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KMDC students protest | Teachers demand salary

Protest against the alleged change in the results of the BDS
Karachi, April 04: A group of Karachi Medical and Dental College (KMDC) students on Friday staged a demonstration in protest against the alleged change in the results of the BDS first year examination by the University of Karachi.

The protesting students told the media that according to the original results, Asad Iqbal Malik had clinched third position in the examination.

The results were posted on the KU website by the controller of examination and appeared in the print media. However, they added, a few days later, the university made amendment to the results, declaring some other student as the holder of the third position. The students demanded restoration of the original results.

KMDC Principal Waqar Qasmi said that a protest in this regard had been lodged with the KU vice-chancellor, controller of examinations and the dean of medicine. Ppi

Protestant Vs Catholic leads to Mela at the YMCA
Karachi: While controversy persists over who the real guardians of the Young Men Christian Association (YMCA) are, a new development has led to further heartburn for the members of the city's Christian community. YMCA land has been handed over to a private restaurant despite that fact that this is flagarant violation of the law, say some concerned members. They have demanded that the YMCA Sports Ground be restored to its original form when it was restricted for cultural events of the Christian community.

A ruling by the Sindh High Court on January 31, 2009, declared the Karachi YMCA as an authentic organisation registered under the Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance 1961 hence making members of the Catholic sect the rightful owners of the sacred property.

However, some Protestant members (including two MPAs) have objected to the authenticity of the organisation given charge, which they say originally belonged to them until it was re-registered in 1964 under a different law. They have filed a petition in the Supreme Court to contest the SHC decision.

"YMCA was originally registered under the name 'The YMCA of Karachi' under The Societies Registration Act 1860, but it was illegally dissolved in 1964 when some Catholic members tried to seize control of the property and got it re-registered by the name of 'Karachi YMCA' under Voluntary Social Welfare Agencies (Registration and Control) Ordinance 1961," disclosed MPA Saleem Khursheed Khokhar who said he is also president of 'The YMCA of Karachi' since 2003. He backed his claim with documentary evidence, which he shared with us.

Khokhar said the move to dissolve the original YMCA that had been registered before partition was illegal in the first place which makes him the rightful owner to date. Quoting Article 14 of The Societies Registration Act 1860, he said no registered organisation can be dissolved unless a three-fifth majority of the members meets twice before taking the decision. The said law also states that the YMCA is a body restricted for Protestant members. "Registration of 'The YMCA of Karachi' dates back to April 1913, but after the Social Welfare Agencies Ordinance 1961, some members within the Christian community got it re-registered in order to take charge of the affairs illegally. This is what I have been resisting," said Khokhar.

However, the recent SHC judgment in favour of the Karachi YMCA led to the speedy construction of the "Mela" restaurant on a portion of the YMCA Sports Ground, which is seen as a prized real estate since it is located in the heart of the city.

Some observers claim that as the election process slid into chaos when confusion over ownership of the YMCA arose and the matter was referred to the court in 2005, certain members tried to take advantage of the situation with the help of some influential people. This resulted in confrontation among members of the Protestant and Catholic communities last year with one party accusing the other of financial corruption.

"The matter was subjudice at that time so we could not discuss it in the media and we have once again filed an appeal in Supreme Court, but while the issue settles the fact remains that renting of a sacred property of the Christian community for commercial purposes is a wrong act," argues Khokhar. "What I fail to understand here is why the concerned authorities remain silent on the issue." During a press conference organised by Save YMCA committee, a group of activists, last year it was disclosed that the YMCA Sports Ground has been rented to one Muhammad Amin and his partner Chaudhry Ashraf for a monthly rent of Rs200,000.

It may be noted here that after the SHC judgment, Moinuddin Ahmed, the Nazir of the court, has been appointed as an administrator to run the day to day affairs of the YMCA until elections are held. The Nazir also has the authority to cancel any contract of lease, sale and rentals of the YMCA land for commercial purposes against the bye-laws. When contacted, Ahmed said that he was aware of the issue, but when he visited the site to inspect, the tenant shared a copy of the stay order issued by the court as a result of which he could take no action. He further refused to comment as an appeal has been filed by 'The YMCA of Karachi' in the Supreme Court.

On the other hand, Henry Pilay, presently the principal of Karachi YMCA refuted Khokhar's claim alleging that the documents he possesses are bogus. While both parties continue to blame each other, some independent members of the 'Save YMCA Committee' have been questioning the move and the integrity of the unelected members who rented the property as well as the MPAs. "If our MPAs Saleem Khokhar and Michael Javaid are genuinely concerned about the Christians, they should improve the living conditions in their own area Essa Nagri first which is a low-income neighbourhood comprising mostly Protestant Christians," argued Chaudhry Patras, who will be leading a mass protest against the illegal seizure of the YMCA land on May 15 outside the Karachi Press Club. "Every one out here wants the land to their name because they want to make money off it," he alleged "but we won't let that happen because it is a property of the community, not a few individuals."

We spoke to some other members of the Christian community who concurred. They said the attempt to divide the Catholics and Protestants by certain members of the community for their vested interests should be discouraged. "We should avoid making this a sectarian issue. Holding elections should be the priority of the YMCA right now so the body responsible can take charge of the affairs and outside intervention can be controlled," commented one, requesting anonymity.

But with the restaurant promising good business, Khokhar believes elections are unlikely to take place in the near future. The News

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Hyderabad teachers demand salary
Hyderabad: Junior male and female teachers demonstrated outside the press club under the banner of Teachers Action Forum to protest against the non-payment of salaries.

Chairman Naeem Noorani and leaders including Abdus Samad Samoon, Zeeshan Akhtar and others said that Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto won the hearts of masses by announcing "Roti, Kapra Aur Makan" programme. They regretted that his party was not even paying salaries to the teachers.

They said that the junior teachers of Hyderabad had been protesting against the non-payment of their eight-month salaries but no one has taken the notice of their predicament.

They said that teachers were now thinking of selling their children and of collective self-immolation.

They said that they were reeling under huge debts, families starving and their children deprived of education for they are unable to pay tuition fees.

They appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan, President and Prime Minister, PPP chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Sindh Governor and Chief Minister and education minister to ensure payment of eight-month salaries to 206 junior teachers of Hyderabad. Dawn

BISE Nawabshah to start functioning this year
Nawabshah: The Board of Intermediate and Secondary Education, to be named after Shaheed Benazir Bhutto, would start functioning from the current year, it was disclosed by reliable sources. The examinations of class ninth and first year would be held for the first time under this board in year 2010. The News

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