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Armed robbers in Sindh University

Armed robbers roaming freely in Sindh University, says Prof Mallah
Karachi, July 13: How bad the situation in Sindh University is could be gauged from the fact that robbers armed with deadly weapons such as Kalashnikovs are roaming freely on its campus.

The startling disclosure was made by Arfana Mallah, professor of chemistry at Sindh University, Jamshoro, at a news conference at Karachi Press Club on Thursday.

The news conference was held by a Joint Action Committee, a coalition of the Aurat Foundation, Women's Action Forum and several other organizations, to condemn the attack on Prof Amar Sindhu and Prof Arfana Malah on July 9. Their car was fired at just past the Northern Bypass as they were driving home to Hyderabad from Karachi.

"As many as 40 dacoits armed with Kalashnikovs accompanied the current vice chancellor when he entered Sindh University after reappointment," Arfana said.

"Teachers became scared and nearly half of them have sent their families to their homes in their villages," Mallah said.

"I have written a letter to the governor of Sindh, asking as to why dacoits are roaming in Sindh University."

"We have had meetings with sane voices in the Pakistan People's Party such as Taj Haider, leaders in the opposition party Pakistan Muslim League-N since we can't afford the closure of the campus for two months," Mallah said.

She recounted that three people attacked their car and had Sindhu not fallen on the seat after gunshots were fired at her abdomen and waist she would have been killed. Sindhu was sitting on the front seat, she said.

Prof Sindhu said police saw she was bleeding profusely but refused to register a first information report (FIR).

"We asked the police officer concerned to write a letter to the MLO at Baqai Hospital but he kept us waiting for about one hour.

"I talked to PPP leader Taj Haider who said he would talk to the home secretary but could not pressurise the relevant police officer to register an FIR," Sindhu said.

Dr Mutahir Ahmed, professor of International Relations at the University of Karachi and president of the Karachi University Teachers Society (KUTS), extended full support to the teachers of Sindh University, which has about 25,000 students, and said his organisation called an emergency meeting to show solidarity with the Prof Sindhu and Prof Mallah.

"The ugly incident is not confined to Sindh University; its reflection can be seen on all our campuses and in Pakistani society," he said.

Speaking on behalf of the Joint Action Committee, women rights activist Anis Haroon said Prof Sindhu and Prof Mallah had been getting threats since the vice chancellor of the Sindh University was reappointed.

"I salute Amar Sindhu. It was sort of a warning. Had the culprits wanted to kill them they would have killed them," Haroon said.

"The JAC has sent a letter to the governor of Sindh for an appointment and KUTS leaders will also join us when we get the appointment," she said.

Responding to a question if the situation was similar to that of 1971 when people from the intelligentsia in the former East Pakistan (Bangladesh) were massacred, Haroon said people who had vision

could foresee developments and not only teachers but doctors, journalists, lawyers and activists of non-governmental organisations were being killed.

A press release issued by the Women's Action Forum (WAF) said Prof Sindhu ducked after she saw three men with faces covered and with guns ready to shoot in their hands.

She was injured by a bullet that entered from the backdoor grazing her back. The men fired several rounds continuously at the car. She was given treatment at the Baqai Hospital. Arfana and other members of the team in the car were safe.

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Sufi conference ends at Fuuast
Karachi: A two-day literary conference titled "the importance of Sufi literature in present day" ended at the Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (Fuuast) on Thursday.

The conference was presided by Registrar Prof Dr Qamar-ul-Haq. Dr Nawaz Ali Shauq, Dr Abdur Razzaq Sabir, Dr Seemi Nagmana, Dr Suleman D Muhammad, Dr Ali Akbar Sayyal, Dr Inayat Hussain Leghari and Prof Dr Syed Jamal Haider presented abstracts. The abstracts are available in a printed book form at the Fuuast library and department of Sindhi. The news

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Modern lab to be inaugurated at FUUAST tomorrow
Karachi: Federal Urdu University of Arts, Science and Technology (FUUAST) has set up a 'cardiovascular pharmacology and toxicology' laboratory at is Gulshan-e-Iqbal campus. Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser would formally inaugurate the new lab on Saturday. ppi

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Fellow of Air War College certificates awarded to graduates
Karachi: A ceremony to award Fellow of Air War College (FAWC) certificates was held at Air War College, PAF Base Faisal, on Wednesday.

Dr Javaid R Laghari, chairman of the Higher Education Commission, was the chief guest on the occasion.

Laghari distributed certificates among the graduating officers of 25 Air War Course, comprising officers from the Pakistan Army, Navy and Air Force, and from friendly countries, including Bangladesh, Sri Lanka, China, Jordan, Malaysia, Nigeria, Turkey and Saudi Arabia.

Group Captain Imran Majid Ali earned the distinction of presenting best thesis of the course.

Dr Laghari congratulated the graduating officers.

He also commended the faculty of the Air War College on their consistent hard work and commitment to excellence.

He advised the graduates to gainfully apply the

knowledge they had acquired there, remain prepared to meet the challenges of time and make their alma mater as well as their respective service proud of their accomplishments.

He further stressed a continued review of the dynamic nature of security environment to stay on the leading edge of the change.

Earlier, Air Vice Marshal Azher Hasan, Air Officer Commanding, Air War College, highlighted different study phases conducted, which were customised to meet the requirements of modern warfare. The news

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70,000 uneducated ICT kids to benefit from new education bill

Islamabad: After strenuous efforts of last two years, the Senate has finally passed a bill to legally recognise the provision of free and compulsory education to more than 70,000 Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) out-of-school children of age five to 16. The move has also set precedence for the education departments of all the provinces to follow the suit and initiate similar legislations in their assemblies.

Following the passage of the 'Right to Free Education Bill', the United Nations Scientific, Educational, Culture, and Communication Organisation (UNESCO) on Thursday arranged a seminar, titled 'Enforcement of

Right to Education: Moving Beyond Islamabad' at local hotel.

As per recent 18th Amendment and insertion of Article 25-A in the constitution, it is now a state responsibility to ensure all boys and girls, up to age 16, including refugees and migrant children, attend school. Article 25-A was made part of the constitution in April 2010, but legislation to enact this right was pending since then.

Senators Dr Saeeda Iqbal of PPP, Chaudhry Shujaat Hussain of PML-Q, Najma Hameed of PML-N and Farah Aqil of ANP moved this multi-party bill in the Upper House, where it was passed unopposed. Educationist and senator of Pakistan People's Party (PPP), Dr Saeeda Iqbal, thanked all the other political parties for their prompt unanimous support to get this bill passed. The draft bill was reviewed and improved by Senator SM Zafar and his fellow senators and submitted to the Senate last year.

UNESCO representative Dr Kozue Kay Nagata congratulated all the senators, saying "The passing of the bill itself is a historic milestone towards education for all in Pakistan, and the outcome is great! And the whole process has set an example that how democratic society reflects voices of the people through their elected representatives."

Under the bill, newly formed Ministry of Capital Administration and Development (CAD) will be responsible for implementing it to provide free, compulsory and quality education to all children in ICT. This means that up to age 16, the education of all boys and girls will be free with all facilities ensuring safety of the students, giving special attention to the disadvantaged children without any discrimination. The bill also calls upon private schools to admit 10 percent of underprivileged students belonging to the neighbourhood in each class.

"The Senate has taken a lead to pas this bill - the quickest in the country's history. I have seen these policy-level bills taking ages in the National Assembly, but due to the great cause and unity of the senators from various political parties, it took them just a few hours to pass the bill," said CAD Joint Secretary Prof Rafiq Tahir.

As next step, for the implementation of the bill, the CAD and Federal Directorate of Education will now initiate the process by framing and notifying the rules under this bill, preparing an action plan for rolling out and expanding access and ensuring enrolment of each child living in Islamabad Capital Territory. This will also require allocation of additional resources to implement this constitutional obligation. Daily times

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H-9 College students to lose their hostel
Islamabad: Federal Directorate of Education (FDE) has in principal decided to hand over the hostel of H-9 College to Pakistan Baitul Mal (PBM).

Memorandum of understanding has been finalised and handing over of hostel will be done before the end of summer vacations.

It is feared that the students who have been protesting against the occupation of the building by the management of Comsats since February 2001 may become hurdle in smooth handing over.

A professor of the college requesting anonymity said that students belonging to Fata/Fana, Kashmir, Balochistan and far flung areas had gone to their hometown on vacations.

He said they were excited that after the vacations they would get boarding facility at the hostel but the FDE move to give the building to the PBM would certainly disappoint them and their reaction would be severe.

"The hostel at H-9 College is the biggest of the hostels as compared to other colleges of Federal capital. With 70 rooms and having the capacity to accommodate more than 200 students, one big dining hall and kitchen, a spacious common room and the warden office the hostel would have offered excellent lodging facilities," he said.

"In private hostels, the young students have to live with people from different backgrounds and age groups which affects their studies and does not provide them healthy living," he said.

Spokesman of Federal Government College Teachers Association, Professor Tahir Mehmood also condemned the move to hand over the building to the PBM.

"In 2001, on the instructions of the then education minister Zubaida Jalal, about 100 Balochistan students of Comsats Institute of Information Technology were given accommodation in the hostel and since then the H-9 College students have been struggling to get the hostel back," he said.

Zahoor Khan, a student of the college, said that accommodation facility was the right of the students but now management was handing over the hostel to some other department which was quite frustrating.

Admin officer of the college, Rana Shakeel said that he had been informed by the staff that on Wednesday evening a team of PBM headed by Zamarud Khan visited the hostel.

"So far we are not informed in writing that hostel is being given to PBM. We have a small building with one dozen rooms for staff but we are using it as students' hostel," he said.

Director Federal Government Colleges, Mehmood Akhtar Malik said that he had also heard about it and added that he had taken up the issue with the Joint Secretary Capital Administration and Development Rafique Tahir who said that it might be the job of management wing.

Former DG FDE Atif Kiyani said that he knew that an MoU had been prepared but did not have any further information.

"According to the MoU, PBM will pay the utility bills and orphans will live in the building so we should take it positively," he said.

Joint Secretary Ministry of Capital Administration and Development, Rafique Tahir said that he had not moved any summery for the handing over of the hostel to PBM.

"I also asked former secretary Imtiaz Inayat Elahi about it but he said that I should check it from administrative wing but joint secretary admin Noor Zaman is on leave," he said.

The PBM chairman, Zamarud Khan, has confirmed that PBM has been trying to get the possession of hostel for the orphan children. He said that he had also demanded building from provincial governments because he had almost 80,000 children all over the country and they should be accommodated in the buildings, he added. Dawn

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AIOU prepares video packages on water conservation, sanitary
Islamabad: The Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) has prepared two different video packages to promote awareness about water safety/conservation and sanitation through primary- and secondary-level educational network throughout the country. The videos were formally handed over to Pakistan Institute for Environment-Development Action Research (PIEDAR) at a ceremony held on Thursday. The videos have been prepared under an MoU signed between the AIOU and PIEDAR last year.

AIOU Vice Chancellor Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi assured that the AIOU would try its best to promote human values-based water, sanitation and hygiene education through the curriculum to address the critical gaps in the provision of water and sanitation services. He said the university would be prepared to undertake joint efforts to educate the people for better utilisation of water resources.

The AIOU, he added, has launched a countrywide campaign to promote knowledge, skill and behaviour through its various academic programmes and non-credit courses. It has planned to start open-schooling system by the end of this year that will be major breakthrough in improving literacy rate in the country through distance-learning system.

Dr Sangi said the AIOU would develop its linkage with the universities of the Islamic countries to promote mutual benefit in the educational fields and to meet new challenges, enabling their students to take part in the socio-economic development of their respective countries. In this connection four separate memoranda of understanding (MoUs) have been signed with four Sudanese universities to promote common objectives in the education sector.

He said that due to upgrading of quality education and its equal accessibility throughout the country as well as better strategic planning, adopted during the last two years, annual students' enrolment of the university growth has reached to 23 percent in the current year as compared to 11 percent in 2009. Daily times

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