Ulterior motivations may have compelled UHS protest


Abdul Manan May 06, 2010

LAHORE: The protest launched by 150 students against the MBBS results issued by the University of Health Sciences (UHS) was instigated by activists of the Islami Jamiat Tulaba (IJT).

The protestors claimed that the university had made errors in the compilation of results and a huge demonstration was organised on Mall Road allegedly by IJT Nazim Muhammed Asif. Asif studies at the Punjab Medical College and also staged a sit-in with his peers outside the Governor House on May 4. Dr Riaz Hussain Dabb, the principal of PMC, confirmed that Muhammed Asif led the IJT activists in the college and was rounding up students for the protest against UHS. He stated that Asif was a final year student and had failed several times.

Riaz said that he had repeatedly warned Asif against propagating the IJT agenda and trying to get more recruits for the organisation. He said that he was very firm about not allowing a political student party to dominate the professional atmosphere of the PMC. The public relations officer of the UHS stated that the demands put forward by the protestors were unreasonable and demanded a breach in university regulations. He stated that only 417 candidates out of a total of 589 had cleared the first year’s tests held in February.

Similarly, 121 candidates out of a total of 585 who sat for their second year examinations had failed. He said that the percentage of successful candidates was over 70 per cent. The officer added that the IJT had been banned from the UHS and activists from across the province were instigating protests to pressurise the university. He said that disgruntled members from Punjab University, Civil Line Islamia College and Science College on Wahdat Road were the primary participants of the protest held on May 4.

IJT’s central information secretary Kashif Javed did not deny the claim and told The Express Tribune that the IJT considered it their responsibility to voice support for the rights of students. He said that the organisation was always keen on defending students against any and all injustices. Dr Asad Ashraf , chairman of the task force on health, said that the students who had been arrested will be required to repeat their academic year and would be admitted into advanced classes only after they managed to clear their exams.

He stated that over one thousand students are examined by the UHS every year and almost every medical student fails at least once or twice during his/ her academic life. He added that the UHS can recheck the papers under the regulations but can not mark them again. VC Dr Malik Hussain Mubasher condemned the IJT’s role in inciting the students and said that the university will not be pressurised into bending the regulations.

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