NA body directs QAU VC to hold parleys with students without compromising on discipline

Zubair Qureshi

The National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Federal Education and Professional Training has though given the Quaid-e-Azam University’s (QAU) Vice Chancellor free hand to hold dialogues with students’ groups involved in clashes but at the same time made it clear there should be no compromise on discipline. The committee in its 38th meeting held on Friday at the Parliament House with MNA Makhdoom Syed Samiul Hassan Gillani in chair expressed concerns over the incidents of violence and clashes among the students’ groups in February this year and urged the newly appointed VC Dr Niaz Ahmed Akhtar to play his role in restoring normalcy in the university. However, there should be no leniency towards unruly and violent students. The VC, they however held, should be playing his role and hold meetings with the affected students for amicable settlement of the issues as well as restoration of academic activities and submit report to the committee within 15 days.

Earlier, Vice Chancellor QAU Dr Niaz Akhtar briefed the committee about the law and order situation amid violent clashes among student groups leading towards closure of the university on February 27, 2023.

He held that the ethnic councils were not only fomenting the spirit of sub-nationalism but also jeopardizing the university’s peaceful academic environment. An FIR was registered at the Secretariat’s Police Station while all the hostels were vacated, he added. The committee held that there should be no compromise on discipline.

The committee also decided to issue summons of Vice Chancellor, Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB) Prof Dr Athar Mahboob over his persistent absence from the committee’s meetings.

Prof Mahboob was required to attend the meeting (in person) to present a report of the last syndicate meeting of the IUB but he remained absent without taking prior permission of the committee. The Registrar, IUB, informed the committee that the VC was preoccupied in some other engagement thus could not attend the meeting. The committee members, while taking exception to the VC’s absence, held that his attitude was not serious towards the business of the committee and he had done the same in the past. Later, the committee unanimously decided to issue summons of the VC (IUB) to ensure his attendance in the next meeting.

Prof Dr Shabbar Atiq, Vice Chancellor, University of Gujrat (UOG), briefed the committee about the history, faculties, departments, research and development, international ranking, students’ strength, allied facilities, etc., of the University. He held that the enrollment ratio of male and female students was 38% and 62% respectively which shows parents trust in the administration.