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IJT thugs assault PU security officer

* Activists retaliate after guards prevent them from distributing
pamphlets outside campus mosque
following Friday prayers
* PU admin had banned distribution of pamphlets on campus
* Varsity spokesperson says admin seeking FIR against those involved in the violence

Staff Report

LAHORE: Tension gripped the Punjab University campus again as Islami Jamiat Taliba (IJT) activists allegedly thrashed PU Assistant Security Officer Shoukat Ali when he tried to prevent them from distributing pamphlets after Friday prayers.

In a joint meeting of the deans and chairpersons of different PU departments, held on April 20, it was unanimously decided that the distribution of handbills or pamphlets amongst students and teachers would be strictly prohibited. This decision was taken because certain student organisations had been distributing handbills containing highly objectionable remarks and allegations against the faculty members, which in certain cases also aimed at fanning sectarian sentiments. In line with this policy, security guards were deputed outside the campus mosque last week to prevent any such activity. On Friday, as IJT members attempted to give out pamphlets after Friday prayers, security guards intervened. But upon being stopped, the IJT men retaliated and assaulted Shoukat Ali.

An emergency meeting was summoned after the incident, under the chairmanship of Punjab University Vice Chancellor Dr Mujahid Kamran, which was also attended by Dr Jamil Anwar, Registrar Dr Muhammad Naeem Khan, Students Advisor Iftikhar Ahmad, Chief Security Officer Khalid Hassan and Controller Examinations Dr Zahid Karim among other officials.

Following the meeting, PU Director Public Relations Khawaja Tahir told Daily Times the university is planning to register an FIR against the IJT activists who were involved in this incident, which was yet another in a series of IJT attempts at disturbing the peaceful atmosphere on campus.

PU IJT Information Secretary Haris Saeed, however, denied that activists were distributing any political or organisational pamphlets when the security guards accosted them. He said the pamphlets were in favour of Dr Aafia and they already made an announcement in this regard. He said that police also arrested two IJT activists following the incident.\05\01\story_1-5-2010_pg13_1

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  • Anti-IJT drive puts PU VC in a tight spot: What’s in a name?

    * PU admin apparently softening tone on hooligans on campus
    * Grapevine rife with rumours that ‘VC may be on his way out’
    * Pro-IJT elements within varsity admin engineering events to embarrass VC * Students, teachers demand VC follow through on his promise, rid varsity of IJT menace forever

    By Adnan Lodhi

    LAHORE: The Punjab University (PU), it seems, has gone soft on the Islami Jamiat Taliba (IJT). The administration’s current stance on the disruptive organisation – reflected in recent official statements that refer to the gang simply as “a particular students’ group” – has mysteriously changed overnight.

    Indeed, this turn of events is a far cry from the PU’s fiery rhetoric from last month, when the IJT hooligans terrorised Disciplinary Committee head and College of Earth Sciences Principal Dr Iftikhar Baloch. Following the brutal attack, educationists, civil society and students from across the city vocally condemned the IJT’s ‘Mafioso tactics’ and took to the streets to voice their opposition to the group.

    On the official front, the PU vice chancellor let no occasion pass without chanting the mantra of IJT’s evil presence be it at press conferences or in meetings with the chief minister and the governor. The university even pressured the authorities into conducting two separate operations in its hostels in a bid to root out the undesirable elements there – shutting the campus down for all activities in the process.

    But now, ever since classes have resumed, the administration has changed its tune, refusing to name the body that has caused mayhem on the otherwise serene campus. A number of senior teachers at PU have come down hard on the administration for softening their stance on the IJT, saying that after all the protests and the marches and demonstrations, such a move was disheartening for all those who had campaigned for the IJT’s ouster from PU. Students, teachers and academics alike took active part in the drive against the hooligans who, they said, were ruining the academic environment at one of the country’s most prestigious seats of learning.

    IJT-engineered violence on campus, they say, continues even now – a fact illustrated by the attack on PU Assistant Security Officer Muhammad Shoukat last Friday. But when the administration released their official statement on the incident, they did not directly blame IJT, choosing instead to call them “a student group”. Everyone is now curious as to the reasons that prompted this change of heart on the administration’s part. Observers say the varsity, in blatant disregard for the hectic efforts made by all stakeholders to draw attention to the IJT menace, has seemingly caved in to pressure from the group. “It is obvious that there are IJT sympathisers within the administration, who have now convinced the varsity’s top brass to avoid naming them directly.

    But what is the inside story? Sources inside the university have told Daily Times that tensions are running high on campus, the grapevine is rife with rumours that Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Mujahid Kamran may soon be replaced. Certain pro-IJT staffers, it is said, launched a campaign to malign the VC on the issue of law and order. The rumours in question began circulating soon after the Punjab chief minister cancelled as being unlawful the appointment of two deans who were selected by the VC himself. According to the Punjab government, the varsity did not seek advice from the before making the appointments and instructed the varsity to issue a notification cancelling the appointments. This unprecedented event came as a shock to the whole university, and was used by pro-IJT elements within the staff to further their own agenda. It is learnt that following the notification, they began spreading rumours that the CM had become fed up with the VC, and is looking to replace him. Some even went as far as putting the blame for the unrest in the university – and its subsequent closure – squarely on the VC’s shoulders.

    Now, sources privy to developments on campus say, the VC is trying his best to bring situation under control. However, he is encountering stiff opposition from certain quarters, who are out to sabotage all efforts at normalisation. It was these very elements, sources say, who engineered the recent assault on Muhammad Shoukat. Their twisted logic, some say, is that the VC will have to pay the price for any resurgence of violence on campus. This puts the VC in a very awkward position, because although he enjoys the backing of the majority of university – teachers and students alike – and has been openly assured of all-out support from Chancellor and Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer, he cannot crack down on these subversive elements directly for fear of being accused of abusing his authority. This is possibly why the admin has softened its tone on the IJT as well, in a bid to pacify the pro-IJT elements within the administration.

    Those who support the VC in his efforts to expel the IJT scourge from the university are now pressing him to follow through on his promises and go all the way in ensuring that no individual or group is allowed to disturb the peace on campus. After all, what’s in a name?\05\03\story_3-5-2010_pg13_10

  • Despite open terror in Punjab University. The Punjab government famous for its right-wing ideology has done nothing to save this prestigious institution. The IJT must be banned as this organisation is like any other terrorist group that has weapons and is fighting the state. These students are toeing the same agenda but in a different style. The PML-N, which raises slogans on education, is losing credibility among its voters who do not support such fanaticism. Today’s educated class is the product of the market economy so it is liberal in its views and thoughts. The credibility of the PML-N is already at stake because of their soft support to terrorists and their links with banned organisations. This party has always tried to shy away from condemning the terrorists. In the end it is the politicians who have to take serious note of this kind of violence, especially in educational institutions.

  • O BB Jamiat ko Alhamdulillah apna 58 wan Ijtama e Arkan Attok main munaqid ker rahi he. Jamiat pichlay 63 barson se taleemi Idaron main bafazl e Khuda kam ker rahi he. Jamiat ko na to kal koe jhuka saka na koe anay walay dinon main khatam ker sakay ga. Ap lakh government se request ker lain Jamiat na kal khatam ho saki na aenda ho sakay ge. jamiat kal bhi zinda the aj bhi zinda he. Ap jaisay log jamiat ki taraqi daikh k jaltay sartay rahain gay. Agar terrorism ki bat kerti hain to ap MQM ki baat krain. Un pe bhi teer chalaen. Agar Jamiat terrorist hoti to ap yoon na Jamiat ko bura bhala kahti kuon k apko pta he k ye peacefull organization he. MQM terrorist he isi lye ap unka name nhe le rahain kuon apko terrorist aur bhatta khoroon se dar lagta he aur apki jan ko khatra…….. jee han.