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Weapons & explosives unearthed at Punjab University

Bag full of weapons and explosives unearthed at Punjab University
Lahore, Sep 22: Fear gripped the Punjab University (PU) hostel students on Sunday after a bag containing automatic weapons and explosives was found buried under a tree, resulting in the immediate tightening of security measures.

PU Hostel Security In-charge Arshad Butt said that some children had found the bag while digging under the tree and informed a gardener, who had discovered weapons from the bag upon closer inspection, and notified the authorities.

PU Chief Security Officer Abdulrahman Siyal said that they had recovered five Kalashnikovs, 12 hand grenades, 12 magazines and 1,280 bullets from the bag. He said that the weapons had been handed over to the Muslim Town Police Station.

Administration and students, expressing their concern over security, said that political groups might be involved in the incident. A PU security official admitted that the weapons had most likely been buried by one of the political groups in the varsity, against which the administration had taken action in the past.

Condition: The Muslim Town Police Station Station House Officer (SHO) confirmed that the administration had handed over the weapons to the police, however, he said that the condition of the armaments pointed towards them being buried a long time ago.

Safe: A PU student, Rehan, said that the incident was a result of poor security measures around the campus. He said that a number of incidents of mobile phone snatching and motorcycle theft had taken place inside the varsity. He also said that the incident had shown students that they were no longer safe on campus. Another student said that the incident had been staged by the administration in order to draw attention away from various issues facing the institution, including the current tension between the Vice-Chancellor and the teaching staff.

A female student, Saima, said that the administration was wrong to blame political groups for the incident. She said that the incident was a failure on the part of the administration, adding that female students were not satisfied with the security around the girls' hostels. She demanded that the administration take steps to increase security for female students.

Responsible: PU Academic Staff Association (PUASA) President Dr Mumtaz Ahmad Salik said that the recovery of weapons from the university was very disturbing and demanded that security measures be increased around the institution. He said that it seemed like terrorists were now turning to educational institutions, adding that no political group inside the university could be responsible for hiding the weapons.

Investigation: PU Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) Nazim Rana Zahid said that the since the administration had recovered the weapons, they were in a better position to know the facts. He said that the days when students kept weapons at the varsity had passed, and demanded an investigation into the matter.

'PU administration unable to take action against alleged militants'
Lahore: University Students Federation (USF) Media Secretary Munawar Saleem Ahmad said that students belonging to the USF condemned the weapons and explosive materials recovered, especially after the recent bombing of the Marriott Hotel, the aftershocks of which are still being felt across the country. He said that while this was a unique incident for the PU, university students, through the media, had expressed their concerns to the administration and the governor about illegal residents who were suspected to be trained militants a few months ago. He said that they had asked the government to take action against the illegal residents, however, the administration had been unable to do so. He added that the USF students appealed to the administration to take strict notice of the incident and to bring those responsible to justice immediately. Daily Times

Your Comments
"i want to date sheet of Please anyone."
Name: simrun
City, Country: rawalpindi, Pakistan

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A prologue to violence on campus?
Lahore: The discovery of dangerous ammunition at the Punjab University on Sunday not only exposed flawed security arrangements but also the threat of violent student politics, which had been looming on the horizon since the restoration of student unions in educational institutions of the country.

It is fortunate that a tragic situation has been avoided, by chance, as the PU administration stumbled upon the ammunition, including Kalashnikovs and hand grenades from one of its grounds near the university's Hostel No 1 at the New Campus. No one exactly knows who dumped these weapons, however, it is clear that they were meant for bloodshed.

The history of student politics has not been encouraging in our country. There had been several incidents in different universities and colleges of the country in which innocent students lost their lives. Recently, some students were killed at the Karachi University during a clash between different student organisations while bloodshed in connection with student politics had also taken place at the Punjab University in the past. Despite ban on student unions for a long time, the educational institutions, especially public sector universities and colleges had been strongholds of different student organisations.

The decision about restoration of the student unions by Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gillani had shown mixed response from the public, however, the majority of people had been demanding political parties stay away from student organisations. They argue that students are used by political parties to promote their hidden agendas, which lead to clashes and violence among them.

The news about discovery of ammunition spread panic and shock among the PU students and teachers alike, among the boarding students who have demanded thorough inquiry into the matter. They criticised the PU administration for poor security arrangements, saying ammunition were dumped within the university while the administration remained unaware.

"This is unbelievable, the universities are supposed to be houses of knowledge and it is responsibility of the administration to provide a peaceful academic environment to the students," said a student Irfan, adding it was unfortunate that the university administration failed to maintain proper security.

"If the PU gardeners had not stumbled upon the ammunition what havoc would have been played," questioned a senior PU teacher who did not wish to be named. He maintained it was for the first time in history of the PU that ammunition on such a large scale had been discovered, adding that the administration should beef up the security.

A number of students and teachers also demanded the prime minister to change his decision regarding restoration of student unions, saying the country had witnessed enough bloodshed among different students groups.

Azeem, a student, said he was against the restoration of student unions as it led to violence among the students, adding that the students were supposed to be learners at universities and colleges but they were used by different political parties.

Your Comments
"Hi, I am studying in punjab university and i totally agree the point that the decision of restoration of student unions should be taken aback. The history tells us that whenever education had been used for political purposes than the it resulted in hoax. As for as Punjab University is concerned that it is worth mentioning that Vice Chancellor is against the participation of students in politics. But prime minister`s decesion make his effort weaker. The need of hour is that there should be a complete ban on students organizations and students should take part in studies and work for the betterment of country."
Name: hassan bukhari
City, Country: lahore,pakistan

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Age limit for CSS
Lahore: The last government declared 28 years as the upper age limit for appearing in the competitive exams which used to be 30 years before this decision. This was a setback for many a candidate. The present government had initially decided to ponder over this matter but so far nothing has been done in this regard. I request the newly elected president, Asif Zardari, and the authorities concerned to please set 30 years as the age limit at their earliest because the FPSC is about to announce rules and regulations for year 2009. A number of CSS aspirants are looking forward to the president's decision in this respect.

By Haider Mahmood Butt (The News)

Your Comments
"I strongly support the point forwarded by Mr. Haider in The News dated 22nd Sep, 08. It is requested by many aspirants from all over the country especially the rural areas. Hopefully we will see 30 years in the rules and regulations as upper age limit for the fresh candidates for CSS 2009 and onwards."
Name: C.R.B
City, Country: LHR, Pakistan

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No fee concessions anger MAO College students
Lahore: The future of hundreds of students of the MAO College is at stake after the withdrawal of fee concession and installments.

Most government-run colleges grant concession of fees and installments to deserving students from college funds. In addition, students who opt for admission in the second shift are allowed to deposit their fees in installments, however, the MAO College has refused to grant this facility. This situation is adversely affecting hundreds of students of the college. The fees for the BCom students range from Rs 8,000 to Rs 10,000 per annum and for MA/MSc they are Rs 24,000 per annum, but most of the students cannot deposit the fees at one time.

According to sources, former principal Prof Maqsoodul Hassan had granted concession of fees and installments during his tenure following which most of the students deliberately avoided depositing their fees, causing millions of rupees in losses to the college. This was the reason the new college administration has refused to grant concession of fees to the students, sources said.

Two students, Faisal and Asad, said that most students from poor families opted for admission in government colleges, because they were cheaper.

Principal Prof Zafarul Mohsan said that fees were already very low at government colleges, but even then students showed reluctance to pay their dues. He said that if the students of the second shift were unable to pay their fees, they should look for another job. The college was not in a position to facilitate them, he added. Daily Times

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