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Taliban’s pick for Kabul University chancellor had called for killing ‘spy journalists’

Appointment of Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat as Kabul University chancellor sparks furore on social media, with questions being raised about his qualifications.

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New Delhi: The appointment of Mohammad Ashraf Ghairat as the new chancellor of Kabul University by the Taliban Monday has sparked furore on social media after some of his old tweets re-surfaced.

In one such tweet, posted in June last year, Ghairat had called for the killing of journalists.

“A spy journalist is more dangerous than a hundred Arbaki (Local Police/Paramilitary). I doubt the faith of those who restrain from killing journalists. Kill Spy Journalists. Contain Media,” he had said in the since deleted tweet.

Another Twitter user, Nilofer Shah, shared a screenshot of a Facebook post written by Arif Bahrami, who claims to be a college classmate of Ghairat.

According to Bahrami, Ghairat was disrespectful towards his female classmates and professors while pursuing a degree from the journalism department of Kabul University.

He further noted that the newly-appointed chancellor “barely secured passing marks” in “very easy subjects”.

Following his appointment, Ghairat also tweeted that he would “cleanse Kabul University of Western and infidel thoughts, vulgarity and moral corruption”. The tweet was later deleted.


Also read: Support for Taliban in Pakistan goes beyond military and maulvis now


‘Underqualified for post’

Ghairat replaced Dr Osman Babory, who was appointed as chancellor in May 2020 and taught pharmacognosy (study of medicines produced from natural sources) and phytotherapy (study of the use of extracts of natural origin as medicines).

According to the Kabul University website, Babory completed his B.Sc. in Pharmacy and M.Sc. in Pharmaceutical Science from Pyatigorsk Pharmaceutical Institute in Russia in 1985. He pursued his Ph.D. in Pharmacognosy at Philipps-University Marburg in Germany in 2019

Ghairat’s educational qualifications, meanwhile, are yet to be disclosed.

Several social media users claimed Ghairat has only completed a Bachelor’s degree and is underqualified for the post of university chancellor.

Responding to critics, Ghairat said he was fully qualified to hold the post.

“For all those who criticize my appointment as the chancellor of Kabul University, I request you to calm down and inquire about me and my academic background,” he tweeted Tuesday.

He also said that he had been a “researcher and knowledge seeker” for all his life.

 


Also read: Who are Pashtuns? Afghan majority with countless tribes that Imran Khan got wrong


 

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