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BZU students again block Canal Road

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BZU students stage a sit-in on Canal Road to press the authorities to accept their demand for affiliation of the Lahore campus with the main campus in Multan — White Star
BZU students stage a sit-in on Canal Road to press the authorities to accept their demand for affiliation of the Lahore campus with the main campus in Multan — White Star

LAHORE: A large number of Lahore campus students of Bahauddin Zakariya University (BZU) on Monday blocked Canal Road for several hours against what they said government’s indifference to their demand for affiliation with the main campus in Multan.

The protesters, a majority of them female students of the five-year doctor of physical therapy (DPT) programme, chanted slogans against the government, BZU vice chancellor and the Lahore campus head.

“Now we are in the fourth year of DPT after clearing examinations for three years organised by the Lahore campus. And for the fourth year, we don’t know whether or not our exams will be held since the BZU Multan has refused to ‘recognise’ us,” Iqra, a DPT student, told Dawn.

Carrying placards and banners, the students said they had been cheated by both the campuses.

“When we got admission to DPT, we were told that the Lahore campus is affiliated with the main campus in Multan. We also checked it on BZU website and found affiliation of the campus. Later the issue of affiliation surfaced, putting our future at stake. At least we should be told who is destroying our academic future,” said Mubashira, another DPT student.

Some of the students were collecting donations from the participants, stating that their protest might prolong keeping in view the prevailing situation.

“We are collecting donations to continue our protest till the acceptance of our demand,” Fahad, another student, said.

He said the BZU VC had visited them during their last protest and promised to accommodate all the Lahore campus’ students. “Why has he refused to own the DPT and B-Tech students now?” he asked.

B-Tech students Riafat Ali, Muhammad Umar and Sajjad Khokhar deplored the BZU VC’s attitude toward the recognition issue.

They demanded that the Punjab chief minister and higher education commissions (provincial and federal) resolve the issue.

Meanwhile, a number of students of Superior College blocked Raiwind Road for several hours for not being awarded degrees by the administration. The protest snarled up the traffic for several hours.

According to Capital City Traffic Police Chief Syed Ahmad Mubeen, the protest on Canal Road caused problems for motorists. “But we set up various diversion points and kept the traffic moving,” he said in a press release.

Published in Dawn, December 20th, 2016