K-P universities reopen

Teachers called off their three weeks strike, boycott of classes against the kidnapping of a Vice-Chancellor.

Manzoor Ali November 30, 2010


All public sector universities in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) opened on Monday after teachers called off their three weeks strike and boycott of classes against the kidnapping of Islamia College University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Ajmal Khan.

The Peshawar University Teachers Association (PUTA) President, Dr Johar Ali, told The Express Tribune that the teachers ended their strike because they did not want the students to suffer. “They will perform their duties but they will wear black armbands in protest,” he said.

Talking about their next step, Dr Johar said that they were keeping a watch on the situation. Any future line of action will be decided by the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) keeping the situation in view.

FAPUASA provincial chapter president, Dr Fida Mohammed, said that they would do everything in their power to ensure the safe release of the VC.

Students on the other hand welcomed the decision of ending the boycott of classes by teachers and the re-opening of universities as a positive step.

“It is good to be back at university because the prolonged protests and closure of universities have affected so many students,” Faizan Sami, a student from Mansehra said.

Irshad Ahmed, a student from Peshawar, said that he was worried as to how they would make up all that they had missed in time for the upcoming exams.

Earlier, the vice-chancellors’ committee, on November 22, had decided to open universities from November 27. However, the protesting teachers disagreed with the decision and announced to continue their protest.

However, following a meeting with the Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa Governor, Owais Ahmed Ghani, the FAPUASA also announced on November 25 to end its strike from November 29.

The teacher’s community went on a three-week strike and boycotted classes across K-P to pressurise the government to ensure Dr Khan’s
safe release.

They took the decision following the release of the second video by Taliban on November 7.

Islamia College University Vice-Chancellor, Dr Ajmal Khan, a cousin of Awami National Party (ANP) chief, Asfandyar Wali Khan, was kidnapped on September 7 from outside his residence in the Professors’ Colony area close to the campus along with
his driver.

Published in The Express Tribune, November 30th,  2010.


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