ISLAMABAD: The protest of university teachers by Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) continued for the second day on Thursday outside the premises of Higher Education Commission (HEC) urging the regulatory body to accept their demands.

While holding placards and raising slogans against the commission, its officials and policies they expressed their demands. “Our protest will continue against HEC’s policies,” said Dr Kaleem Bareach, secretary general of FAPUASA.

He said his association will also hold a press conference today to announce the future course of action; the protesters have also setup a camp outside HEC as the commission is unmoved to resolve their issues. HEC has been devising policies against education, he added.

PPP Senator Farhatullah Babar, Jamaat-i-Islami chief Sirajul Haq, PPP leader Palwasha Khan and MQMP lawmaker Kishwar Zehra visited the protest venue to express solidarity with the teachers.

The list of demands made by the protesting teachers carries several points including end of the commission’s interference in university affairs, restoration of terminated faculty, increase in higher education budget, post PhD condition for BPS faculty, resolving issues of teachers serving under tenure track system (TTS), withdrawal of new journal policy, representation of FAPUASA in policy making along with the new admission policy.

Last week, TTS teachers called off a protest outside the HEC building when they were assured by high- officials of the commission that their legitimate issues will be resolved.

Recently, HEC Chairman Dr Tariq Banuri held a press conference and said that HEC has taken several initiatives for promotion of higher education and facilitation of faculty members, while alleging some individuals were trying to destroy the system by lowering its standards.

Published in Dawn, October 23rd, 2020