ISLAMABAD-The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA) has asked the government to release the grant which it has pledged for scholarships, salary raise and development projects within one week or else they would strike on October 5. The representatives of the association from public sector universities across the country held a press conference wherein they condemned the governments apathy towards the higher education sector. Earlier, they held a protest demonstration condemning the governments decision of imposing cuts on universities budget. They demanded removal of Finance Minister Abdul Hafeez Sheikh and Education Minister Sardar Aseff Ahmad Ali for their remarks. They said the Education Minister should take his words back and should seek apology from the teachers of the university. The minister had said that the teaching faculty of universities have been using the students to get raise in their salaries. President of FAPUASA, Maher Mohammad Saeed said education was a low priority for the government as it reduced education budget from 2.2 per cent to 1.6 per cent despite that it has announced in the Educational Policy 2009 that the education budget would be increased to 7 per cent of the GDP gradually. He said the children of parliamentarians and bureaucrats studied abroad so they were not concerned about the public sector universities where people from low income and middle class families study. He said Hafeez Sheikh himself did not study in Pakistan nor his children and he did not know anything about the education system of the country. He said the government had given its word to the vice chancellors that the government would not cut the HEC budget and release Rs30 billion for the universities but instead it announced Rs. 15.7 billion which was also not released. He said the agents of IMF and World Bank were pressurising the government for making such policies to make the education out of reach for the poor and destroy the education sector of the country. He said both the ministers should resign voluntarily as they have humiliated the teachers community and due to their policies the foreign scholars who have gone abroad for higher studies under the scholarship programme of HEC were compelled to begging to continue their studies. They demanded removal of all retired army officers, bureaucrats and retired professors from the post of vice chancellors and pro-vice chancellors of the universities. They said quality education could only be achieved by resolving teachers problems. Replying to a question he said university teachers were forced to protest, as government was not ready to release funds for their salaries. Prime Minister who is a graduate of Punjab University was contacted by the professors for redressel of their demands but he could not do anything. They postponed the call of protest in front of the Parliament on Saturday as a good gesture and urged the government to release the amount within a week so the university teacher could be paid the amount in the next salary otherwise they would protest in front of the Parliament on October 5, a day when the world would observe 'Salam Teachers Day.