MIANWALI: Teachers, students and former students of the Government Postgraduate College of Mianwali say they hope that Prime Minister Imran Khan’s visit to Mianwali on Saturday may help thwart a move by the Punjab Higher Education Department to transfer college’s 130 kanals to the adjacent University of Mianwali (UoM).

The Mianwali chapter of the Punjab Professors and Lecturers Association (PPLA) at a meeting condemned the move and said the Mianwali Government College was the oldest educational institute of the district, which was established in 1950. That time, it spread over 330 kanals and 14 marlas. The college has post-graduate classes of English and Political Science subjects, which started in 1992, while BS classes began in 2020 in Chemistry, Physics, Botany, Zoology and English degrees.

By and by, the college started losing its land.

First, in 2011, the sub-campus of the University of Sargodha (UoS) was carved out of the college’s land (80 kanals) and later in 2019, the UoS was converted into the UoM. Now, the UoM has grabbed another 130 kanals out of the remaining 250 kanals of the degree college under a letter by the Punjab Higher Education Department to the Colleges Director of the Sargodha division.

The PPLA says the post-graduate college charges a student Rs6,000 per semester, whereas the UoM charges Rs26,000 per semester. It says the poor inhabitants of the district cannot afford costly education. It says that Mianwali, despite being the hometown of Prime Minister Imran Khan, is being neglected to provide state land outside the city to establish the UoM.

PPLA Vice-President Prof Muhammad Hayat Khan told Dawn that they will agitate against the land transfer at all forums as they had the support of more than 2,500 college students and former students. He revealed that Chidroo village residents donated their 2,800 kanals for a cadet college but a rift among local politicians resulted in the shifting of the college to tehsil Isakhel. He claimed the villagers are willing to donate the same land for the UoM which will certainly make the future of their children bright.

Mohammad Jamal Khan, a spokesman for the college students, told Dawn that they were shocked to know about the land grab of their college, which included their sports grounds and lawns at the college.

He said they would protest against the land transfer till the shifting of the university from college premises. He said the previous Punjab government transferred the forest land to the Danish school and and another huge chunk of land to (now Prime Minister) Imran Khan for his Namal College. He said the the Punjab government should utilise public land for the UoM.

Published in Dawn, December 11th, 2021

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