Tuesday, April 27, 2010

University professor killed in Quetta

It saddens me to report another incidence of violence against a university professor in Pakistan. Just last week I had posted about the brutal beating of an environmental science professor at Punjab University by members of Jamiat (the student wing of Jamat-e-Islami). Now we have an instance of targeted killing of a communications professor, Nazima Talib, at the gate of University of Baluchistan in Quetta. It seems that she was targeted because of her ethnicity.

I know that there are also many fantastic things taking place at educational institutes in Pakistan. But it is hard to notice them when even the lives of faculty members are not safe. Universities are supposed to provide safe space for free inquiry and are meant to be sites for the development of intellectual ideas. What can we expect when professors are being beaten or killed. Here is the report from today's Dawn:

QUETTA: Gunmen on Tuesday shot dead a woman university professor in southwest Pakistan, where targeted killings blamed on tribal insurgents, sectarian groups and militants are increasing, police said.

Nazima Talib, 48, had just stepped into a rickshaw at the gate of Balochistan University in Quetta city when gunmen riding a motorbike sprayed her with bullets, senior police officer Tariq Manzoor said.

“She received multiple bullet wounds and died before she could be taken to hospital,” Manzoor told AFP.

“It was a targeted killing,” he said. Talib came from Pakistan's central province of Punjab that regional insurgents in Balochistan accuse of siphoning off their resources and denying them independence, police said.

She was a senior teacher in the mass communications department.


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