LAHORE: The Punjab Teachers’ Union (PTU) has postponed its protest rallies for one day in the wake of the law and order situation in the province.
The rallies were to begin on Monday (today) in Rawalpindi. They will now start on Tuesday in Gujrat. The decision was taken at a meeting of PTU office bearers on Sunday.
Talking to The Express Tribune, PTU general secretary Rana Liaquat Ali said the protest had been postponed due to the imposition of a curfew in Rawalpindi by the provincial government. He said no new date had been decided for the demonstration in Rawalpindi.
“A new date for protests in Rawalpindi will be announced once the government lifts the curfew and things calm down,” he said.
The demonstrations in Gujrat will be followed by another in Multan on Wednesday. The PTU has planned protests in Faisalabad and Bahwalnagar.
Ali said the PTU would revise the protest schedule in accordance with the security situation in the province. With the imposition of Section-144 in Faisalabad and Multan, he said the PTU was monitoring the law and order situation closely and might reschedule some of the rallies if need be.
Last week, a meeting between the education minister and PTU officials was scheduled. The PTU general secretary said the meeting did not take place in the wake of strict Muharram security arrangements and dengue campaigns.
The protests had begun earlier in October. The teachers said the government should reverse its plans to formulate a district education authority.
Talks between the Schools Education Department and the PTU failed to reach a compromise. The latter then announced a series of protests in the province which are to end on November 28 in Lahore. Teachers plan to take out a protest rally from Nasser Bagh to the Chief Minister’s House.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 18th, 2013.