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ISLAMABAD, May 19: Although there are six councils in Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), they have never been involved in politics due to which the environment of the university has been peaceful compared to other universities.

However, a religious group has been trying to establish a council, and problems in the university have started increasing.

For the last one month, councils have been resisting the religious group but the group has retorted. It lodged a criminal case against two members of a council, and even tried to bring blasphemy in the issue due to which both students had to quit studies.

The situation has created resentment among the students of all six councils, Dawn has learnt.

A student of QAU, requesting anonymity, said there are a Punjab Council, Pakhtun Council, Mehran Council, Siraiki Council, Baloch Council and Gilgit-Baltistan Council in the university. These were established over two decades ago except for the GB council, which was established two years ago.

“Although sometimes they (councils) have differences, they have never supported involvement of politicians in the university. Last year (in March) a religious group had tried to hold a meeting to form a new council in the university, but the other councils stopped it,” he said.

He said that in the first week of April this year, the same religious group had announced a meeting and had invited around 200 students from various educational institutions of the federal capital to participate.

However, the councils stopped the meeting, resulting in increased differences. In the last week of April, some students of religious group had scuffled with students of the Gilgit-Baltistan Council.

“Two students of Mathematics and Defence and Strategic Studies departments, who belong to the religious group, lodged a complaint in the Secretariat Police Station against two other students of the History and International Relations departments (both belonging to G-B Councils). A First Information Report (FIR) was registered against them, and both students were forced to leave the university or face arrest,” he said.

Another student of QAU said students belonging to the religious group tried to make the fight an issue of blasphemy.

“He (a student of the religious group) claimed that he had a beard, and the opponent had pulled at his hair during the fight, which should be considered blasphemy,” the student said.

Investigation Officer of Secretariat Police Station Ghulam Sarwar Naeemi also confirmed that the students had tried to register a case of blasphemy.

“We told them that it cannot be considered blasphemy and registered a case under section 337-A, 182 and 506/34 (fight and threat to kill) between the two groups,” he said.

He added that the complainants had said a patch up was being arranged between the rivals therefore no action had been taken, but so far he had not received the patch up in writing.

A student belonging to the Punjab Council said he had learnt that political personalities of the federal capital belonging to a religious party had allegedly used their influence for registration of the FIR.

“Because of the FIR, both students cannot continue their studies; even the management of the university has given permission to the police to arrest both students from the hostel or university campus,” he said.

He said a truce was being negotiated, as otherwise both students would be unable to join their studies, and their low attendance may bar them from appearing for the exams.

“It seems a patch up will be made at the cost of allowing the religious group to continue its activities within the university,” he said.

“We don’t want political activities in the university because once political groups are established, educational activities will stop and the students will be used for politics,” he said.

Students of QAU have appealed to the management of the university to take notice of political activities within the university and ensure a peaceful environment for education.

Registrar QAU Dr Shafique-ur-Rehman, while talking to Dawn, said an officer of the university had been inquiring of the issue and the decision regarding the status of the students would be taken after the completion of the enquiry.