UET Mardan Exams Controller Suspended After Being Arrested For May 9 Mayhem

UET Mardan Exams Controller Suspended After Being Arrested For May 9 Mayhem
The administration of the University of Engineering and Technology (UET) Mardan has suspended the services of assistant controller of examinations Muhammad Ismail as he was nominated in the police complaint or first information report (FIR) registered against PTI workers for attacking military sites as well as public and private property on May 9, 2023.

This is the first reported instance of a public servant or government official being suspended from duty in connection with the May 9 riots initiated by angry PTI supporters after the unceremonious 'arrest' of former prime minister Imran Khan from the premises of the Islamabad high court.

The university management had issued notification no. 10773-783/13 dated May 29 suspending Muhammad Ismail from service. It may be noted that Ismail has already been arrested by local police, and is reported to be in the Mardan jail.

It was stated in the UET Mardan notification that the Superintendent of Police (Investigation) Mardan wrote letter no. 1473/GB/Inv dated May 26, 2023 to the university. The missive from the police officer referred to FIR no. 833 dated May 9, 2023, which has been registered under various sections of the Pakistan Penal Code, the Anti Terrorism Act 1997, and the Maintenance of Public Order Ordinance 1960, at the City District police station in Mardan.

In light of the information received from the police, the notification read that the Vice Chancellor of UET Mardan, was "pleased" to suspend the services of Muhammad Ismail, Assistant Controller of Examinations at UET Mardan, "in anticipation of the approval of the Syndicate under the rules in vogue". But Ismail's suspension nevertheless commenced "with immediate effect and until further orders" would be issued to Ismail from the competent authorities.

Sources assert that Muhammad Ismail was an active worker of PTI, and is also private secretary and close confidante of former provincial minister Muhammad Atif Khan, who also served as PTI president of Peshawar region. Atif Khan reportedly appointed Ismail in UET as private secretary to the university cice-chancellor. Later, Mohammad Ismail was promoted to the rank of assistant controller of examinations.

It has been alleged that Muhammad Ismail led a protest rally and blocked the main road in Mardan and chanted slogans against Pakistan Army on May 9, 2023.

According to the FIR registered at the Mardan City District police station, Ismail is also accused of uploading a video of hateful speeches made at the protest on social media.

Sources added that Mohammad Atif Khan had also been charged in the FIR. Mohammad Atif went underground to evade arrest, and this has prompted PTI workers to lambast Atif Khan for abandoning them at this critical situation.