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University teachers call off protest demonstration

Lahore

July 1, 2020

LAHORE:Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Associations (FAPUASA), Punjab chapter, Tuesday cancelled its protest demonstration outside Punjab Assembly following a meeting with Punjab Governor/Chancellor and Punjab Minister for Higher Education.

The protest demo was scheduled to be held at 1:00pm while the meeting took place early at around 10am about which some active members of FAPUASA Punjab remained unaware. Sources privy to the developments said that on Monday night, Punjab Minister for Higher Education Raja Yasir Humayun called Vice-Chancellors (VCs) of different universities and requested them to stop teachers of their respective universities from holding the protest as the government was ready to listen to their demands.

On Tuesday morning, FAPUASA Punjab chapter delegation led by its President Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry met Governor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar and Higher Education Minister Raja Yasir Humayun at Governor House. The other members of the delegation were Dr Muhammad Amir Maqsood, Secretary FAPUASA Punjab, Javed Sami, Secretary PU ASA, Dr Moqeet Javed Vice-President PUASA, Dr Faheem Gauhar, Presents TSA UET, Dr Abdul Sattar Malik, President ASA BZU Multan, Dr Atif Shahbaz, President ASA GCU Lahore, Dr Hamoodur Rehman, President ASA Okara University and Dr Sajid Iqbal BZU. According to a FAPUASA Punjab press release, the delegation presented their demands in the form of the “Charter of Demands” to the Chancellor/Governor. After a two-hour long discussion, the government accepted all the demands of the teachers. The Charter of Demands was later signed by both the Minister for Higher Education and the President FAPUASA, said Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry.

As per the FAPUASA Punjab leadership, the Chancellor and the minister ensured that no amendment would be made to the Act of any university without consultation of stakeholders while they also agreed on ensuring the universities autonomy.

After the successful negotiations with the government, Prof Dr Mumtaz Anwar Chaudhry congratulated the community on their unity, resolve and perseverance. He said the government had agreed on ensuring the universities autonomy and no amendment would be made to the Act of any university without consultation of stakeholders. He said the government had promised to provide more funds to the universities in the supplementary grant.

He stated that the teachers would continue to review the government steps critically. However, no signed copy of the “Charter of Demands” was shared with media, nor with the faculty members even those who actively participated in the FAPUASA movement against the proposed amendments act and it has raised concerns among the teachers. It is pertinent to mention that Punjab Professors & Lecturers Association (PPLA) had also announced joining the FAPUASA protest to express solidarity with the university teachers and had made arrangements in this regard, including preparing banners and placards but even PPLA leadership was not communicated about the meeting nor the copy of signed document was shared with them.