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Normalcy returns to AIOU

July 07, 2012

ISLAMABAD, July 6: The rather prolonged tension that kept the Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) in the news nearly for over two weeks seemed to have exhausted itself.

All outstanding issues between its management and employees were said to be resolved on Friday as management accepted most of the demands made by the employees.

Extending the olive branch, the varsity administration also reinstated the eight employees who were earlier dismissed amid chaos.

Besides, the transfer orders of a clerk, Bilawal Laghari (who has been serving in Islamabad for nearly 25 years) to Umar Kot, Sindh were also withdrawn and both the management and employees agreed that in future they would resolve their issues through dialogue, Dawn has learnt.

According to sources, a committee headed by Dr Syed Abdul Siraj, Chairman Mass Communication Department negotiated with the employees and in the end it was decided that eight employees would be reinstated and in future management of the AIOU would lend its ear to all the issues of the employees.

It to mention here that a dispute had raised its ugly head in the third week of June when Vice Chancellor Dr Nazir A Sangi transferred a clerk Bilawal Laghari to Umar Kot but he was not willing to go there.

On June 18, the clerk’s wife and children went to the VC’s office beseeching withdrawal of the transfer orders but the guards started torturing them instead of letting them see the VC.

Later, on the same day when employees came to know about the incident, they started a protest against it and forcibly entered in the VC office over which an FIR was registered with Industrial Area police and nine persons were nominated in it.

Sajid Mehmood Janjua, who led the protest, while talking to Dawn said that eight employees who had earlier been dismissed as they protested for their rights have been reinstated. He appreciated the steps taken by the management and hoped that peaceful environment would flourish in the university.

Public Relations Officer (PRO) of the AIOU, Ubaidullah Mumtaz said that almost 150 employees were protesting during the alleged campaign against the VC and claimed that for the past few weeks the VC had been away most of the time – visiting out of station places – as he wanted to establish new campuses of the university in different cities of the country.