KARACHI, Feb 20: The Federation of All-Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) on Monday decided to launch a country-wide protest campaign in support of Sindh University's teachers and employees who for the last 50 days have been agitating against the shocking murder of their colleague and the alleged indifference of the university's vice chancellor, Prof Nazir Mughal.

Disclosing the details of the FAPUASA protest plan, its vice president and general secretary, Assistant Prof Kalimullah Bareich and Prof (Dr) Zafar Noon, respectively, told a news conference that a meeting of the federation held on Monday at the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan office had decided to observe a 'black day' on Feb 23 and stage protest demonstrations on Feb 27 in all the public sector universities of the country in support of Sindh University's teachers and employees' demands.

They said that the federation's general body would be convened on March 1 in Islamabad and if the authorities concerned failed to accept the demands of SU teachers by then, the teaching community belonging to all the public sector universities of the country would have no choice but to boycott classes at their respective institutions and hold a protest demonstration in front of the parliament.

They further said that the federation had also resolved not to meet the committee constituted by Sindh governor but was prepared to hold direct negotiations for resolving the prolonged dispute as the governor was also chancellor of all public sector universities of Sindh.

At the outset, the federation's office-bearers said that all public sector universities of Sindh would continue to remain closed till the acceptance of Sindh University's teachers' demands which, they added, include immediate removal of the university's vice chancellor, setting up a judicial commission to be headed by a high court judge for investigating the murder of Dr Bashir Ahmed Channar, reinstatement of Sindh University Teachers' Association's president and general secretary, Dr Azhar Ali Shah and Dr Arfana Mallah, and withdrawal of show-cause notices served on six teachers of the university.

The other office-bearers of the federation present on the occasion included Balochistan University's Academic Staff Association's general secretary Farid Khan Achakzai, and member executive committee Dr Saeed Rehman Kakar.

Hunger strike

Around 100 teachers and employees of Sindh University on Monday began their token hunger strike in front of the Karachi Press Club to press the authorities for the acceptance of their demands.

The hunger strike camp set up jointly by Sindh University Teachers Association and Sindh University Employees Welfare Association was visited by central leaders of FAPUASA and different delegations belonging to the HRCP, International Socialists, Karachi, Karachi University's different student organizations, Pakistan Trade Union Federation, National Party, Sindh Tarraqui Pasand Party.

Those who participated in the token hunger strike on Monday included Amar Sindhu, Prof Badar Soomro, Dr Rabia Asma Memon, Rafiq Wassan, Rashid Khero, Mohammad Yaqoob Kondhi, Najaf Ali Soomro and Women Action Forum's Atiya Dawood.

A number of banners were inscribed with such slogans as "Sindh University's vice chancellor be removed", "set up of judicial commission to probe Bashir Channar's gruesome murder", "police and Rangers be removed from SU campus", "restore students union", etc.

Opinion

Budgeting without people

Budgeting without people

Even though the economy is a critical issue, discussions about it involve a select few who are not really interested in communicating with the people.

Editorial

Iranian tragedy
Updated 21 May, 2024

Iranian tragedy

Due to Iran’s regional and geopolitical influence, the world will be watching the power transition carefully.
Circular debt woes
21 May, 2024

Circular debt woes

THE alleged corruption and ineptitude of the country’s power bureaucracy is proving very costly. New official data...
Reproductive health
21 May, 2024

Reproductive health

IT is naïve to imagine that reproductive healthcare counts in Pakistan, where women from low-income groups and ...
Wheat price crash
Updated 20 May, 2024

Wheat price crash

What the government has done to Punjab’s smallholder wheat growers by staying out of the market amid crashing prices is deplorable.
Afghan corruption
20 May, 2024

Afghan corruption

AMONGST the reasons that the Afghan Taliban marched into Kabul in August 2021 without any resistance to speak of ...
Volleyball triumph
20 May, 2024

Volleyball triumph

IN the last week, while Pakistan’s cricket team savoured a come-from-behind T20 series victory against Ireland,...