Students protest against Israeli attack on Gaza

LUMS students protest Gaza attack
Lahore, Jan 09: Students of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS) held a protest on Tuesday to condemn the ongoing Israeli attack on Gaza.

Over a hundred students, while carrying placards, gathered on the LUMS campus in the afternoon to denounce the Israeli aggression against Palestinians. They criticised the inadequate response of the international community, including the Government of Pakistan to the Israeli barbarism. They expressed shock at the lackadaisical attitude of the United Nations Security Council in brokering a ceasefire. Various students and faculty members, including Dr Rasul Bakhsh Rais and Abdul Rehman Mustafa, spoke on the occasion, highlighting the plight of the residents of Gaza. They said the crisis in Gaza was aggravated by 2-year-long blockade of the territory by Israeli forces and appealed people to help the Palestinians through the provision of humanitarian aid. In the end, the protestors put their signatures to a petition being sent to US Secretary of State Condoleezza Rice by the Amnesty International to urge the US to prevent the unfolding humanitarian crisis in the Gaza Strip.

University teachers, students protest Israeli assault on Palestinians
Peshawar: Teachers and students of all the educational institutions Tuesday staged a protest demonstration to condemn Israeli aggression against Palestinians in which more than 500 people, including women and children, have been killed so far.

Led by central president of Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) and president Peshawar University Teachers Association Dr Arbab Khan Afridi, the teachers and students of different universities and other institutions of higher education gathered outside Teacher Community Centre Hall of the University of Peshawar and walked up to the main gate of the varsity.

The protesters were holding banners and placards inscribed with slogans against US and Israel and in favour of Palestinians. They were also chanting slogans.

The protestors condemned Israel's aggression against Palestinians and said that women and children were being killed in the aerial and ground attacks. They said that about 100 children and dozens of women were among the over 500 Palestinians killed during the continued strikes.

Dr Arbab Khan Afridi in his speech on the occasion came down hard on the Israel and its patron US. He said that Israel was following its expansionist agenda and it wanted to occupy the entire Middle East. He also criticised the Muslim rulers for their silence over the massacre of the Palestinian brothers. He said that Israel has crossed all limits of humanity and the Muslim countries did not even lodge a formal protest over its brutalities.

He said that the Organisation of Islamic Council should convene its emergency meeting wherein concrete strategy should be prepared to put an end to the Israeli aggression. He said that the Arab countries should use the weapon of oil to compel Israel and its western supporters to stop aggression against the Palestinian Muslims. He said if the Muslim countries get united and own an effective strategy, they would be able to end Israeli and US aggression in Palestine, Iraq and Afghanistan and Indian atrocities in Kashmir once and for all.

The protesters also castigated US for its dual role, particularly its support to the hegemonic designs of Israel. They said that US was the lone country in the world that supported Israeli aggression and held Hamas responsible for it.

They said that due to the unjustifiable US support for Israel, the meeting of United Nations Security Council also failed to come up with any decision.The protesters demanded of the Muslim countries to end all diplomatic and economic ties with Israel and the countries supporting it in the aggressive policies.

Our Correspondent from Swabi adds: The Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) and Muslim Students Federation (MSF) Tuesday blocked the Swabi-Mardan Road in protest against the Israeli invasion of Gaza.

The students gathered at the Postgraduate College Gohati and marched to the Gohati Bus Stop on Swabi-Mardan Road while chanting slogans against the Israeli aggression. They blocked the road for all kinds of traffic for hours.

The protesting students said that from the day first of the Israeli aggression, the peace lovers from the world have been demanding halt to the atrocities perpetrated against innocent civilians, but the United States blocked all such moves.

Abdus Salam, divisional nazim of the IJT said the Muslim world should learn a lesson from the Israel raids against the helpless Palestinians. "If today the people in Gaza Strip are suffering, Muslim country mmay be targeted in the Middle Estate or elsewhere by Israel or US tomorrow," they added.

The dilemma of the Muslim countries was that they were divided by the US to achieve its global objectives, he said.Naveed Shah, president of the MSF said that there was complete unity in the ranks of anti-Muslim countries and on the other hand the Muslim world remained divided, inviting their own destruction and weakness.

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Punjab University fails to provide security to boarders
Lahore: Boarders at the Punjab University have said the administration has failed to protect them as those involved in December 3 shooting are still roaming around the varsity and harassing innocent students.

Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists were held responsible for the shooting in which many students belonging to the University Students Federation (USF) were injured and two received bullet injuries. FIRs were registered against the assailants but no one was arrested.

Several PU boarders especially those belonging to the USF criticized the PU administration for poor security arrangements at the varsity. They said it was strange that those involved in the December 3 shooting were still free to move on the campus and harass innocent students.

Some IJT activists nominated in FIRs recently thrashed a PU security guard at night and fled. According to university officials, the IJT activists fled because they outnumbered university guards and officials who arrived on the scene. According to a PU press statement issued after the incident, those who beat up the guard included IJT activists Sabir Shah, Sohaib Saeed Akhtar, Tauseef, Usman and Sheraz.

Some USF activists had also staged a protest demonstration when Punjab Chief Minster Shahbaz Sharif visited the PU New Campus. They urged the CM to ensure that those involved in December 3 violence were brought to the book.

A senior PU official seeking anonymity said no one was arrested owing to the lethargic attitude of police authorities. He said police were responsible for keeping peace on campus. "We have provided police with all details of expelled and rusticated students and those declared persona non gratae by the varsity," he said.

The PU administration had also brought up the issue of lack of police cooperation in a meeting chaired by former Chancellor/ Punjab Governor Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool.

Ahsan Chaudhry, a PU boarder, said those involved in December 3 shooting visited university hostels frequently and harassed students. He said Jamiat activists had become violent since it was losing ground and its activists were trying to pressurize students. He said it was responsibility of the university administration as well as of the police to provide security to students especially boarders but both had failed in their duties. He said the Punjab University administration had decided to tighten security on campus when ammunition including six Kalashnikovs, almost 1300 rounds of the assault riffles and twelve hand grenades were discovered from one of the varsity grounds near varsity's Hostel No 1 at New Campus.

Another student said Hostel No 16 was the main "target" of the IJT activists as most of the borderers of this hostel belonged to the USF. He said the PU vice chancellor should take action against hostel wardens and superintendents if they fail to provide security to boarders.

When contacted, PU Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan said: "We strongly urge police to arrest the elements and criminals who are named in the FIRs and expelled from the university." "We are heavily relying on police to apprehend these 'non-student' actors," he said.

"We are ready to listen to students' genuine grievances," he said and added that "we will improve university services". "We will not side with any group and provide 'across the board' protection to students".

When contacted, Iqbal Town SP Investigation Sohaib Khurram said those nominated in the FIR in connection with December 3 incident were on bail. "We will get their bail cancelled and arrest them," he said. "No action could be taken on the university premises without the vice chancellor's permission," he said.

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Rs17,88,177 recovered from GCU VC as penal rent for his residence
Lahore: The Punjab government has recovered an amount of Rs17,88,177 from Government College University Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Khalid Aftab as penal rent for his residence.

Sources in the Services and General Administration Department (S&GAD) said on Tuesday that the GCU VC had been paying normal rent for his residence at 4-Club Lane, GOR-I, Upper Mall, since Sep 12, 2004, adding that since the GCU was an autonomous institution, its VC was not entitled to have an accommodation belonging to S&GAD on normal rent. All those belong to semi-government services/autonomous institutions had to pay penal rent instead of normal rent if they wanted to get accommodation belonging to the S&GAD, they added.

The sources maintained that the GCU vice-chancellor had been occupying the GOR-I residence since he was principal of the then government college (GC). At that time, he was entitled to pay normal rent since the GC was a public sector college, they said, adding that after the GC was raised to the status of a university, the VC was supposed to pay penal rent instead of normal rent. "However the GCU VC continued to pay normal rent instead of penal rent", they said.

The sources further said the matter came to light recently when the GCU VC applied for getting extension regarding the his accommodation.

A S&GAD letter, addressed to Dr Khalid Aftab, dated Nov 18, 2008, whose copy is available with The News, states: "I am directed to inform you that you are not entitled to an accommodation belonging to the S&GAD, thus you will have to pay penal rent and that non-drawl of house rent allowance from an autonomous body's budget has no use for the Government of the Punjab".

Following this, the GCU Assistant Treasurer paid the outstanding amount on Dec 23, 2008, a copy of the said challan is also available with The News. When contacted Additional Chief Secretary Javed Aslam said as the GCU was an autonomous institution, its VC was not entitled to accommodation belonging to S&GAD on normal rent. He said the government recovered outstanding amount as penal rent at 60 per cent of the pay since Dr Khalid Aftab had only been paying normal rent since he became the GCU VC. When contacted Dr Khalid Aftab refused to comment. The News

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