QAU strike ends with reinstatement of expelled students

islamabad – The administration of Quaid-i-Azam University – finally bowing its head before the students’ hunger strike – announced to restore all the expelled students, however, they imposed an additional fine on them as punishment, an official said on Thursday.

The decision was taken in a meeting held between the Federal Minister for Education Baligh-ur-Rehman, parliamentarians from Baluchistan, vice-chancellor of the university, members of the committee constituted by the university syndicate to review the punishments awarded to students and few syndicate members.

The meeting decided to restore all the expelled and rusticated students and replaced their punishments with additional monetary fines ranging from Rs25, 000 to 40,000.

The notification issued by the university said that meeting of some QAU syndicate members with the Pro-Chancellor Minister for Federal Education & Professional Training reviewed the decisions of the University Discipline Committee. In anticipation of the approval of the syndicate, the following decisions have been taken. The punishment of expulsion of the students from the university has been replaced with an additional fine of Rs40,000 and rustication for two semesters has been replaced with an additional fine of Rs25,000.

The students who were rusticated for one semester have been ordered to pay the fine imposed on them while their rustication has been completed.

As per the official order, parents and guardians will provide written guarantee to the university administration against recurrence of similar acts in future, while strict letters will be issued to the students involved in the May 2017 clashes occurred in the university.

The students have been also ordered to submit written apology letters to the administration while the punishments awarded after the May 20 incident have been reversed, as per the official order.

An official informed The Nation that the meeting took place at the minister’s office where all the members decided to review the decision and restored the students with administrative order instead of sending it to the syndicate meeting which was scheduled on November 17.

The official said that parliamentarians from Baluchistan played a key role in chaining the decision and mind of the university administration which was not in favour of giving relaxation to the students involved in clashes.

After the decision, Senator Mir Kabir from National Party (NP), VC Prof Dr Javed Ashraf and other officials reached the hunger strike camp of the Baloch students and announced the decision of the restoration.

The committee along with restoring the expelled and rusticated students for two semesters has also lifted the ban on their ongoing PhD and research thesis submission in the campus, said the senator.

“I personally apologize from the teaching faculty on the conduct of students and request them to forgive them like a father,” said the senator.

In his social media post, he said, “Issue of the QAU has been resolved peacefully after the successful meeting with the syndicate members and federal education minister QAU faculty members have issued notification all the students have been restored.”

Names of the expelled students from Baluch and Sindh Student Council include Nouroz Khan, Karman Baloch, Saddam Baloch, Fahad, Mehtab Bashir, Naveed Somro, Rashid Bhutto, Abdul Hafeez and Sanaullah.

The Review Committee was comprised of a member of Higher Education Commission (HEC), a representative from ministry and a syndicate member.

After the announcement of the decision, the Baloch Student and Pashtun Student Council announced to end the protest by calling off their hunger strike.

VC QAU and the parliamentarians offered the eatables to the students to end their strike. The Quad-i-Azam Student Federation (QSF) had held around 20-day strike halting all the academic and administrative activities during last month.

However, after the formation of the Review Committee by the university syndicate, all other councils had ended their strike while BSC and PSC had set the hunger strike camp till the fulfilment of their demands.

The hunger strike of the students continued for 10 days in which few students fainted and were shifted to a hospital because of poor health conditions.

Talking to The Nation, Chairman BSC Kamran Baloch said that students are jubilant on the decision of the administration and all who played a positive role in the restoration of students. “Though heavy fines have been imposed the students have accepted the decision,” he said.

Chairman PSC Jahnzeb Khan Wazir informed The Nation that it was a much-awaited decision and the students paid a heavy price for it.

“More fines have been imposed on the students but their academic future is secure now,” he said.

Meanwhile, the ASA denouncing the VC decision for restoring the students said that the teachers association stands with the UDC which has awarded the punishment to the students involved in clashes rightfully.

Former President ASA Prof Dr Asif Ali taking to The Nation said that UDC had held a thorough investigation of the violent incident and ASA supports its decision.

Meanwhile, ASA held a referendum on the matter of the resignation of the QAU VC, in which out of total 171 faculty members, 125 voted for the resignation and 42 voted against the proposed statement.

Acting Registrar QAU Imtiaz-ud-Din talking to The Nation said that students were restored under the national cause after the parliamentarians played their role to control the situation for going on the wrong way.

He said there was a chance of exploitation of the issue and the administration was not opposing their restoration for personal ego. He said the students were restored imposing strict fines to avoid such incidents in future.

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