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Deadlock at QAU persists

October 12, 2017

ISLAMABAD: The deadlock between protesting students and administration of the Quad-i-Azam University (QAU) persists, as student leaders vowed on Wednesday that they would not call off their strike until their demands are not met.

The university’s vice chancellor defended the decision of the university administration to expel the students, who had created unrest on campus a few months ago.

Because of the strike the academic activities on the campus have been on a standstill for the last eight days.

The student representatives, while addressing a press conference here at the National Press Club said restoration of expelled students was one of their demands.

Their other demands include decrease in fee, provision of transport facilities, improvement in hostels infrastructure, reimbursement of heavy fines collected from the students and appointment of around 400 teachers.

Student leaders Jahanzeb Wazir, Asghar Lashari, Furqan Sahi, Mahbloos Asad and Maida Hameed told mediapersons that they would hold protest outside the Higher Education Commission (HEC) offices.

On the other hand, the vice chancellor of the university while addressing a press conference at his residence said the university syndicate was the competent forum to discuss and decide the students’ restoration. He denied that university was charging high fee, saying the university raised fee by only 5pc after a gap of two years.

Talking to Dawn, the HEC chairman Dr. Mukhtar Ahmed said the university should call the syndicate meeting at the earliest as there was no education activity in the university for the last over one week.

The Academic Staff Association of the QAU has demanded that the expelled students should not be reinstated.

The association has convened a meeting of the General Body of the entire Faculty on Thursday, a press release of the university said.

It said that faculty categorically owns all the decisions taken by the university discipline committee with regard to expulsion/rustication/fining of students found guilty of engaging in violent behavior and disrupting the peace and working environment of the Campus.

However, the ASA said that the faculty was dismayed at the quality of governance at QAU and had separately taken up the matter with the higher authorities.

The ASA said that those engaged in the recent protests had threatened QAU security staff, destroyed CCTV Cameras, roughed up research students, sabotaged electric supply to labs and offices, confined faculty members to their homes, obstructed movement of vehicles and staff, and threatened QAU Academic Staff in their offices and labs with an aim of forcing them to suspend research activities.

Published in Dawn, October 12th, 2017