Quaid-i-Azam University closure after clash
Quaid-i-Azam University closed after ethnic strife
Islamabad, Oct 15: Authorities closed the Quaid-i-Azam University and
the boys' hostels on Wednesday after ugly clashes between ethnic groups
of students over hostel accommodation.
University and police
sources said no one was badly hurt but some buildings and four vehicles
suffered damage as students rioted under the banners of Punjab Council
and Mehran Council.
Students belonging to Seraiki and Baloch
councils were taken aback by the general order to boys to vacate the
hostels. Their pleadings were appreciated but went unheard.
students reside in the university's hostels. Girl students were not asked to vacate their hostels, however.
It was said the rumpus ignited Tuesday evening when jealous Punjab
Council members sneered at some Mehran members who were lucky to be
allotted rooms in the newly-built Hostel No. 9. But nothing more than
harsh words, threats and a few punches were exchanged on the occasion.
Police arrived to investigate but returned when the university
authorities told them that they would pacify the students themselves
and police did not need to intervene.
Provost of the
university, Dr Ghulam Khan Shahber Niazi, when contacted said that
a foolish game of making fun of each other led to a series of brawls
between the two groups.
At 3pm on Wednesday, some 70 to 80
students affiliated with Mehran Council gathered at the bus stand to
stage a protest with the permission of university administration. The
protestors alleged that the university administration did not take any
action on their complaint against the student of Punjab Council.
It was when they started making speeches against Punjab Council and the
administration, and tried to take their protest outside the university
area, that the university officials rushed to the spot and persuaded
them to disperse.
The Mehran Council members did disperse
but as they were going past Hostel No. 6 a clash erupted between the groups.
No independent source was however available to say who started the
clash and how. The students of Mehran Council alleged that their rivals
had positioned themselves on the hostel's rooftop, and, waiting in
ambush, started pelting stones and fired shots when they were passing
On the other hand, the students of Punjab
Council claimed that Mehran students went after them with baton and
weapons shortly after the end of their protest.
They also damaged the vehicles parked outside the hostel.
When contacted, the resident officer and Natural Sciences' dean, Dr
Aslam Baig, said that it was yet to be established which group started
the brawl and firing.
However, according to him, the students
of Mehran Council moving towards Hostel No. 6 had batons and iron rods
in their hands. Most of the residents of the hostel belong to the
Gunshots and flying stones started the brawl
in which both sides used batons and iron rods, the dean said, adding
that the shots were fired mostly in the air.
The area police
were called in to control the situation.
A police party soon
arrived, led by the assistant commissioner and sub-divisional police
They cordoned off the university and
the boys' Hostels No. 3, 4, 6, 7, 8, and 9 at around 5pm.
hostel administration then announced that the university has been
closed for indefinite period and asked the boys students to vacate the
hostels until the university is reopened.
is likely to be opened within a week, according to Dr Baig. Dawn
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Extensive research and firsthand knowledge
Islamabad: Learning people's ideology about a certain sacred place or shrine needs
extensive research and firsthand knowledge, otherwise, it is difficult
to understand the real phenomenon behind it.
These views were
expressed by Linus Strothmann during his lecture on 'Approaching the
Sacred: How to Study the Shrine of Data Ganj Bakhsh', organised by the
Department of Pakistan Studies, Quaid-i-Azam University.
Strothmann, who is a student at Berlin Graduate School of Muslim
Cultures & Societies, has arrived in Pakistan on an eight-month
visit to conduct research for his PhD thesis.
He said when he
visited Pakistan for the first time, he did not know the local
traditions and those sitting in the shrine compounds and courtyards
used to look at him in a somewhat strange manner. "I have learnt the
local rituals and now I wash my hands, feet and mouth, and put on a cap
before entering the shrine compounds," he said.
Referring to his
ongoing research work about the shrine of Hazrat Data Ganj Bakhsh,
Linus said thousands of people visit the shrine, especially during the
'urs' days, adding, "I am here to see how they think and behave that
will certainly help me understand the real phenomenon about how to
study this place that has so much importance for people of various
walks of life."
Linus Strothmann is currently getting help from
a local translator during his visits and interaction with people but he
is learning the Urdu language, using direct methodology.
to a question, he said one must have some knowledge about the teachings
of Islam when it comes to understanding the real thinking of the
people, who visit shrines time and again. The news
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Government to educate the visually impaired youth
Islamabad: President Asif Ali Zardari has reiterated the government policy to educate the visually impaired youth and
children, provide them adequate skills and technical training and generate
employment opportunities for them. "It is a measure of this policy that recently
the government announced special quota in jobs and economic opportunities for
the handicapped people including those with impaired sight.
"I have also decided to invite the special people in the
Presidency on a regular basis to meet and talk with them about the measures that
need to be taken to address their problems", the President said in his message
on International White Cane Safety Day being observed on Thursday (October 15).The White Cane Safety Day observed worldwide on October 15
every year is an occasion to create awareness about the problems and
requirements of visually handicapped persons on the one hand and to take
practical steps to address those problems on the other, he said.The President said, "a white cane in the hand of a person
is a signal that he or she is visually handicapped and therefore deserving of
great consideration and respect of all of us who are blessed with sight".
A white cane in the hand of a person determined to move
along the road of life also demonstrates that no disability is too great to
conquer human will, he added."Our visually handicapped brothers and sisters are men and
women of great courage. They have taught us, who are blessed with sight, that we
will never be able to count the blessings of Allah for bestowing a life free of
any disability to pursue a life according to their desires", the President said.President Zardari also complimented the Rawalpindi Eye
Donors Organization for arranging a "Most Caring Families and Best Teachers
"The institution of such awards will, I hope, encourage and
motivate people to be caring to the needs of visually handicapped citizens. I
commend all those individuals and associations who are engaged in the task of
rehabilitation of disabled and honoring those who are engaged in this noble
task," he added.The President also called upon the people and relevant
government agencies to reflect on the problems of visually handicapped people
and think about what needs to be done to achieve the same standards in caring
for the disabled as exists in other civilized nations and to work towards
achieving those standards. APP
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OUP launches book on rural development in South Asia
Islamabad: Oxford University Press (OUP) launched a book on rural development in
South Asia titled 'A Journey Through Grassroots Development: Agha Khan
Rural Support Programme', written by Shoaib Sultan Khan.
Minister Shaukat Tareen chaired the launching ceremony, held at the
National Library here Wednesday. Sartaj Aziz, Vice Chancellor
Beaconhouse National University, was the guest of honour, while Ghazi
Salahuddin, Editorial Director Geo, and Muhammad Amjad Saqib, Executive
Director 'Akhuwat', were present as the keynote speakers.
the important and productive role of AKRSP in various poverty
alleviation projects in Gilgit-Baltistan, Shaukat Tareen said the
government is keen to exploit the economic potential of
Gilgit-Baltistan for the prosperity of the poor people of the region.
the efforts of the author in compiling the valuable book, he said the
book would make an important contribution towards recording firsthand
experience in rural development. He also stressed the need to redefine
and address rural development with utmost urgency to find remedies of
the current economic crisis through community development and offer
guidelines for changing the lives of millions by mobilising their own
Ameena Saiyid, Managing Director Oxford University
Press, introduced the author and the book by saying, "The book has been
distilled from the richness of the author's experience in a highly
readable style, with useful insights of rural development in South
The speakers, Ghazi Salahuddin and Amjad
Saqib, welcomed the book as a valuable addition to the knowledge base
of people centred development and evidence-based advocacy for policy
change, conducive to sustainable development.
The book relates
to the story of participatory development experience in the rural areas
of South Asia. The lessons learned in rural development, based on the
author's work over the last 50 years in various areas of South Asia,
are narrated in the context of 'working within the system and living
within the means'. The author also describes the basic principles of
rural development through engaging and interacting with the rural
community to shape their lives. Operational details of such
interactions between communities and professionals are also combined by
the author as an inspirational content on the efforts of these people
to ignite hope. The book also provides personal insight into AKRSP.
author, Shoaib Sultan, has served the government of Pakistan as CSP
Officer for 25 years and is the recipient of 'Hilal-e-Imtiaz',
'Magsaysay Award' from the president of Philippines, and World
Conservation Medal from WWF International for selfless dedication to
his work. He has also worked with Unicef, UNDP, RSPN, NRSP, SRSOGBTI,
AKRSP, SRSP, PRSP, and BRSP.
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Art contest at FG schools for girls
Rawalpindi: The students of around 40 middle and higher secondary levels of Federal
Government Girls Schools Cantonment and Garrison region participated in
an art competition held at by FG Girls High School Misriyal Road here
According to a press release, in the higher
secondary school section competition the students of FG Girls Public
School, Abid Majeed Road, secured first position, students of FG Girls
High School, Darya Abad, got second position while FG Public School,
Lalazar, came third. In the middle section competitions students of FG
Girls High School COD, Kala Jehlum, got first position, students of FG
Girls Public School, Abdi Majeed Road, got second position while FG
Girls High School No 1, Chaklala and FG Girls Public School, Abbotabad,
jointly got third position.
Spouse of Lieutenant Colonel Ijaz Malik
(GSO-1) Rawalpindi Region was the chief guest on the occasion. The news
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