Islamabad - The protesting students of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) have warned of a hunger strike for the implementation of their demands including the restoration of expelled students.

The Quaid-i-Azam Student Federation (QSF) in a press briefing said that the students will set up a camp outside Higher Education Commission (HEC) and observe hunger strike if they are not given the guarantee of fulfilment of their demands.

The QSF is on strike in the university for the last eight days where all academic activities are suspended while the administration and students have not reached an agreement to end the strike.

The students have also asked for the restoration of 18 expelled students from the university after the brutal clash that occurred between two groups.

In media briefing, students said that their protest and classes boycott is against the alleged administrative and financial embezzlements of the current Vice Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Javed Ashraf and its administration.

They said that HEC had already taken the notice of maladministration and financial corruption done by the VC and submitted the report.

They said whenever such issues were raised, the university administration used different tactics to divert the issues and started victimization of the students.

Students said that current administration is trying to turn the university into an industry by raising the fee and providing no facilities to students.

Students said that their protest will continue until their demands of restoration of expelled students, reviewing the fee structure, building of new hostels, facilitating the girls’ hostels, offering semester system in all departments, providing facilities in gymnasium and medical centre, removing unnecessary security obstacles and purgation of students on open merit seats are met.

Meanwhile, VC QAU Prof Dr Javed Ashraf also held a press briefing to reply the allegations levelled by the students; he said that the administration is ready to negotiate on all points of the students except restoration of the expelled students.

But the students are not willing to talk without the restoration of expelled students, he added.

He said that students were expelled on the recommendations of inquiry committee and the decision was endorsed by the syndicate and federal minister for education also.

He said that the issue will be discussed at the next syndicate meeting again. The VC also said that the university administration is in contact with the civil administration and will avail all options to restore the academic activities in the university.

“The university once again required an operation against some elements spreading unrest here,” he said.

He also stated that expelled students have occupied the hostel rooms. “We don’t want to harm anyone but if students exceeded from limits law will exercise with full power,” he said.

On the other side, Federal Minister for Federal Education and Professional Training, Baligh-ur-Rehman also said that all options are available to restore the normal situation in the university.

“However I wish the issue will be solved peacefully,” he said. The minister said that departments of accountability are present in the country to inquire the charges of corruption on the Vice Chancellor.

He also invited students to hold talks with him to end the ongoing strike.

 

This news was published in The Nation newspaper. Read complete newspaper of 12-Oct-2017 here.