ISLAMABAD  -   Dozens of students and faculty members of the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) on Wednesday staged a protest against land encroachment in the university urging government to take swift action against illegal occupation of the university land. 

The protest organized by Quaid-i-Azam University Alumni Association (QAUAA) was attended by Academic Staff Association (ASA), employees and students of the university.

The protestors holding placards against the encroachments in the university demanded the government to do justice with the country’s top ranked university.

“We condemn the hooliganism of land mafia in the university,” protestors chanted slogans.  Former teacher at Quaid-i-Azam University Dr H Nayyar addressing the participants said that university students and faculty has opposed the encroachment also in the past and now again gathered under a single roof to save it from land mafia. He said that the movement against powerful land mafia has gained momentum and it only needs a final push to end their occupation on university’s land.  “Encroachments should be removed,” he added.

Dr Nayyar also said that new settlements in Bani Gala are also being discussed while the authorities must come forward to end the illegal occupation at Quaid-i-Azam University.

General Secretary Quaid-i-Azam University Alumni Association  Murtaza Noor addressing the participants said that all concerned stakeholders of the university have agreed on the issue of vacating 298 acres land of the university.

“It’s a clear message to land mafia that no compromise will be done from any quarter,” he said. He said that the influential land mafia, instead of donating the land to university has become a threat for the administration there.

He also added that Prime Minister (PM) Imran Khan before assuming the top executive office had tweeted regarding freeing the university land. 

He said that the PM should fulfil his promise and take action against the land mafia occupying the university land.  The participants demanded handing over 1709 acres of the top ranked university of the Country.

The protest was attended by senior members of QAU Alumni Association, Quaid-i-Azam University faculty, employees, students and representatives of civil society.  President QAU Alumni Association Sikandar Ahmed Rai, President Academic Staff Association QAU Dr Aqeel Bukhari, Vice Chancellor MYU Prof Dr Hijazi Syed, renowned educationist and scientist Dr A H Nayyar, President Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) Islamabad Dr Sohail, Dr Shoaib founder President QAU Students Union, and representatives of QAU employees and students also spoke on the occasion.

The speakers vowed to continue the movement till all encroachments get cleared out. It was also decided that all possible options will be utilized for the end of this illegal occupation of QAU land.

The speakers expressed serious concerns that despite the passage of another year, no concrete step has been undertaken to get QAU land evacuated by the illegal occupants.  While sharing the background of the  issue, it was stated that despite payment for 1709 Acres, QAU is having shortfall of 450 acres of allotted land due to illegal occupation of 298 acres and non-handing over of 152 acres.

The non- resolution of this important issue has created a lot of problems in terms of security and development work. Due to this issue, the premier higher education institution could not construct boundary wall or complete any development work on the campus.

The joint action committee demanded to the concerned authorities of federal government to resolve this long pending issue on immediate basis without any further delay.  The anti encroachment drive should include end of illegal occupation of complete encroached Quaid-i-Azam University land, on priority basis.

Meanwhile, it was also resolved that a proactive role of joint action committee comprising of members of QAU Alumni Association, elected representatives of Academic Staff Association and all other stakeholders, would  be further devised to address QAU land issue in an effective and decisive way.