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University teachers announce protest plan

KARACHI, Sept 13: Rejecting the Model University Ordinance and demanding withdrawal of the appointments of retired army officers and bureaucrats in the public sector universities, the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association announced on Wednesday that it would hold a token strike and boycott classes for two hours on Sept 19 and 26 to highlight the issue.

FAPUASA warned that it would take sterner actions, including closure of the universities, if their demands were not met by the government.

These decisions were made at a FAPUASA Sindh Chapter meeting held in the Staff Club of Karachi University on Wednesday. Elected representatives of all the public sector universities of Sindh attended the meeting.

Later, speaking at a press conference, FAPUASA Sindh Chapter President Dr Syed Inayatullah Shah said the meeting demanded that the government withdraw the appointments of retired army officers and bureaucrats in the public sector universities. The meeting demanded withdrawal of the Model University Ordinance (MUO). It also demanded upgradation of some 300 university teachers having no PhD degrees.

He said FAPUASA condemned the implementation of MUO in Balochistan University and demanded its immediate withdrawal. He said FAPUASA had already rejected the MUO and it had informed the HEC that university teachers would not accept it in any shape. He also condemned the appointment of a retired military officer as the VC of Balochistan University and demanded his immediate removal.

Dr Shah said the appointments of retired military officers and bureaucrats in the public sector universities were creating problems for teachers and students. He alleged that these officers tried to resolve every issue with force, which created law and order situation in the universities. He demanded termination of services of all such officers, adding that only in-service professors be appointed VCs.

FAPUASA General-Secretary for Sindh Badar Soomro said 300 university teachers of BPS 19 and 20 were waiting for their promotion to the next grade. He said Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz had announced that all university teachers would be promoted in the next grade on Oct 5, 2006 but the HEC had imposed the condition of PhD for the upgradation of professors and associate professors.

Mr Soomro also demanded a change in the NOC issuance procedure for the university teachers of the province. He said that in other provinces vice chancellors were authorised to issue NOCs to their university teachers in case of their foreign visits. But in Sindh, only the governor issued these NOCs. He said this dual system was causing delay and many university teachers of Sindh could not participate in international conferences and other events.

FAPUASA leaders announced holding of a token strike and boycott of classes from 10am to 12pm on Sept 19 and 26.

They warned the government that no negotiations would be held after this month. They said they would launch a campaign after consulting their federal body, which might include closure of universities. PPI
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