associate professor Dr. Muhammad Tariq for his email to the VC, but this could not be confirmed.
Othernews.pk has learned that while the LUMS student body has supported Dr. Muhammad Tariq and expressed concern over ‘seminar after seminar encouraging LGBTQ agenda,’ there are also reports that students have emailed the VC against Dr. Muhammad Tariq for using harsh language and depicting LUMS environment as a ‘brothel.’
Sources familiar with the matter have revealed that the VC seems to be caught in between two heavyweight lobbies at LUMS. One side supports associate professor Dr. Muhammad Tariq, who is a PhD in Molecular Cell Biology from the Friedrich Miescher Institute for Biomedical Research in Switzerland and has been working at the Syed Babar Ali School of Science and Engineering, while the other side is the Saida Waheed Gender Initiative team headed by Dr. Hadia, which is supported by the Ferozsons Trust.
Sources in the admin say that LUMS has always walked into controversies after such events and that no one would really own them.
Othernews.pk contacted the VC office, but the query was referred to Ayesha Fatima at the Advancement Department at LUMS. When asked if any inquiry had been initiated against Dr. Tariq, she replied that LUMS is not a public university, so why would the media want to know. She then said that she could not say anything in this regard until the inquiry findings are released. Later, she retracted her statement, saying that she was not aware of any inquiry against the associate professor.
Following this, othernews.pk received a call from a PR agency hired by LUMS called Asiatic PR, which attempted to defuse the story. The representative of Asiatic PR stated that it was a good thing that LUMS did not ask to take down the story and suggested downplaying it. They also suggested that any information about LUMS should be asked from Asiatic PR.
It is important to mention here that othernews.pk has no financial or beneficial relationship with any PR agency in Pakistan, making it a tough resistance when it comes to commercial censorship. Othernews.pk is run by qualified media professionals, not business developers, and is very careful in declaring PR. The reviews are honest and not motivated by anything. We take pride in what we do.
Later, othernews.pk sent 16 questions to Ayesha Fatima and the PA to the VC.
No response was given from the VC office and it is still not clear if the remaining events would go on or be cancelled.
Closely placed sources say that LUMS VC Dr. Arshad Ahmad would try his level best to avoid any confrontation at this moment in time because of the weight of both lobbies in the university and also because he is expected to retire soon. And opening up this Pandora’s box would leave a bad taste in the mouth.
Meanwhile, Ayesha Fatima from the Advancement Department at LUMS also refrained from answering the questionnaire sent by othernews.pk, saying that the Asiatic PR agency would contact othernews.pk.