LAHORE - Vice-chancellors of all the public and private universities of the country on Saturday again strongly rejected the proposed legislation for the restoration of students unions in the varsities and suggested to postpone the idea for indefinite period due to prevailing law and order situation in the country. After hot debate over the issue, a few vice-chancellors of the public sector expressed their viewpoints in the favour of the proposed bill while the rest of the VCs strongly criticised the governments initiative saying that the student unions would destroy the peaceful atmosphere of the educational institutions. The unanimous decision of all the VCs came in a videoconference meeting of vice-chancellors of public and private varsities to discuss restoration of student unions in the country. The vice-chancellors were unanimous in opposing the idea, however, they suggested alternatives such as student societies, clubs, forums and federations to provide the students a platform to raise their voice and develop leadership qualities. The meeting was held simultaneously at the University of Veterinary and Animal Sciences under the directives of the Higher Education Commission (HEC). During the videoconference, the participants at 11 different locations simultaneously in various cities across the country discussed the issue. Some VCs registered their protest while criticising the working paper suggesting restoration of student unions, saying that maintaining peace and law and order within the premises of the universities was not a job of the students as mentioned in the paper. They said according to the working paper, the students unions have been given responsibility to invite eminent personalities in the university programmes, seminars and ceremonies. This would politicise institutions and affect the overall atmosphere, as the students unions would call leaders of political parties of their choice instead of educationists, doctors or other learned persons. Vice Chancellor GC University Dr Khalid Aftab took a very strong stand against the restoration of student unions. In the prevailing law and order situation, the education institutes cannot afford protests, scuffles and other negative activities which are sure to take place once the unions are restored, he said. A Vice Chancellor from Karachi said his university has a bitter experience when activists of a student union thrashed the senior faculty members and other administrative officers and locked them up in a room. The way they misbehaved with them was highly condemnable. They were participating in the syndicate meeting at the time of incident, he said. Muhammad Akram, Vice Chancellor UET, giving references of some ugly episodes and bitter experiences said several students have been murdered while scores of other injured in the armed clashes between the student unions in a bid to get hold of the education institutes. Vice chancellor University of Engineering and Technology Peshawar strongly opposed the idea saying the NWFP could not afford such activates as the province was already undergoing worst law and order situation. VC Taxila University Dr Habibullah Jamal referred the restoration as genie, that he said, should remain in the bottle. Rector The University of Lahore Prof Dr M Saleem Shuja raised objections over the working paper. He was of the view that the political parties would get hold on all the private universities through their student wings. He suggested to the federal Government not to play with the future of the students and also the teachers imparting education in a peaceful atmosphere. After a sizzling debate, the HEC has asked the VCs to prepare their recommendations and submit them within next three days. It also informed the participants that after analysing the recommendations, another meeting would be called within a week for a final discussion upon the issue. In the metropolis, apart from UVAS the videoconference was also held at the University of Engineering and Technology (UET). The federal education secretary and Executive Director HEC Sohail H Naqvi were also present in the meeting.