Punjab varsities formulate action plan to counter terrorism

December 05, 2017

ISLAMABAD - Some two dozen 20 universities in Punjab have prepared an action plan to promote peace and tolerance at campuses to counter extremism, an official said Monday.

The plan was prepared by the Director Student Affairs (DSAs) of 24 public sector universities under the joint venture of University of Education and Punjab Higher Education Commission.

According to the three regional plans - Central, North and Southern - based on detailed group deliberations by the DSAs, universities have agreed to undertake collaborative efforts through organising inter-university activities in the higher educational institutions.

These activities include cultural, sports, literary, co-curricular competitions and festivals among the university students; strengthening student societies; organising workshops for students to provide them proper perspectives for the promotion of peace, tolerance and conflict resolution; provision of various facilities including counselling through students service centres; organising seminars, peace walks , social media summit; training of office bearer of all societies of the region on structure, functions and resources; open mind student forum for general students and appointment of peace proctors at departmental level.

The DSAs also agreed to avail one another’s experiences and expertise aimed at safe, peaceful and tolerant university campuses. In this regard, regional forums of the universities would be established.

The DSAs also suggested to the Punjab government to allocate a sum of Rs500 per student in order to engage the enrolled university students in various extra-curricular and healthy activities in meaningful way.

The participants were of the view that strengthening of directorate of student affairs would be quite helpful in addressing the issues of violence and extremism at the university campuses.

Appreciating action plans prepared by the public sector universities, Syed Raza Ali Gillani, Provincial Minister for Higher Education Punjab and Prof Dr Mohammad Nizamuddin, Chairperson Punjab Higher Education Commission assured their utmost cooperation in effective implementation of the plan .

They said that through coordinated efforts and close liaison among the higher education institutions of the province, menace of campus-based violence could be tackled in effective way.

Dr Rauf-i-Azam, Vice Chancellor University of Education Lahore hoped that the action plan would prove a great step towards promoting peace, tolerance, co-existence and harmony at the university campuses.