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Leaders visit camp as protest sit-in of UoP teachers, staff continues

PESHAWAR: The protest sit-in of the academic and non-academic staff of different universities continued on fifth on Friday and political leaders and representatives of civil society paid a visit to the protest camp to express solidarity with the protesting employees.

The leadership of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA), including its central president Prof Nek Shafi, Punjab president Prof Abdul Satar, Sindh president Liaqat Ali, Islamabad president Saqlain Shah, and FAPUASA Balochistan President Dr Kaleemullah would visit the protest camp on Monday. During their visit, the next line of action for the universities across the country would be announced.

Provincial president of FAPUASA and head of the joint action committee, Dr Shah Alam, said that the protest sit-in would resume on Monday and complete boycott of all academic and non-academic activities would continue. The universities are going to reopen from Monday June 7 after a long break due to corona pandemic.

Meanwhile, University of Peshawar Vice-Chancellor Dr Mohammad Idrees appealed to the protest teachers and non-teaching staff to call off their protest and resume their duties.

He said that a long precious time of the students has already gone waste and they could not afford further wastage of time. He said that all the problems of the protesting employees can be resolved at the right forum. He said that he was ready to go with the teachers to any office to get their problems resolved.

He said that not a single penny from the salaries of the teachers has been deducted so far and, therefore, their protest was having no justification. He said that he was making every effort to overcome the financial crisis of the university and they have come out of the worst financial crisis due to his tireless efforts. He added that the students have committed nothing wrong to teachers and employees therefore their time should not be wasted.

However, the teachers and non-teaching staff of the university said that they would not listen to anyone less than the chief minister himself and that, too, when all their demands were unconditionally accepted.

On Friday, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz provincial president Amir Muqam, People’s Party President Humayun Khan, former Awami National Party member and human rights activist Bushra Gauhar and others visited the camp and spoke to the protesting employees.

On the other hand the administration officers association held a separate meeting. They stressed the need for withdrawal of the higher Education Commission’s letter to the universities and overcoming other financial and administrative problems in different universities.

However, they criticized those who were spreading “propaganda” against some senior administrative officers of different universities. They said that the protesting teachers were targeting the Vice-chancellor University of Peshawar for no reason. They stressed that the campaign against the UoP vice-chancellor should be stopped. They also presented a list of their demands. The Class-III and Class-VI employees held a separate meeting and discussed issues pertaining to different universities. These two associations are part of the protest campaign and have boycotted their duties.

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