University students & criminal cases

Five university students arrested for kidnappings, car thefts
Karachi, May 16: They were from families with means. They were studying at noted universities. They lived in affluent neighbourhoods of the city. But all that didn't stop five youths from turning to crime for making easy money.

However, the criminal careers of Amir Hussain, Mohammad Arshad, Ansar Khalid, Mohammad Salman and Mohammad Taha ended on Sunday, three years after they formed a gang, which was involved in kidnappings for ransom and car thefts.

SSP Mohammad Farooq Awan of the Anti-Violent Crime Cell (AVCC) Karachi told a press conference at his office that his cell received a tip-off from an informer that some kidnappers were present in Peoples Colony.

He said an AVCC team carried out a raid and after facing some resistance arrested the five young men. A pistol was said to have been recovered from those arrested.

SSP Awan said the arrests followed investigations into cases of kidnapping for ransom, including the one lodged by an industrialist, Musharraf, at the Taimuria police station.

Musharraf told police that he was returning home in his car when five armed men riding a car intercepted his vehicle near the Buffer Zone area, and took him away in their car.

Musharraf added that after travelling some distance, the kidnappers left him in the car and escaped when they saw a police mobile checking passing vehicles.

But before their escape, they had called his family and demanded a ransom, threatening to kill him if the ransom money was not paid.

After their arrests, the five were taken to the investigation unit, where during the course of investigation they said they were students of known universities and doing MBA, BBA and ACCA.

They further disclosed that the ring leader of their group was Amir Hussain, at whose instigation they formed their gang in 2008 and decided to commit kidnappings for ransom.

The suspects adopted a new modus operandi; they abducted people for a short time, driving them around until they received ransom from families. They usually committed crimes in Defence, Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Gulistan-i-Jauhar areas.

They first carjacked a car and held a trader hostage at gunpoint. As the abductors drove through the city, they contacted the trader's family on a cell phone, demanding a ransom for his release. Later, they told the family to come to a place for the payment of the ransom money. They released the trader on receiving the money. The gang had been involved in several such kidnapping cases since 2008.

SSP Awan said the arrested students were also involved in vehicle thefts. They are residents of Gulshan-i-Iqbal and Defence.

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CDGK increases stalls at Frere Hall book fair
Karachi: After disappearing from the scene seven years ago, the City District Government Karachi (CDGK) finally reopened Frere Halls popular Sunday Book Fair last Sunday, and has decided to add over 50 book stalls for this week's sale on May 15 (today).

A large number of book lovers and families visited the event last week and appreciated the step taken by CDGK.

"I think that this is a terrific initiative by the CDGK. Books desperately need to be promoted in our society where fewer people are reading these days. Frere Hall's Book Fair prices are reasonable, and what could be better than finding a good book as well as a bargain," said Asad, who is an avid reader.

Keeping the sentiments of people like Asad in mind, the CDGK decided to increase the number of stalls at today's fair, where both new and old books will be put on sale. Frere Hall's Book Fair will continue Sunday from 8 am to 7 pm.

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All teachers to be regularised on merit, says minister
Karachi: Sindh Education Minister Pir Mazharul Haq said on Sunday all teachers in the province would be regularised on the basis of merit.

He was presiding over a meeting attended here by a Joint European and World Bank mission represented by Poiter Poeter, Sadiq Bhatti, Vishant Rajo, Ameet Dar and Ambreen Arif. The minister said the federal government was extending its support to educational projects and the measures being taken to improve the literacy rate. "All the appointments were made on merit with a positive response from donor agencies and welfare of the teachers is also being looked after."

Haq added that efforts had also been made to end political interference in the education system and the government had the support of all political parties in this regard. He further informed the donor agencies that the provincial government had taken measures to promote education among girls as the literacy rate among them was low as compared to that among boys.

Earlier, the secretary in charge of the Education and Literacy Department, Waseem Ursani, informed the meeting that the development partners and the Education and Literacy Department were collaborating in imparting education to children in the province.

Members of the Reform Support Unit of Education and Literacy Department briefed the joint European Union and World Bank mission on the Sindh education sector reforms. The team members expressed satisfaction with most of the reform initiatives implemented by the department. The objectives of the Joint Mission were to review the Sindh Education Sector Reform Programmes' (SERP) implementation performance and progress.

The mission also reviewed the Sindh government's performance and progress in achieving key design, implementation and monitoring and evaluation objectives. The news

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SSUET produces directory of its graduates
Karachi: Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology (SSUET) has produced a directory of its graduates. An announcement of this institution said on Sunday that the directory has been compiled on the directive of Chancellor ZA Nizami.

It has been published in two volumes and contains the names of over 10,000 graduates who passed out from this university during the period from 1994 to 2007. Nizami stated that the directory would continue to be upgraded with addition of graduates awarded degrees in its Convocations every year.

He said the purpose is to maintain a documented record of students who got admission in various disciplines of SSUET and graduated from there. The chancellor said plans are afoot to compile another directory of graduates of this university who are working on top positions at home and abroad and also earned repute for the country with their contribution in various fields. app

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150,000 to appear in HSC exam beginning today
Karachi: Around 150,000 candidates are appearing in the Higher Secondary Certificate, Part I and II (Class XI and XII), Science and Commerce (regular) group annual examinations commencing on Monday at 157 centres.

The examination for science (pre-medical and pre-engineering), science general (computer science), home economics groups and recently introduced medical technology group would be conducted in the morning shift (from 9.30am to 12.30pm) and that of commerce (regular) group in the afternoon shift (from 2.30pm to 5.30pm).

The Sindh home department with a view to discouraging outside interference in the examination imposed Section 144 of the criminal procedure code in and around the examination centres while policemen would be deployed at the centres to prevent any law and order situation.

Board of Intermediate Education Karachi chairman Prof Anwar Ahmed Zai also requested the Rangers' director-general to ensure patrolling by Rangers mobiles in the vicinity of the examination centres.

Giving details of the examinations, the BIEK chief said that the examination centres set up at both the government and private colleges include 90 for the candidates appearing in the morning shift examinations and 67 centres for the afternoon shift candidates.

All arrangements to ensure the peaceful and transparent conduct of the examinations have been finalised and the BIEK chairman set up several vigilance teams comprising senior professors of colleges for making surprise visits.

Plea to exempt centres from loadshedding
The BIEK chief has written a letter to senior officials of the Karachi Electricity Supply Company requesting them to exempt the examination centres from loadshedding so that they could solve their papers with ease and comfort in the current hot and humid weather.

Prof Zai said that with a view to ensuring transparency in the examination the covering letters of all the question papers would be signed not only by the centre coordination officers (CCOs) but the centre superintendent concerned as well the board's vigilance officers who, this year, would remain deputed at the centres to check incidents of unfair means.

He said that another change had been made beginning this year and, as such, the task of providing the question papers at the examination centres would be of the CCOs while vigilance officials would be responsible for binging back all answer scripts to the board.

Besides, a super vigilance committee has been formed to carry out surprise visits to various examination centres and it would be empowered to take on-the-spot decisions against those found indulging in unfair means.

The committee is headed by the BIEK chairman and its members include provincial director-general (colleges), director (colleges), Karachi region, and the city district government's executive district officer (education).

The HSC (Class XI and XII) annual examinations for Humanities (regular and private) candidates are scheduled to begin on May 21. Dawn

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KU entry test
Karachi: The University of Karachi on Sunday held the entry test for doctorate in law at its Arts auditorium on the campus.

A total of 112 candidates had submitted application forms and 85 of them appeared in the test.

KU pro-vice-chancellor Prof Dr Shahana Urooj Kazmi, dean faculty of law Barrister Khursheed Hashmi and Dr Shafaat Nabi Sherwani monitored the process of the entry test. ppi

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Engineering and IT fair of Aligarh Institute of Technology
Karachi: The Aligarh Institute of Technology will organise the Fifth Engineering and IT Fair 2011 from May 17. An announcement here on Sunday that the two-day event will be held from 09:00am to 04:00pm. It said that Convenor Managing Committee and Vice President Aligarh Muslim University Old Boys' Association (AMUOBA) Engr Muhammad Adil Usman would inaugurate the fair. Officials from various technical institutes and industries will act as judges for the projects' evaluation. Prize distribution ceremony will be held on May 18 at 02:00pm. Chancellor Sir Syed University of Engineering and Technology Engr ZA Nizami, who is also the Chairman of the Governing Body of the Institute and President of AMUOBA, will be the chief guest on the occasion. app

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Sindh legislators vow to remove loopholes in education system
Karachi: Sindh legislators on Sunday realized the fact that there are some loopholes, issues of mismanagement and policy gaps within the education system, which they want to improve with the help of civil society actors.

Speaking at a meeting on "Education and Strategy of Sindh", which was organized by Strengthening Participatory Organization (SPO), the legislators asked the organizers to pass on the recommendations they had collected during the discussions.

They said they would present these recommendations to the chief minister as well as raising them in the ongoing session of the Sindh Assembly.

The participants identified weaknesses within the system, indifferent role of leaders of teachers' organizations and suggested ways of improving the education system.

Minister for Fisheries and Livestock, Zahid Hussain Bhurgari, who chaired the meeting, said the government had suspended an official who was accused of selling posts of teachers in the province.

He said the government had appointed honest teachers on merit, and no violation would be tolerated.

Bhurgari said a large number of PPP legislators had been annoyed by Education Minister Pir Mazhar-ul-Haq because he did not accept favouritism in the posting and transfers of education officials or teachers.

"We are on the way to removing corruption and mismanagement and improving the system," he said. The meeting attracted a large number of civil society leaders, community workers and teachers. The session passed resolutions in the light of overall discussion and demanded of the provincial government to design a new education policy.

The meeting also urged the government to consider findings of the SPO study at the forum of the assembly.

They said a provincial Higher Education Commission should be established comprising educationists and academicians and not bureaucrats.

They were of the view that administrative control of all the intermediate examination boards and universities should be shifted to the chief minister.

Mustafa Baloch, sharing his research findings with the participants, said they had collected data from 52 union councils of the districts of Ghotki, Shikarpur, Tando Mohammed Khan, Matiari and Hyderabad.

He also emphasized the need for reviewing the national curriculum according to the indigenous needs of the province.

Prof Zaffar Bugti, portraying the world education scenario, said Pakistan had to attain the target of the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) to assure 100 percent enrolment up to 2015. He said only abolishing school fees or ensuring more enrolment was not the solution.

Noor Ahmed Nizamani, quoting official statistics, said only 7,000 schools out of 49,000 were fully functional.

Out of those 7,000 functional schools, 4,000 were located in the urban centres of the province.

Sadiqa Salahuddin of the Indus Resource Centre (IRC) said there was a need for assessing how the education budget was being utilized.

Other speakers emphasized the need for constituting a monitoring committee to evaluate the situation and design recommendations.

MNA Ameer Ali Shah Jamote, MPA Pitambar Shewani, Zeeshan Zaffar of SPO, Suleman G Abro of Safwco, Zulfiqar Halepoto and Rehmatullah Balal also spoke on the occasion.

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SPLA hunger strike continues in Larkana
Larkana: The hunger strike by the Sindh Professors and Lecturers Association for acceptance of their demands in Larkana, Qamber-Shahdadkot and Benazirabad districts entered its 36th consecutive day on Sunday. SPLA demands include allotment of posts for promoted teachers, withdrawal of their transfer, health insurance facility etc. In Benazirabad the SPLA members protested in front of the Press Club, staged a sit-in and chanted slogans against the provincial education minister and demanded acceptance of their demands. The news

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