LAHORE - Punjab government has required vice chancellors of all universities throughout the province to keep a close eye on the visitors at student hostels and report the authorities and Anti-Terrorism Force (ATF) about the visiting persons who are not students.

The government has decided to conduct screening of the persons who visit the hostels to see the students as their friends or relatives. In a wide range of measures taken to identify and eradicate the suspicious and nefarious elements at varsities and hostels, the government has also sought lecture from only those teachers who have uncontroversial and unquestionable personality and do not have connection with any banned organisation.

Home Minister Col (retd) Shujakhanzada held a meeting with the vice chancellors of universities from all over Punjab here on Tuesday. The meeting was also participated by Home Secretary, IGP Punjab, and top officials of the counter terrorism force, higher education and others.

Addressing the meeting, the home minister asked the university authorities to invite the guests only after getting security clearance from the department concerned and the VC should immediately contact the Anti-terrorisms Force on detecting any suspicious activity in the institution. He also sought monitoring of the mosques situated in the university premises and for strictly restraining overnight stay of anyone in the mosques. He wanted the VCs to report to the authorities if any member of the faculty is related to a banned outfit or the organisation that holds extremism outlooks.

Khanzada has also provided a toll free number - 0800-11111 - for contact to the Anti-terrorism Force in case the VCs find suspicious activity from the students. He said the head of the regional headquarter of the ATF will soon contact the VCs to ensure every cooperation and help in the discharge of their duties towards implementation of the anti-terror measures.

On the basis of reports that certain students of engineering and medical universities are being attracted to nefarious activities in the name of preaching, the minister said, stressing that this practice should be stopped immediately.

In accordance with the National Action Plan, he said, the government is pursuing the policy of zero tolerance towards terrorism and the activity related to this menace that will continue till complete eradication of terrorism.

The VCs assured the minister of complete cooperation.