MANSEHRA: Teachers and other staff members of the Hazara University on Tuesday observed a black day against the ‘suspension’ of funds by the government and insisted that the unavailability of money had blocked their pay raise.

Performing duty wearing black armbands, they threatened the boycott of classes and examinations on the matter.

“Following the denial of funds by the government, the universities are unable to increase the salaries and allowances of their employees adding to their misery,” Hazara University Academic Staff Association president Ijaz Shah told a meeting of the body here.

Mr Shah complained that the government ignored the needs of universities despite their massive contributions to the cause of higher education.

He said the government was forcing universities to increase the salaries of staff members from their own resources without realising that higher tuition fee would render education unaffordable for many youth.

Later, Vice-Chancellor Dr Jamil Ahmad met protesters and promised them an early pay raise.

VACANCIES: The Mansehra District Bar Association on Tuesday unanimously passed a resolution demanding early filling of vacancies in the local courts.

The resolution was tabled by senior lawyers Shahjehan Khan Swati, Hafiz Naseem Khan and Munir Hussain Lughmani during the association’s general body meeting, which was chaired by president Bilal Khan here.

Mr Bilal said currently, four posts of judges, including two of additional sessions judges and two civil judges, lied vacant in Mansehra district, so others judges were overburdened with work and pendency of cases was high.

He said it seemed that the post of the additional sessions judge was being abolished as the high court recently transferred outgoing judge Ali Asghar Shah’s cases totalling around 600 to other courts.

“The abolition of the judge’s post is unacceptable to us [lawyers],” he said.

The association president also complained about a long delay in the start of work on the Mansehra Judicial Complex.

He said the high court’s chief justice had promised senior lawyers earlier this year that the judicial complex’s construction would begin in August, but that had yet to happen. Mr Bilal said the complex’s groundbreaking was performed in 2010.

HELD: The Pulrah police on Tuesday arrested a man for grabbing a farmer’s land and issuing death threats to him.

Habibur Rehman formally complained to the police against Mohammad Nazir insisting that the latter occupied his land and built a temporary structure on it.

The SHO of Pulrah police station along with a contingent of police raided the place and arrested him.

Meanwhile, the traders in Shinkiari area have warned that they will observe a shutter down strike if power outages in the name of maintenance don’t stop.

Published in Dawn, November 17th, 2021

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