No buses for Karachi Univesity students
Students stranded as drivers g'rind point service to a halt
Karachi, Feb 27: The non-availability of buses to students of University of
Karachi (KU) for three-and-a-half days last week enraged regular commuters of
the university bus service. Though the service resumed earlier this week, the
majority of students feel that the university has betrayed them by not providing
conveyance to them.
"I am pained by the lack of empathy shown by teachers
and officials. Those who have their own transport, or those who can afford
rickshaws and taxis, are not affected. It is the poor and lower middle class
students who bear the brunt of bus service cancellation," said Samina Khan of
The bus service was suspended after a bus driver
was allegedly beaten up by a lab assistant from the Department of Zoology,
Hameed Hussain, and students supposedly from the Punjabi Student Association.
The driver had to be hospitalised since he sustained serious
Hussain had a personal feud with the driver Nazeer, and sought
help from these students, who had their own grievances against the drivers for
not stopping the bus at the Wireless Gate near Malir Halt. The drivers claim
that the bus is already so crowded that there is usually no room for additional
We have nothing to do with the mishandling of the driver, but
we became victims of a weak administration that is unable to rise to the
occasion, take swift action against the offenders without jeopardising the
interests of the students", said Haris Khan of the Chemical Engineering
Ayesha Khan, of the same department, who takes two public
buses to get to the varsity and then walks from the Maskan Gate to her
department, reiterated the same point. Students are the most important aspect of
any university; however, the KU seems to be an exception to that rule. While I
do not support violence, I disapprove being hijacked by a few students and a
driver. It would have been better if the university had separated the issues of
the students/driver and that of 24000 students", she complained.
Zulqarnain Ahmed Shadaab, KU Transport in-charge, said that it was normal for
'large organisations' to face such problems. According to him, only 22 per cent
students use the point buses, and thus only a majority of students was affected
by the suspension of bus services. "My conscience is clear. Yes, some students
faced hardships, however, we had no control over the events. We spoke to the
employees union and persuaded them to end their strike but nothing happened. I
think we tried our best and handled the situation in the best possible manner",
Karachi University Employees Union (KUEU) General
Secretary, Fareed Ahmed, was adamant that the situation went from bad to worse
because of the lukewarm reaction from the KU administration. "I was under
pressure from the drivers and conductors to punish the culprits who had
manhandled the driver. The Vice Chancellor, Prof. Pirzada Qasim, was in
Islamabad, so the problem was not resolved until his return", he explained.
Ahmed said that he was sorry that thousands of students had suffered because of
a few students and drivers.
The drivers, according to a university
official, had demanded two Rangers on guard duty for every bus, and had also
said that students should be accommodated on the basis of seats. However, both
these demands were considered unfeasible and were duly rejected.
Meanwhile, the KU Pro Vice Chancellor, Dr Akhlaq Ahmed, appeared to be
clueless about the absence of buses for the students for three and a half days.
We had tried to handle the situation and did it fairly well, he stated.
VC wants Chinese Language and Cultural Centre at KU
Karachi: University of Karachi (KU) Vice-Chancellor Prof. Pirzada Qasim stressed the need
to establish a Chinese Language and Cultural Centre at KU to augment cultural
and political ties between the two friendly countries. He was speaking at a
reception accorded to the visiting Chinese writers and poets in the Arts
auditorium of the university on Thursday.
The need had more significance
after the arrival of Chinese Consul-General Chen Shanmin in Karachi, he said,
adding that CG Shanmin is an alumnus of the KU Department of
Prof. Qasim further said that Tang Meng Shen, who is an
interpreter with the Chinese Consulate, has also studied at the KU English
Department and hence the university has the right to have a Chinese Cultural
Centre to continue the deep-rooted relations with China.
praised the ancient and diverse Chinese literature that has attracted readers
from all over the world. The Chinese Writers' Guild has more than 60,000 members
and helps members, allowing them to tend to their work, uninterrupted by
Shanmin travelled down memory lane to recollect the 'the
most happy days' of his life at KU, where his teachers were 'affectionate and
the students cooperative'.
Dean Faculty of Arts Dr Shamsuddin pointed
out the beauty of the Chinese language, which, he said had no rival in the
Post your comments
KSA exhibits work of 29 alumni
Karachi: The Karachi School of Art (KSA) hosted an alumni show on Thursday
at its gallery. The show featured nearly 46 pieces by 29 artists.
school was founded in 1964 by sculptor Rabia Zuberi with the objective of
promoting art and cultural traditions while training the youth for careers in
art-related fields. Over the period of four decades, the KSA has produced a
large number of artists, teachers and designers, who are now established in
countless organisations throughout Pakistan and abroad.
With works from
one of the first graduates of the school, Lubna Agha, to one of the famous
artists of Pakistan, Mashkoor Raza, Athar Jamal and Hanif Shahzad, it was good
to see that many of the old artists had sent in their latest works for the
exhibition - a proof of their continued affection for the KSA.
Hafeez, who graduated in 1967, put up works that he finished at the turn of the
year. Even Maskoor Raza sent in a couple of small pieces that he finished this
The exhibition runs till March 1 at the KSA gallery.
Goethe-Institut screens documentary about 'symbol of world peace'
Karachi: Kugelkaryatide, an art work which symbolises world peace,
survived 9/11 (September 11, 2001) on Ground Zero and inspired a German
filmmaker to juxtapose its making and reinstalling in his 58-minute documentary
tribute titled Koenigs Krugel. The sculpture was eventually relocated to
Manhattan's Battery Park.
Screened at Goethe-Institut on Thursday, Percy
Adlon's film Koenig's Sphere in English drew a handful of admirers of
documentary films. The screening was part of the institute's film nights
featuring German documentaries on contemporary German art.
Sphere is the story of German artist Fritz Koenig's large steel-and-bronze
sculpture that was once seated in the shadows of the World Trade Centre (WTC),
but became a monument after 9/11.
"I can't even imagine that I made it,"
remarks Koenig, the creator of the huge sculpture, dubbed the only art work that
survived the terrorist attack on the WTC on September 11, 2001.
created the sphere with bronze and steel in 1971 when it weighed approximately
45,000 pounds. The film follows the artist's pursuit to salvage the remains of
his commissioned art work. It juxtaposes the artist's earlier work on the same
sculpture which finally sat atop a granite fountain in the centre of the
five-acre WTC Plaza. Installed in its salvaged form at Battery Park, The Sphere
has been seen as an icon of hope and interim memorial to the thousands of souls
perished at the WTC. Before the 9/11 tragedy it was referred to as 'a monument
to fostering world peace'.
Filmmaker Percy Adlon recounts the making of
the sculpture in an interesting manner, splicing shots of two parallel stories
of the sculpture's making and salvaging, intermittently narrated by the artist
himself in German.
After 9/11, the Sphere was found among the rubble of
the WTC. Although it sustained a large gash through its centre, and was
battered, dented and scarred, it remained structurally intact.
Koenig opposed reinstalling the Sphere deeming it 'a beautiful corpse'. Later he
supervised the reassembly of his magnum opus. He is seen in the film guiding
engineers and ironworkers to dress its 'wounds without erasing its
Koenig's recalls that the sculpture was dubbed the 'belly button'
of the WTC by its architect Yamasaki. The ageing sculptor with his German
narrative ended the film by quoting John Updike: "Truth in art is found in the
pain it shelters." The News
Post your comments