PESHAWAR: All development projects at Bacha Khan University, Charsadda were halted with immediate effect as the varsity still awaits security clearance to reopen.
BKU Spokesperson Saeed Khan Khalil told The Express Tribune on Wednesday DPO Sohail Khalid will visit the university on February 12 to check security arrangements after which the management will decide whether or not to reopen the university.
“So far the boundary walls have been increased and their levels raised,” Khalil said, adding, barbed wire and watchtowers have also been installed. He said the number of security guards and CCTV cameras has increased and a control room has also been established at the university.
Mardan Region DIG Saeed Wazir told The Express Tribune police officials visited BKU to check security arrangements and believe they were satisfactory. They hoped the university would resume soon.
Khalil said a delegation of HEC officials headed by HEC Chairperson Professor Dr Mukhtar Ahmad visited BKU and met the university administration on Tuesday. The commission has proposed shifting campus to a safer location.
The delegation suggested shifting the university near the motorway in Charsadda where a 500-kanal piece of land has been purchased for the campus. However, BKU Charsadda Vice Chancellor informed the delegation it was impossible for them to shift under the current circumstances – short span of time and lack of funds. He also demanded HEC to provide monetary assistance for new construction.
Rumour mill? Qaiser refutes news regarding visit
K-P Assembly Speaker Asad Qaiser refuted news that during his visit to BKU, he had pressed the varsity to replace Bacha Khan’s portrait with that of Imran Khan.
In a clarification issued from the K-P Assembly on Wednesday, Qaiser denied the rumours and called them baseless. “Bacha Khan was a Pukhtun leader who spent his whole life bringing political awareness among people,” the document quoted him as saying. “His sacrifices can never be forgotten and [the fact] a university was created in his name is a tribute to the man.”
According to the statement, Qaiser said, “Respecting our elders is in the blood of Pukhtuns. I respect Bacha Khan and consider his respect, a duty.”
He added, “Irrespective of political rivalry, we cannot think of disrespecting our political elders,” the statement quoted him as saying.
Qaiser visited the university on Monday and was briefed by the management regarding security arrangements in the varsity. Meanwhile, members of Awami National Party and Pukhtoon Students Federation protested in Farooq Azam Chowk, Charsadda against rumours of removing Bacha Khan’s picture.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 11th, 2016.