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May 19, 2015

KU teachers put off boycott after Qaim meets them halfway


May 19, 2015

After the Karachi University Teachers’ Society (KUTS) was assured by the Sindh chief minister that the government machinery was working to arrest the killers of late Prof Waheed-ur-Rehman, the faculty members, including office bearers of the Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (Fapuasa), decided to put off their planned protest and continue with regular academic activities.
In the meantime, the KUTS will ponder over its future strategy and will announce the details after a meeting to be held in a few days.
Talking to The News, its office bearers told The News that their planned protest had not been cancelled but put off. They said the faculty members will revisit their strategy of protesting and boycotting academic activities, as planned earlier.
They said since the chief minister himself had assured them in a meeting on Monday that the killers of late Prof Waheed-ur-Rehman will be caught and taken to task, they had no other option but to postpone the scheduled protest.
“However, in case of delay or failure, we can always resort to our earlier plan of going on a strike,” they said.
Several members, on the condition of anonymity, disclosed that a couple of suspects had been arrested in connection with the late professor’s murder but the law-enforcement agencies were not declaring the arrest to prevent any sabotage from external elements.
This was also why, they said, the KUTS decided to put off its protest and wait to decide its future strategy.
The government offered an amount of Rs30 million to the heirs of Prof Waheed-ur-Rehman but KUTs had demanded Rs50 million as compensation amount.
The faculty members had also demanded setting up of a joint investigation team and the demand was accepted by the chief minister on Monday.
He also promised payment of the compensation amount within a week’s time and told office bearers of KUTS that the Sindh Police had extended its investigation up

to Gilgit Baltistan. He said a couple of suspects had been arrested and some important clues had also been found and expressed the hope that the case will be closed shortly.
The chief minister had, during the meeting, requested the university teachers’ delegation to cooperate with the Sindh government and police in exploring all options and strategies for nabbing the culprits.
Speaking on matters pertaining to academics, the chief minister asked the secretary of universities and board Mumtaz Ali Shah, who was also present on the occasion, to proceed with a grant for KU within a week. He said that Rs5 billion had been earmarked for university grants in addition to the funds provided by the federal government.
However, he said, the provincial government planned to make a special allocation in its budget for development of universities. In this regard, he asked the KU vice chancellor and representatives of Fapuasa to submit their recommendations for requirements in advances so their requirements could be fulfilled.

Progress in investigation
It was also revealed at the meeting, which was also attended by Sindh IGP Ghulam Haider Jamali, KU vice chancellor Prof Dr Muhammad Qaiser, city police chief Ghulam Qadir Thebo, besides Fapuasa president Dr Naimatullah Leghari and KUTS president Prof Dr Jamil Hasan Kazmi
The chief minister assured the teachers’ representatives that four suspects had been arrested for their alleged involvement in the murder of KU professor.
“The Additional IG Karachi has been updating me on the progress of this case on a daily basis,” he said.
The KU vice chancellor apprised the chief minister about the grave security conditions of faculty members and demanded proper security arrangements for them. Fapuasa president Prof Dr Jamil Hasan Kazmi and KUTS president Dr Naimatullah Leghari seconded the demand.

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