LAHORE - The public sector universities, including Punjab University, of the country observed one-hour academic boycott on Thursday for not being supported financially. Punjab University Academic Staff Association (PUASA) also held a protest demonstration from 12:00 noon to 1:00pm at New Campus against the cut in budget of the universities. They were wearing black armbands as mark of protest against the government. The faculty members of universities also went on academic strike on appeal of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) and the Vice Chancellors (VCs) committee, which had held a failed meeting with the committee formed by the Prime Minister the other day. Earlier, the teachers also held demonstrations in other universities of the country and strongly criticized the federal government for its apathetic attitude towards the Higher Education Commission (HEC). A large number of Punjab University faculty members held a demonstration under the auspices of PUASA within the varsity premises and expressed their anger over the government for ignoring the education sector. FAPUASA president Prof Dr Mahr Saeed Akhtar, who is also president of the PUASA, led the demo. Punjab chapter president of the Association Dr Zafar Noon was also present on the occasion. The protestors carrying placards and banners chanted slogans against the government. FAPUASA leaders also demanded of the government to immediately issue grants for faculty members pursuing PhD degrees abroad and stop financially supporting private universities. It is also important to mention here that some VCs had also threatened the government to shut down universities from Wednesday after their meeting with government officials ended without any conclusion. They said that the cash starved varsities could not continue with their development projects and demanded an immediate release of Rs7 billion. PAL grieved over Ehsans death Chairman Pakistan Academy of Letters (PAL) Fakhar Zaman has expressed deep grief over the death of prominent poet Mohsin Ehsan. In a press release issued here on Thursday, Fakhar Zaman said the death of Mohsin Ehsan was a great loss to Urdu literature adding he was one of the major poets in Urdu having a unique blend of classical poetry tradition and modern sensibilities in his verse. He said Mohsin Ehsan published four collections of his poetry including Natamam, Naguz-eer, Naraseeda, Nashn-eeda and Sukhan Sukhan Mahtab which were considered trend setting publications in modern Urdu poetry. He further said Ehsan also contributed in the Literature of Children and the field of translation. A collection of Naats Ajmal-o-Akmal was also to his credit, he added.