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Police operation against IJT at Punjab University

Police operation against 'IJT hooligans' fails
Lahore, Apr 05: The police operation against a group of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists at the Punjab University's Hostel No 16 failed on Sunday due to the late arrival of the police. The IJT activists were involved in the recent violence at the university.

According to sources, PU Resident Officer (RO), Prof Shahid Gul, contacted the Muslim Town DSP at around 2:40 pm to inform him about the presence of wanted people. But the heavy police contingent reached the spot at around 4:40 pm but by that time, the Jamiat activists had managed to escape.

A senior PU official said around 150 policemen had arrived under the supervision of DSP Muhammad Naveed Irshad and SHO Shoaib Khan to carry out the operation. He said the police thoroughly searched the hostel "but it was too late".

A senior PU faculty member, asking not to be named, said it was ironic that the administration did not involve the universityís security guards, which provided an opportunity to the miscreants to escape.

Meanwhile, a PU press statement said the police officials concerned were informed about the presence of the IJT activists at Hostel No 16 around 2:45 pm while the police party, headed by DSP Muhammad Naveed Irshad and SHO Shoaib Khan, raided the hostel at around 4:30 pm.

"The wanted elements had succeeded in escaping at around 4:20 pm due to which no arrests were made," it added. The statement said the PU administration and the boarding students welcomed the operation and expressed the hope that the close liaison between the law enforcement agencies and the university authorities would continue in the future as well and the police force would not rest until the illegal occupants were flushed out of the varsity hostels.

It further said the long-awaited police action against the outside elements in the PU had not only boosted the image of the police for the faculty and students but it would also help speedy restoration of peaceful academic and research atmosphere in the university.

When contacted, RO Shahid Gul said the administration had received information that seven to nine IJT activists were present in Hostel No 16, adding that the information was passed on to the police.

DSP Muhammad Naveed Irshad said as six police reserves were involved, it took around one-and-a-half hours to get ready for the operation. "I did not have such a force at the police station and had to call the force from the police lines," he added.

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IJT involved in acts of violence: Imran
Lahore: Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaaf (PTI) Chairman Imran Khan has criticised the federal and provincial governments for failing to take action against the IJT despite proof of its involvement in acts of violence at the Punjab University. Imran was talking to reporters after visiting the residence of Prof Iftikhar Baloch, a PU teacher who was attacked by the IJT activists.

Imran said a handful of IJT activists had hijacked the entire academic institution and culprits behind the murder attempt on a teacher were still at large. He said the IJT's involvement in acts of violence had been proven in the past. Nothing was done against the IJT activists despite registration of FIR against them, he added.

Imran said the federal and provincial governments were responsible for the attack on the PU teacher. He said it was the duty of Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani and Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif to ensure security of citizens. He urged the Insaaf Students Federation (ISF) to continue playing its role in ensuring a peaceful atmosphere at the PU.

He said stern action would be sought against any IJT activist found involved in any illegal activity. He said a society that disrespected teachers never progressed.

He said the PTI would continue to register its protest as long as the government did not take any concrete steps to curb the activities of subversive elements at the PU. He urged the federal and provincial governments to take immediate measures to bring those responsible for the attack on the PU teacher to book. The news

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QAU staff slate PU students' hooliganism
Islamabad: The Academic Staff Association (ASA) of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad has taken serious note of the incident of hooliganism by Punjab University's (PU) students against the PU's Principle College of Earth and Environmental Sciences and PU's Discipline Committee Chairman Professor Dr Iftikhar Baloch.

ASA President Dr Aitzaz Ahmad and Secretary Dr Gulraiz Akhter condemned the incident in strongest possible terms. They demanded the Punjab governor and Punjab chief minister bring those responsible to justice.

The president said that if those responsible were not immediately punished, he would summon an urgent meeting of ASA' Executive Council to chalk out a strategy for the future. Daily times

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Fairness in UHS exams in doubt amid strike
Lahore: The transparency in examination system under the University of Health Sciences is being questioned ahead of various supplementary and allied health sciences exams, scheduled to start on Monday (today), as the staff deputed for conducting exams are on a strike for an indefinite period, leaving the Examination Department with little options to do the job effectively.

It has been learnt that MBBS third and final professional supplementary examinations 2009, and various annual examinations of allied health sciences of the candidates of the Institute of Public Health (IPH), Lahore, will start from Monday (today) and BSc (Hons) examinations are scheduled to start from Tuesday (tomorrow). On the other hand, the entire non-gazetted staff, particularly of Examinations Department including Conduct, Tabulations, Secrecy sections, are on strike for regularisation.

The ongoing strike of the universityís non-gazetted staff had badly affected the official work of the university. However, in order to cope with the extraordinary situation, sources said, the UHS administration had provided reinforcement to the Examinations Department by sparing staff from various departments of the university as well as students of the allied health sciences and MPhil classes for temporary support in conducting the examinations. It has also affected studies and research work of students.

The UHS move has also raised serious doubts among various stakeholders regarding the sanctity and secrecy of the examinations system in the absence of experienced staff to conduct exams in a foolproof manner. It is also learnt that the payments of internal and external examiners were also pending due to the ongoing strike of employees. Meanwhile, the non-gazetted employees of the UHS believed that university administration had been planning to run over the livelihood of nearly 180 grade 1 to 15 employees, protesting for regularisation, and their families after financially killing more than 270 employees since the establishment of the UHS in October 2002.

The UHS had issued a final notice through an advertisement in newspapers whereby it warned all non-gazetted employees to join their duties till April 3, 2010 or face termination from service. The UHS issued fresh warning letters to the employees for failing to join their duties till April 3, 2010, after having already sent their contract letters at their residential addresses.

However, the UHS employees refused to accept the renewed contract letters of the duration of five-year-and-six-months and stood firm in their demand of regularisation of all non-gazetted contract employees in compliance with the Punjab governmentís orders to regularise all the contract employees from grade 1 to 15 in all government institutions, thereby, abolishing the contract policy in the province. They claimed that the UHS administration was trying to harass them through various means as they were contacting their families to force them to join their duties by accepting fresh extensions to their contracts. "Various MNAs and MPAs have also put pressure on our parents to force us to join duties," they alleged, adding that all the employees were, however, determined to continue their protest till the fulfillment of their demand. The UHS Board of Governors is expected to take a decision to seal the fate of the employees on Monday (today) as the deadline given to employees elapsed on April 3, 2010. UHS Vice-Chancellor Prof Hussain Mubashar Malik, Controller of Examinations Dr Junaid Sarfraz and other officials, despite holding public offices, avoid to make themselves available for comments on the issues pertaining to employeesí strike and examinations and suspension of official work in the university.

However, the UHS spokesman, when contacted, said the ongoing strike of non-gazetted employees had not affected the conduct of examinations as university had conducted nine examinations during the last two weeks. He said that essential staff of examinations, including controller of examinations, four assistant controller of examinations, all female employees, were performing their duties as usual. Besides, he said, 58 out of 171 non-gazetted employees, who were earlier on strike, had joined their duties in the university.

In view of the MBBS third and final professional supplementary examinations 2009, scheduled to start on Monday, the spokesman said that the UHS Examinations Department had made all the necessary arrangements to conduct the exams smoothly, as the already-prepared question papers had been dispatched to the examinations centres all over the province. "The papers are neither postponed so far nor will they be postponed in future as well," he maintained. Meanwhile, the UHS employees continued their 24-hour hunger strike on the third consecutive day in front of the Punjab Assembly on Sunday, although they had started protest demonstration and partial hunger strike on March 29 against universityís decision not to regularise their services and closing the university gates on them. The employees spent their night in the open on Sunday after bearing the hardships of hunger and scorching sun on the third consecutive day just outside the Khadim-e-Punjab Secretariat.

The Punjab governmentís top political hierarchy seems to be testing the UHS employees nerves by giving them a cold shoulder in their struggle for regularisation. The protestors regretted that none of the Punjab governmentís representatives visited the UHS employees, protesting in a state of hunger, to convince them to call off their hunger strike with some kind of assurance regarding their demand of regularisation. Khurram Jahangir Watoo, a PPP MNA from Okara, was a lone visitor to the UHSís hunger strike camp so far, who had assured to knock all the doors, including Governor/Chancellorís and the parliament, for fulfillment of the protestorsí demand.

Unfaltering in their resolve against all odds, the UHS employees were not ready to bow and they were ready for a befitting reply to the oppressive response from the UHS administration and apathy of the provincial government. They were holding banners and placards and shouting slogans against the UHS administration. They announced to continue their strike till death for fulfillment of their demand. The news

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BNU students upset about varsity decision
Lahore: Abrupt decisions by institutions without taking all stakeholders into confidence eventually fall apart and this has exactly happened in case of the Beaconhouse National University.

The BNU administration is facing massive protests by students against its Board of Governor's 'unilateral' decision of combining the School of Liberal Arts (SLA) and the School of Social Sciences (SSS) under one dean.

The SLA students did not accept the merger and protested on varsity campus as well as outside, saying the decision is neither wise nor feasible. The students also displayed posters and placards demanding that they wanted their SLA intact as they felt "they were in safe hands".

There are also reports that the BNU administration has removed SLA dean Naveed Shahzad -- something the varsity administration denies by saying she will continue to head the SLA under a dean looking after both SLA and SSS after their merger.

The protesters, however, suggested that if the BoG wanted to merge the two schools, it should have merged SLA with the School of Media and Communication which was offering courses more relevant to their programme.

They claim that the SSS faculty members are not competent enough to teach the SLA syllabi. The protesters also said the varsity administration should not have taken such a hasty decision affecting three batches currently enrolled.

Respecting the contract between the students and the university, they said, the BNU administration should have taken the decision and advertised it in its prospectus for the new students.

Some varsity teachers have also endorsed the stance of the students. A delegation of students has also submitted a charter of demands to the administration and announced their commitment to oppose the merger.

Now, the students say, they are awaiting the administration's response to their demands.

BNU Vice-Chancellor Sartaj Aziz said he had held a meeting with the faculty of SLA and informed them that the merger proposal was still under consideration and a final decision would be taken in the next few days after a meeting of the BoG.

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IUB students continue protest
Bahawalpur: Students of the Islamia University engineering college continued their protest for the second day on Saturday against the varsity administration for taking action against students and the former principal.

They alleged that students of other departments were involved in the Feb 19 violence, but the action was taken against engineering class students. They threatened to boycott the examination commencing from April 5 if their penalized students were not restored and allowed to appear in the examination.

The IUB public relations office said former engineering college principal Jan Keerio was creating a law and order situation by instigating a group of 33 students.

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UVAS Spring Festival 2010
The University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences' Student Services Council last week organised a weeklong "Spring Festival 2010" allowing students to showcase their innovative skills and capabilities in various events.

The students enthusiastically participated in the English and Urdu declamation contests. The winners were: Jawad Raza (Urdu humorous), Ikram Ahmad (Urdu serious), Iqbal Ahmad (English humorous) and Hafsa Sarwar (English serious). The UVAS Literary Society organised a 'mehfil-i-mushaira' and 'bait bazi' contest, where the United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Animal Sciences Director Dr Muqarrab Ali also recited his own poetry.

Amir Saeed got first position in poetry recital, Rana Adnan second and Hafiz Muhammad Rizwan bagged third position. In 'bait bazi' contest, Muhammad Waseem clinched first position and Ammara secured second position.

The university students in collaboration with the Punjab Lok Rahs staged a Punjabi play titled wartiwapri (self-confidence).

The play depicted the repressive picture of social evils being rooted in society causing further multiple glitches in the system of different public service organisations and departments.

It was staged twice in a single day. The performers were: Zawad Raza, Shaffi Hussain, Mudassir, Faiz, Iqbal, Rashid, Ayyub, Zohaib, Salman Taseer, Zeeshan,Waqar, Sidra, Farzana, Maryam, Faisal, Salman, Abdullah, Inamul Haq and Rameezur Rehman.

On the concluding day of the festival, the UVAS students celebrated their firstever Fun Fair Day.

Chief Minister's Task Force on Administrative and Finance Efficiency chairman Syed Farogh Naweed inaugurated the fun fair with Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz. An overwhelming number of students and teachers participated in the fun fair.

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GCU Art Festival
At the All-Pakistan Performing Art Festival organised by the Government College University's psychology department, students staged plays, mimes and skits to highlight the scourge of terror that has struck the heart of the Pakistani society due to suicide bombings and increasing rate of crime.

Students from eight educational institutions took part in the festival organised as a part of four-day activities in connection with the Mental Health Week. The play titled 'Cry of a Child' by the students of the Centre for Social and Culture Studies, Punjab University, won applause.

The play highlighted the effects of terrorism on the lives and behaviour of children. The play "Teen Murday, Teen Kahanian" was also liked by the audience.

It showed that how innocent people are trapped and made terrorists through religious, social and financial blackmailing. A team from the Quaid-i-Azam University, Islamabad presented a skit highlighting the irresponsible attitude of the youth towards their life.

The Fatima Jinnah Women University, Rawalpindi presented a mime to show the sufferings and situations that drive people to become what they did not want to be.

The GCU students also presented a mime on the theme of fall out of terrorism. It depicted depression and anxiety among the survivors of terror attacks.

They also staged a play 'Crime and Punishment'.The students of the Centre for Clinical Psychology, Punjab University, also underlined the psychological and social effects of terrorism through a mime. Dawn

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