Lahore private hostels problems | PU rusticates IJT students

Private hostels posing security threats. Mismanagement at hostels as owners only interested in cutting costs
Lahore, Mar 25: Private hostels of the city are posing security threats, as poor management allows potential terrorists to use these hostels to stay and plan activities elsewhere in the city.

Sources in the Police Department said that private hostels do not take necessary measures before renting out their rooms. The rules and regulations of most hostels of the city are extremely lenient, allowing anyone to rent a room without having to show identification or other documents. Sources said the department does not have any data about these hostels.

Private hostels are situated in the following areas: Gulberg Town, Mozang, Faisal Town, Township, GOR-I, Garhi Shahu, Iqbal Town, Thokar Niaz Baig, Ichhra and Cantonment. According to a survey conducted, around 40 private hostels are situated in Gulberg while the total count of private hostels in the city crosses 150.

Mismanagement: Most hostels of the city have not taken any measures to enforce rules and regulations. They are owned and run by businessmen who aim to maximise their profits by cutting down the costs. Consequently, the hostels' security is compromised and many such hostels do not even hire security guards.

In most hostels, there is an acute shortage of administrative and maintenance staff. However, in hostels where administrative officials are hired, the owners only question the staff about the monthly rent. It has been learnt that private employees are running the hostels' affairs and they do not focus on Standard Operation Procedure, as they are not professional administrators. Muhammad Ismail, an administrative official at a private hostel, said the hostel had displayed rules and regulations at the entrance lobby, but it was difficult to implement them when the hostel was housing many more people than it had space for.

No identification: An employee at Alnoor hostel said students were only offered rooms after they submitted identity cards. He said there were no frequent checks on the students' activities, as the hostel was not responsible for that. Sources at the hostel said copies of identity cards lying in the hostel's records were only a formality, as many people did not hand their own identity cards knowing the hostel administration would not bother to match the picture with their face.

A student at Noorani Hostel in Firdos Market said students could accommodate guests at the hostel after paying guest dues. He said the administration never checked the status of guests and was only interested in the extra money generated through guest dues. He said all sorts of people ended up visiting the hostel, and it provided a safe haven to criminals and other proclaimed offenders.

Police: Meanwhile, sources in the Police Department expressed concern over the security threats posed by such private hostels. They said the police had previously seized dangerous weapons from the Punjab University hostels and the problem had been persisting since years.

Public Relations Officer to Operations Deputy Inspector General of Police (DIG) Nayab Haider confirmed the police did not have any record of private hostels in the city. Other sources in the Police Department said the police had been instructed to prepare profiles of students residing in private hostels and to collect data about the hostels and their administration after the terrorist attacks at Liberty.

After the attacks, grenades and bloodstained clothes were recovered from a hostel in Gulberg. Two Afghans and 10 locals were detained from these hostels while another 35 were taken into custody for preliminary investigation. The police also seized five Kalashnikovs, 12 hand grenades, 12 magazines and 1,280 bullets from the Punjab University hostels. Daily Times

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Punjab University expels seven: Firing in hostel
Lahore: The Punjab University has expelled seven students and rusticated another for their alleged involvement in a firing incident in hostel 16 on Dec 3.

PU Law College's two students had suffered bullet injuries and nine others sustained minor injuries during a clash between two student groups.

The university got affidavits from two students' fathers that they would never indulge in any illegal activity in future. A student was asked to submit a written statement from the warden that he would never indulge in any illegal activity in future.

PU's discipline committee interrogated 14 students, including a persona non gratta, for firing, violence, torture and indiscipline in the hostel.

A notification issued by PU Registrar Dr Naeem Khan says the discipline committee afforded opportunity of personal hearing to both parties complainants/injured students and the attackers/accused students. The committee held four meetings and thoroughly investigated the case in its last meeting on March 4 and agreed that 11 students were involved in violence, indiscipline, firing, torture of hostel students and breach of code of conduct for students.

Consequently, the university administration expelled PU Law College's Riaz Ashraf and Rana Zeeshan Ahmad, Saifur Rehman of Islamic Centre's hostel 18, Muhammad Hassan Sukhera of Hailey College of Banking and Finance, Tayyab Ali of Shaikh Zayed Islamic Centre's hostel 16, Muhammad Ghazi Butt of the Institute of Chemical Engineering and Technology and Muhammad Luqman Ahmad of Shaikh Zayed Islamic Centre.

Sheikh Usman Ali of Hailey College of Commerce has been rusticated. Muhammad Saqlain of the Institute of Statistics and Actuarial Sciences and Ziaullah of the Institute of Business Administration have submitted affidavits from their fathers that they would never indulge in any illegal activity in future. Shahbaz Ali of Hailey College of Commerce has been asked to submit a written statement from the warden that he would never indulge in any illegal activity in future.

The university has also banned the entry of expelled/rusticated students in the campus.

In a related development, Islami Jamiat Tulaba PU Nazim Qaiser Sharif said at a news conference that the university discipline committee was controversial and all of its members were targeting IJT members. He said that IJT had asked the university to appoint non-controversial members to the committee. Dawn

PU book fair
Lahore: The Punjab University (PU) administration has decided to organise the Book Fair 2009 from April 9-11 this year. The decision for change of date was taken in a meeting of book fair management committee held in the Vice-Chancellor's Office Committee Room on Tuesday.

Call to abolish PU entrance test
Lahore: Opposing any type of entry test for admission to the Punjab University, the Insaf Students Federation (ISF) has demanded the abolition of entry test requirement for admission to MPhil and PhD programmes at the university. According to a press statement, it was decided in the ISF working committee that students would oppose any type of entry test for admission to the Punjab University. The ISF members demanded the Chancellor/ Governor Punjab and Vice Chancellor abolish entry test system.

Punjab University farewell
Lahore: The Punjab University organised a farewell ceremony in the honour of retiring faculty members of various departments.

According to a press statement, Vice Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran was the chief guest of the ceremony. Senior faculty members and head of various teaching departments attended the ceremony.

In his address, the VC paid a rich tribute to the academic services of the retiring faculty. He said it was a sad as well as a happy moment for him and other teachers of the varsity.

He said it was sad because our fellows, with whom we have spent a part of our lives, were departing now but it was also a happy moment because these faculty members had performed their duties well to improve the educational standard of the varsity.

Those who retired recently included Prof Dr Fauzia Naheed Khawaja, Prof Dr Asif Malik, Dr Hameed Nawaz, Prof Dr Muhammad Zafar Iqbal, Ali Ahmed Chaudhry and Prof Dr Nayyar Raza Zaidi of Institute of Education & Research (IER), Prof Dr Nazima Ikram of Centre for Solid State Physics, Prof Dr Shafiq Jullandhry and Dr Mujahid Ali Mansoori of Institute of Communication Studies (ICS), Prof Azhar Ikram Ahmad of Institute of Business Administration (IBA), Hasan Shahnawaz Zaidi of College of Art & Design, Prof Dr Farrukh Zia Khan of College of Pharmacy, Prof Dr Rohi Khalid of Department of Psychology and Applied Psychology, Prof Dr Nosheen K Rahman of Centre of Clinical Psychology, Mukhtar Mahmood of Hailey College of Commerce and others.

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PPSC processes 2,15,558 applications for 6,774 posts
Lahore: The annual report of the Punjab Public Service Commission for the year 2008, submitted to Punjab Governor Salman Taseer, revealed that the commission had processed 2,15,558 applications for 6,774 vacant posts advertised during 2008.

Acting Chairman Punjab Public Service Commission Shehzad Hassan Pervaiz said the commission had also cleared a backlog of 81,187 applications of the previous year for 3,257 posts. After short listing on the basis of academic record, 2,457 candidates were declared successful after interview while no suitable candidate was found for 800 vacancies.

He further told that out of 6,788 candidates, 2,000 candidates had appeared in the written test for 912 vacancies in the competitive examination at the provincial level out of which 128 candidates qualified while 61 candidates were finally selected after detailed interview. Similarly, 106 Civil Judges and Judicial Magistrates, 68 Deputy District Attorneys, 10 District Public Prosecutors, 82 Deputy District Public Prosecutors and 646 Assistant District Public Prosecutors were also selected. Moreover, 74500 applications were received for 2602 vacancies of lecturers during this year while 34000 candidates appeared in the written test for 500 vacancies of Assistant Sub-Inspectors and the process of interview was completed by ten selection committees headed by the members of the Public Service Commission.

In addition, 1,70,000 applications were under process for different vacancies and the selection process would be completed in 2009.

The Governor appreciated the performance of the Punjab Public Service Commissionand described it as a symbol of supremacy of merit in the society.

He said that such institutions should be neutral in every respect so that youth could be provided opportunity to move ahead on the basis of their abilities and talent. He said that it was possible only if demands of merit were upheld in the entire process of recruitment.

The governor also considered proposals for improving the mental level of new graduates in the light of the analysis report of the candidates for competitive examinations as well as matters regarding granting of maximum autonomy to the Punjab Public Service Commission in financial affairs and harmonizing the syllabus of competitive examinations with the demands of the present age.

He appreciated the fact that 90 per cent candidates who had passed the competitive examination this year belonged to poor and middle class families and had studied at public schools. The News

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31 employees of GCU resign
Lahore: At least 31 employees of the Computer Science Department (CSD) of the Government College University (GCU), including its chairman, teachers and naib qasids, have filed their resignations with the registrar to protest against the behaviour of the GCU administration.

In their resignations, CSD Chairman Dr Majid, Associate Professor Sheraz Pervaiz, Assistant Professor Hamad Mushtaq, and others accused GCU Registrar Faisal Khursheed of forcing them to admit students in violation of merit. They claimed the registrar was pressuring them to influence the report of an inquiry against him. They said their contracts had not been extended after having lapsed three months ago. They alleged one Dr Asad Raza Kazmi had been made assistant professor, but he did not have a computer science degree.

Talking to Aaj Kal, Khursheed denied all the charges. He said the teachers were hired on a six-month contract and the contracts of the teachers with better performance were extended. Daily Times

UK delegates discuss UVAS courses
Lahore: A two-member delegation from the University of Glasgow, UK, called on University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences (UVAS) Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz on Tuesday and discussed joint academic and training programmes.

According to a press statement, the delegation, comprising Peter S Meadows and Azra Meadows, discussed a series of short training courses in wildlife launched by the Department of Wildlife and Ecology of the UVAS in collaboration with the University of Glasgow and the University of Essex, UK.

Peter Meadows and Azra Meadows are also among the course coordinators of the short training courses which are being offered on both the City and Ravi campuses of the university.

The vice-chancellor briefed the delegates about the academic, research, training and extension programmes of the UVAS. The University of Glasgow and the UVAS had signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) for academic cooperation last year during the visit of Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Nawaz to the United Kingdom. The News

Jaish madrassa operates in Bahawalpur despite ban
Bahawalpur: The compound bore no sign. Residents referred to it simply as the school for "jihadis," speaking in awe of the expensive horses stabled within its high walls - and the extremists who rode them bareback in the dusty fields around it.

In classrooms nearby, teachers drilled boys as young as eight in an uncompromising brand of Islam that called for holy war against enemies of the faith. Sitting cross-legged on the floor of the Darul Uloom Madina school, they recited verses from the holy Quran.

Both facilities are run by an Al Qaeda-linked terror network, Jaish-e-Muhammed, in the heart of Punjab. Their existence raises questions about the government's pledge to crack down on terror groups' accused of high-profile attacks in Pakistan and India.

Jihadis: There, would-be jihadis practice martial arts, archery and horse-riding skills and get religious instruction, according to a former member of Jaish-e-Muhammed, who spoke on condition of anonymity.

"You can say Jaish is running its business as usual," said Amir Rana, from Pakistan's Institute for Peace Studies, which tracks militant groups. "The military wants to keep alive its strategic options in Kashmir. The trouble is you cannot restrict the militants to one area. You cannot keep control of them."

Recruit: A top police officer said the madrassas in the area were used to recruit teens and young men for jihad in the NWFP or in Afghanistan. He spoke on condition of anonymity because of the sensitivity of the issue.

A guard wielding an automatic weapon stood at the gate of the Usman-o-Ali school and turned a visiting journalist team away. But the head teacher at nearby Darul uloom Madina allowed the group a tour and an interview.

Attaur Rehman said none of the students were allowed to be recruited for jihad while studying there, but added that he could not stop them joining up after they graduated.

"Pakistani citizens, and especially Punjabis, are the Taliban trainers in the area for bomb-making," said Asadullah Sherzad, police chief in Afghanistan's insurgency-wracked Helmand province, adding there are around 100 Punjabis at any one time in that area of Afghanistan.

A police officer in Bahawalpur said Jaish members were not believed to be training with weapons in the town's schools and other facilities, adding that law enforcement agencies had infiltrated the group. He spoke on condition of anonymity because sections of the government and security agencies disagreed on the need to crack down on the group.

Jaish is believed to have been formed in 2000 by hard-line cleric Masood Azhar after he was freed from an Indian prison in exchange for passengers on a hijacked Indian Airlines flight that landed in southern Afghanistan the same year.

Azhar was born in Bahawalpur, though the government says his current whereabouts are not known. A small stall outside the Usman-o-Ali school sells his speeches and writings. Ap

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