Controversy sparked after news regarding popular Pashto singer Gul Panra recording Pakistan Super League (PSL) final song at the University of Peshawar made rounds on social media.
The University of Peshawar was closed on Valentine’s Day on a strange pretext, but the actual matter turned out to be facilitating popular singer Gul Panra to record songs at the main academic blocks of the institution.
An academician told the publication that if the university had been open, she wouldn’t have been able to do the recordings.
Numan Khan, the institution’s spokesperson, rejected the rumours that the university had been closed for the recording of the song.
He stated that after receiving notification of the university’s closure the day before, the PSL organisers approached them about recording a song for the final match. The team was allowed to record after receiving permission from the deputy commissioner’s office.
As per the details, the letter issued by the DC office states: “Shamsher Ali Khan, SK films, Lahore is allowed to hold the event — recording of video shoot regarding the PSL final match from February 13 to 18 — at Islamia College, the University of Peshawar, cafes of Peshawar and the walled city.”
The recordings took place on Sunday and Monday, according to Numan, and had nothing to do with the holiday. The break was intended to provide a long weekend to university employees who had been busy planning events for Kashmir Day.
In an official statement issued a few days ago, the university administration announced that the campus would remain closed in lieu of February 5 — Kashmir Day — on which seminars and other events had been arranged in the university.
The pretext sounded strange because an institution has never been closed due to a public holiday that occurred nearly two weeks ago. Also, the university was officially closed on February 5.
Although the university had requested that teachers and staff hold activities to show solidarity with the people of Kashmir, the gatherings were entirely voluntary.
Across the country, similar gatherings were held in practically all public and private organisations. However, none of them has declared a “closed holiday”in lieu of a day that has already been observed as a holiday.
“Some people were exploiting the event for their vested interest,” the spokesperson claimed.
Numan further revealed that only the song was not recorded. A short film about the university’s role had also been recorded wherein a classroom environment was created. All this had been done for the “projection of the university.”
Earlier, when the notification regarding the closure of the university was issued it was taken positively and it was believed that the university administration wanted to avert any untoward happening on Valentine Day, which is also marked as Haya Day (modesty day) and a circle of students.
Also, in the past clashes were reported between those who observe the day as Valentine’s Day and those who mark it as Haya Day. Therefore, it was generally believed that the university administration was trying to play a clever game by keeping the university closed on the day so that no one would be able to celebrate Valentine or observe Haya Day.
‘Neither the bamboo will be there, nor the flute can be played upon’ was believed to be the goal of the university administration. But the actual matter turned out to be completely different. Nobody other than a few in the top management of the university knew that the institution had been closed to facilitate the Pashto singer to have her songs recorded for the cricket tournament in different parts of the university on the day.
Some faculty members and students told this reporter that the artist and other members of the crew remained busy with the recordings. “Dances and loud music kept the university alive all day,” a university teacher said.
President Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) Dr Jamil Ahmad Chitrali through a presser condemned the closure of the university and demanded the Chancellor and Governor Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Shah Farman to conduct an impartial inquiry into the matter and suspend the VC.
Chitrali later uploaded a video message on social media late Monday evening and stated that the recording had continued since morning till his message and for this purpose, the entire university remained closed.
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