The sordid saga

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22

Aitchison College, a renowned educational institution in Lahore, witnessed a fresh wave of controversy as its principal tendered a very public resignation, citing unwarranted interference by the Punjab Governor. If the media reports are indeed true, then we cannot afford to ignore how his move was prompted by Punjab Governor Balighur Rehman’s surprising decision to waive the tuition fees for Minister for Economic Affairs and Est­ablishment Ahad Cheema’s two sons in stark contrast with the institution’s policy. The situation further escalated with Mr Cheema, the central character in the sordid saga, urging the Governor to continue Aitchison’s fee policy, albeit withdrawing from availing the facility himself.
The public outrage was palpable on social media platforms, with netizens expressing their discontent over the situation. Disgruntled parents even took the protest to the streets; criticising the government for politicising the affairs of an educational institute. While the continued attention being given to an intensified scrutiny of both Cheema and the Governor’s actions, made all the more disturbing in the wake of half-baked explanations by the government, speaks volumes about how skewed our priorities have become. The time and space being allocated to a minuscually small issue could have been better spent if anchors talked about the challenges braved by an average Pakistani. However, an in-depth analysis of the controversy can also be treated as a thumbnail sketch of all that’s gone wrong with Pakistanis society. The need for transparency and accountability in governance and educational leadership cannot be stressed enough, which could easily be built upon to make a case for holding the feet of the state’s leadership to fire. Similarly, it is extremely important to scrutinize any policy decision that seems to offer preferential treatment. For instance, take the case of Mr Cheema, who received special treatment from Punjab’s governor and the school’s administration due to his close ties with the current government. Such acts should raise questions about the rationale behind them, as it’s crucial to ensure fairness and impartiality in policymaking.
Moving forward, it is essential to draw lessons from this episode and emphasize the importance of upholding the principles of integrity and ethical conduct. Stakeholders must work towards fostering an environment of trust and collaboration, free from undue political influences.