Why Karachi University is hiring private security?

The university has one guard per four departments
May 13, 2022

The University of Karachi administration has decided to hire the services of a private security firm to beef up security inside the campus in the wake of a suicide bombing last month.

The private security firm would supplement security offered by Rangers deployed permanently at the campus and the KU's own guards.

Hiring the services of a private security company is not a new idea. The plans surfaced every time an untoward incident took place inside the campus. This time, however, the university management has decided to go ahead with the plan. 

“University management has decided to hire services of a private security company,” Advisor to Vice-Chancellor on Security Affairs Dr Muhammad Zubair told SAMAA Digital.

Dr Zubair said that the decision to hire services of a private security company had been taken six months ago and the university management had issued a tender in this regard.

“Six security firms have shown their interest and applied to win the contract and the varsity has shortlisted two of them,” the security advisor added.

Dr Zubair maintained that the process had been completed before his appointment as the security advisor and now the university was only making a final decision of choosing between either of the two firms.

The security advisor will ask the management of the two security companies to submit their plans for improving security inside the campus.

According to him, the varsity will hire 30 security personnel from a security company.

Why a private security firm?

Dr Zubair said that he has identified 120 points where security officers should be stationed round the clock. “For instance, a security guard should be deployed all the time outside administration black, examination and semester cells, and at the girls and boys' hostels,” he added.

“Currently one guard has the responsibility to provide security to four or five departments --- something that is practically not possible,” he said.

The varsity has 146 security guards and they are deployed in three shifts. Almost 40 security guards perform duties in one shift.

The security advisor expressed hope that the addition of private security personnel will help in improving security at the university.

However, Karachi university has a permanent deployment of Rangers, who live on campus round-the-clock with the Wing Commander having been allotted an 'A' type bungalow inside the university.

The Rangers were first deployed at the university in 1989 after deadly student clashes.

When asked about the need of hiring a private firm despite the presence of the Pakistan Rangers, Dr Zubair said that the paramilitary force is performing assigned duty accordingly. “A few years ago, you may have seen permanent pickets of the Rangers in parts of the city, but now the number of pickets has been reduced since normalcy returned to the city,” the security advisor explained.

“It is not good when a student enters the university, he or she finds a uniformed person holding a machine gun in hand,” he said.

According to Dr Zubair, the Pakistan Rangers patrolled inside the varsity three times a day, and whenever they are called for security, they respond promptly.

The security advisor said that the border security force is performing its assigned duties all the time behind the scene.

Karachi University

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