Pakistani PhD students | YMCA ground encroachment
Long journey home for Pakistani PhD students
Karachi, June 30: The students of Pakistan
who are completing their doctoral degrees at different universities of Turkey
have decided to leave their studies incomplete and return to their countries.
The students held a meeting at Ankara in order to discuss the matter.
During the meeting, it was decided that all the Pakistani students, studying
under the cultural exchange programme under the government of Pakistan and
Turkey would leave the country by the second week of July. Thirteen PhD
students, who attended the meeting, contacted this scribe through separate
emails, saying that the decision was taken out of haplessness. Most of these
students were awarded scholarships in 2008.
It may be remembered that
Pakistani scholars who obtaining their PhDs from different universities of
Turkey under the Cultural Exchange Scholarship Programme awarded by the Pakistan
Ministry of Education in collaboration with Higher Education Commission of
Turkey, were offered $150 from the Republic of Turkey and $300 from the Ministry
of Education, Pakistan, as stipend. However, the scholars claim that since the
last two months the Pakistan Ministry of Education has stopped releasing the
stipend without any prior notice.
The amount of money that the students
were getting was already not enough for a country like Turkey where the prices
are sky rocketing. Several education experts have strongly criticised the
government's decision, saying that because of students leaving Turkey, the
higher education system would suffer. The students have been lamenting about the
attitude of the ministry of education and are saying that they are being
mistreated. "Such action was not expected from the ministry of education and it
has made our lives miserable and added to our financial woes. It is almost
difficult to live here without the stipend that the government was offering,"
writes Abdul Hadi in his email adding, "When we contact the
ministry, they give us a standard response, saying that a meeting will be held
in this regard. It seems as if they do not care about our problems. Finally, we
have no choice but to return home in July, leaving our studies midway."
Faheem Shehzad Baloch, another student, suspects that the government is
avoiding the students and their issue. "In the beginning I was told by the
ministry officials that our stipends have been stopped and that we will not
receive them again. However, when I contacted them again after a few days I was
told that a meeting will be held in June to discuss the issue and the stipends
will be released in July," says Baloch.
Prof Dr Nazeer, who has been
associated with higher education for the last 30 years, said that the
government's step would dishearten the aspirant scholars in future.
government has no right to play with the futures of so many youngsters," he said
angrily, while adding that, "the government should have thought about its
financial capacity before sending these youngsters to foreign lands for higher
Nazeer said that the issue is not only creating a bad name
for the country but would also have a negative affect on the education system.
He is surprised about how the government has sent the students abroad and now
are leaving them hanging in the balance.
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Who is behind YMCA ground encroachment?
Karachi: Young Christian Association Bazarta Line office bearers have alleged that Pakistan Minority Front Chairman
and former Sindh MPA Michael Javaid has allowed influentials to encroach the
Young Men's Christian Association (YMCA) ground and to establish a charged
parking lot in it. However, Javaid has bluntly rejected the allegations and has
said that he is not involved.
Young Christian Association Bazarta Line
office bearers Joseph and Zara alleged that Javaid has joined hands with
influential people in grabbing the amenity plot of YMCA. They said that the Christian leader has given written permission for the
establishment of a charged parking lot at the amenity plot. "Javaid has is only
protesting against the parking lot to save face and to pressurise the
influential people involved, however he has now made an agreement with them,"
It may be noted here that recently some mysterious banners
appeared throughout the city, inviting the public to park their vehicles at the
protected YMCA plot. Javaid had announced that a mass campaign would be started
throughout the province against the charged parking at the plot, but despite the
fact that many days have passed, Javaid has taken no action. "We demand that
Federal Minister for Minority Affairs Shahbaz Bhati and other authorities
conduct a high level inquiry into the matter and to ensure that if Javaid is
guilty, he is punished. We are sure that the federal government will take
interest in the matter," said Joseph.
However, when Javaid was called
for a comment, he bluntly rejected the allegation and said that he even cannot
even imagine committing such an act. "I am very surprised to know that people
think I am involved and I personally believe that it is a conspiracy against me.
If they are sure that I am involved, they should prove it," he said, adding that
he has been struggling since a long time for the cause of his community. Daily Times
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