MUZAFFARABAD: Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) Prime Minister Raja Farooq Haider on Wednesday expressed the hope that Women’s University of AJK (WUAJK) would have a state-of-the-art campus with the cooperation and support of his government and the Higher Education Commission (HEC).
He said this while laying the foundation stone of some academic shelters on the recently chosen varsity’s site in Banni Pasari, located some two kilometres away from the centre of Bagh city.
The AJK premier had provided Rs10 million for construction of these shelters.
The WUAJK was set up by the PPP government by an act of assembly in 2014, with the office of its vice chancellor (VC) and three departments in parts of the women’s education college, postgraduate college and a state-owned rest house and the remaining 11 departments in three rented buildings in Bagh city.
However, the varsity was hit by a dispute between the then PPP government functionaries who wanted to establish its campus at the district headquarters and some local leaders who were stressing Khapaddar village along Jhelum River as the campus site.
In January last year, an official committee constituted by the present government selected Banni Pasari, comprising some 2,050 kanals of state land, for the campus and the decision was also endorsed by the HEC, which had approved a project worth Rs450 million for the varsity but could not execute it due to the controversy over site selection.
At a briefing to PM Haider, Prof Dr Abdul Hameed, who assumed this office of WUAJK VC in June last year, maintained that the early land transfer would help him get the HEC-sponsored project initiated without further loss of time.
On this, the prime minister directed all officers concerned to expedite the process to this effect “on a war footing”.
The prime minister appreciated the efforts of the VC and his team and said his government would lend all possible cooperation to help this highest seat of learning excel in academic and extracurricular activities.
“I urge the academic staff to pay attention not only to the provision of quality education but also to the moral upbringing of students so as to enable them to significantly contribute to building a better and beneficial society,” he said.
Published in Dawn, January 14th, 2021