Concerns as Punjab University resumes academic term

Abdul Manan April 16, 2010

LAHORE: The Punjab University made the official announcement to call off the strike and resume all academic activities from April 19 (Monday).

Dr Muhammed Naeem the registrar for the university confirmed that the official notification to end the strike was issued yesterday.

Professor Dr Rasool Baksh Raees of the Lahore University of Management Sciences (Lums) revealed to The Express Tribune that hundreds of PU faculty members including several administrators were recruited through the Islami Jamiat Taleba (IJT).

He stated that these recruits were ethically flexible and did not have the will to counter right-wing activists.

He alleged that even Professor Iftikhar, who was assaulted by IJT students earlier this month, was appointed on the request of IJT members. He claimed that he could divulge a long list of names of academic staff members who were appointed with the help of the group.

He further stated that the IJT had a four decade old history of violence within the campus and condemned the university’s decision to resume classes and examinations without eliminating the rightist elements.

Dr Rasool said that a neutral chairperson should be appointed to head the disciplinary committee so that any student found in violation of the disciplinary code could be expelled immediately.

Professor Hassan Askari Rizvi who is a leading political analyst and a former PU lecturer said that the university had fallen short of its basic responsibility to exterminate the IJT. He believed that all political parties should be forced to disassociate themselves from student groups.

Hassan added that the IJT had deeply entrenched roots that extended to the administrative corridors. He stated that it was very easy for IJT members to change their appearance a little and camouflage themselves as modern students until the storm blew over.

The strike started on April 1 after Professor Iftikhar the chairman of the disciplinary committee was brutally assaulted and the vice chancellor’s office was ransacked.

The academic staff association was forced to boycott classes and postpone semester examinations. Two IJT activists nominated in the FIR were arrested on April 14 and sent to jail on a judicial remand.

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