Students suffer as visa centres shut down
Lahore, Sep 29: Several students interested in obtaining their higher education from
various universities of the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States (US) are
not able to go abroad even after they have been granted admission, because the
visa centres have been shuttered.
Students said that the closure of the
visa centres was causing delay in the issuance of their visas, adding that they
were missing the colleges' joining dates. They said that apart from their career
being affected, their time and money was also being wasted. They urged the
government to help them by holding talks with the embassies.
Thousands of Pakistani students go to various universities in the UK and the US
for higher studies. The closure of the visa centres has disappointed both the
students and their parents. The US visa centre was shut down after the Marriott
Hotel blast, while the UK visa centre had already been shut down due to security
reasons. Adviser on Interior Rehman Malik gave a briefing to foreign
representatives who were worried about the country's security situation. The
representatives demanded the Government of Pakistan to ensure their security,
say that otherwise they would also be forced to close their
Muhammad Naveed, a student at FAST, said that he wanted to apply
to a MBA programme in the UK as he had completed his BS(Hons). He said that he
was unsure about this after the closure of the visa centres. He said that the
new session would start in February, adding that the registration process
required a few months. He said that he wanted to be sure that his time and money
would not be wasted in doing so. He said that many of his friends had already
paid the universities and were very worried because of the visa situation. Nasif
Butt, another student, said that he had applied to a university in the UK. He
said that this had cost him a lot of money, adding that thousands of other
students were in the same situation. He said that the government should take the
necessary steps to remedy this.
Mujtaba Khan, a student's father, said
that he was worried about his son's future, adding that his son had applied for
MBA in the UK. He said that all the necessary processes were complete, adding
that he had even paid the university after his son's admission had been
confirmed. He appealed to the UK, the US and the Pakistani government to look
into the matter, as it concerned the future of thousands of
Australia: Arshad Ali Kazmi of 'Student Counselling and
Overseas Recruitment Services' said that in the UK, most universities start
their sessions during the last week of September. He said that students who
would not attend the initial classes would be dropped from the semester. He said
that, earlier, the UK visa centre had only shut down for three days, adding that
in those three days several students were dropped from their semesters. He said
that several students, however, had consulted the embassy concerned and had
gotten an extension on when they had to reach their universities. He said that
the universities of the UK and the US did not provide such relaxations to their
perspective students. He said that because of the closure of these visa centres,
students should apply to other countries like Australia, Singapore and Sweden,
adding that Australia would be the best option for them in his opinion. Daily Times
US reopens visa services today
Islamabad: The US Consulate in Pakistan has formally announced to open its visa service from today (Monday).
State Department's Deputy Spokesman Robert Wood said that the United States had
suspended its consular services, such as issuing visas, in Pakistan in response
to a worsening security situation after the Marriott suicide blast. He said the
US would formally reopen its consular services and US citizen services from
today (Monday) after security clearance.
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Some at PU more favoured than others
Lahore: The Punjab University administration's discriminatory attitude
towards different student organisations was exposed last week when it allowed a
particular student group to hold its Iftar party at the varsity's executive
The university administration has been giving hard time to student
groups since Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran took charge as the PU vice chancellor. It
has been disallowing certain student groups from organising activities rather it
has been taking action against such elements. Seen in this context, the favour
extended by PU administration to a particular student group is certainly biased
Journalists came to know about arrangements of the Iftar
party by the University Students Federation (USF) at the executive club when
they visited the varsity's New Campus to cover a press conference followed by
Iftar dinner on September 22.
The press briefing was organised by the
administration in connection with discovery of ammunition including Kalashnikovs
and grenades from the campus last week.
The journalists also expressed
concerns over presence of one of the University Students Federation members in
the press conference saying why members of other student groups were not
allowed. However, the said member left the hall following intervention of Punjab
University Registrar Prof Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan who informed the journalists
that some students had in fact arranged an Iftar party at the executive
Different student organisations including Islami Jamiat Talaba
(IJT), Insaf Students Federation (ISF) and Imamia Students Organisation (ISO)
had complained on several occasions about uncooperative attitude of the
It is pertinent to mention here that the PU
administration even announced closure of the university for three days when IJT
announced to hold a book fair a couple of months ago.
varsity administration removed a number of admission stalls set up by different
Students had strongly reacted over the administration's
acts saying they should be allowed to organize academic activities at
Commenting over the issue, PU Academic Staff Union (ASA)
President Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Salik, an elected body of Punjab University teachers,
said the administration should provide equal opportunities to all the student
organisations without any bias and prejudice. He was of the view that in history
of the Punjab University, no student group was ever allowed by the
administration to organise any event at the executive club. He maintained that
the administration should not support any student group, saying this could lead
to violence among the students.
Dr Salik also criticise the PU
administration for not allowing IJT and other student groups to organis academic
and healthy activities on campus.
He went on to say that there was
perception among teachers that the University Students Federation was the child
of the Punjab University vice chancellor, adding that favour to any particular
group by the university administration was unjustified and unfair. He said book
fair and admission stalls were positive and academic activities but it was
unfortunate that the administration did not allowed students to hold such
Registrar Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan said he was
unaware that students who organised Iftar party at the executive club belonged
to any student group. "For me, everybody was alien", he said, adding, "There are
no favorites for the administration." He added the university administration did
not recognise any student group as these were not elected.
further said the university always allowed lawful activities by students. "I
will check and if students were not entitled to organise an event at the
executive club, they will not be allowed in future," he concluded. The News
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Students flock to apply for high-paying judicial posts
Lahore: The number of people applying for posts in the
subordinate judiciary has increased dramatically with the government's
announcement of a significant increase in the salaries of civil judges and
The Punjab Public Service Commission (PPSC)
announced 99 openings for civil judges and judicial magistrates; 135 posts for
assistant district attorneys, including five for disabled persons; and 54 posts
for deputy district attorneys, including one for disabled persons.
the budget for 2008-09, the Punjab government increased salaries of district and
sessions judges from Rs 28,000 to Rs 120,000 per month while the basic pay for
additional district and sessions judges was increased from Rs 19,000 to Rs
76,000. Similarly, the salaries of senior civil judges were increased from Rs
12,000 to Rs 48,000 and the salaries of civil judges and judicial magistrates
were increased from Rs 8,000 to Rs 32,000 per month.
Thousands of law graduates have expressed interest in sitting the PPSC Combined
Competitive Examination (CCE). Students applying for the exams said that following the threefold increase in salaries, they preferred to apply for
the post of a civil judge as compared to other government posts.
graduate, Tauheed Malik, said that numerous law graduates had been waiting for
the announcement of the seats and would be sitting in the examination. He said
that the majority of law graduates appearing in the CCE had failed the CSS
examinations, adding that they preferred to sit in the judicial examinations due
to the increase in salaries and the protocol associated with the job.
Punjab University Law College faculty member Farooq Umair Niazi said
that until recently, students had not shown much interest in appearing for the
judiciary examinations and had preferred to appear for the civil services.
However, he added, since the announcement of the salary increase, most students
wanted to apply for judicial posts.
Test: A lawyer, Rashid Khan, said
that a record number of law graduates would appear in the civil judge
examinations this year because of the salary increase and better support
package, adding that the examinations had been changed to properly gauge a
candidate's qualities. Another lawyer said that due to the power of the post at
a younger age, a number of lawyers with unsuccessful practices would also appear
in the judiciary examinations. Adding that due to the age relaxation in the age
limit of the candidates to the 25-years to 32-year bracket, several serving
civil servants would also participate in the examination this year.
Satisfied: A civil judge, requesting anonymity, said that
his colleagues had been unhappy with their jobs to the point of considering
resignation, however, after an increase of their salaries to Rs 70,000 most
judges were now satisfied. Daily Times
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