HYDERABAD: Leaders of political parties, civil society, teachers and thinkers declared here on Sunday that mafias had taken over control of almost all universities in the province and turned the institutions into virtual slaughterhouses.
The best way to resist the mafia was restoration of student unions, they said at two seminars held here. The first seminar on 'Mismanagement and lawlessness in Sindh University and other educational institutions, causes and solutions' was organised by Islami Jamiat-i-Tuleba and the other by an NGO, Strengthening Participatory Organisation.
Speakers at the IJT seminar said the murder of a Sindh University professor was tantamount to murdering the educational system in the province. They stressed the need for reviving student unions to curb mafias.
They regretted that no headway had been made in the case of murder of Prof Bashir Ahmed Channar who was gunned down on Jan 2 in broad daylight when he left office in his car for home. He was attacked by gunmen at the Allama I I Kazi roundabout.
Ameer of Jamaat-i-Islami's Sindh chapter, Maulana Asadullah Bhutto, said the murder was a bad omen for the educational system.
IJT leader Israr Ahmed said the vacuum caused by the absence of student unions had been filled by mafias. He demanded revival of student unions in the larger interest of education and peace on the campus.
Writer Dr Abid Leghari said wrong policies of the government had turned campuses into battlegrounds.
Senior journalist Abdul Hafeez Abid said the government had never given priority to education and exorbitant increases in fees and introduction of self-finance scheme had virtually closed the doors of higher education on poor students. Murderers and extortionists have taken over control of educational institutions.
Aftab Khanzada of PPP said the murder was a conspiracy against education while PML-N leader Afzal Gujjar said the vice-chancellor, Sindh governor and chief minister could not absolve themselves of the responsibility for the professor's murder.
At the other seminar, speakers demanded restoration of student unions and called upon nationalist parties to ensure peace and order in educational institutions.
Sindh Taraqqi Pasand Party chairman Dr Qadir Magsi said that the student unions should be restored and practical steps should be taken to solve problems of teachers and students.
He criticised what he called the handing over education sector to Sindh governor. Instead of solving problems, he said, students were being rusticated. He demanded that police and Rangers should be withdrawn from educational institutions.
He said the vice chancellor of Sindh University could not be absolved of the responsibility for the murder of Prof Channar.
Universities can't be run by mafias.
He urged teachers and parents to realise their responsibilities in this regard.
Awami Jamhoori Party leader Abrar Kazi stressed the need for tolerance and said that it had taken years to destroy educational system in the province.
The secretary of the Sindh University Teachers Association, Dr Arfana Mallah, said the number of Sindhi students declining in all universities. Display of arms had become a routine matter and none was safe on the campus, which was being controlled by the mafia.
Noted writer and university teacher Amar Sindhu said the universities had become virtual slaughterhouses.