KARACHI            -               Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) Chair­man Bilawal Bhutto Zardari has condemned huge cuts in the higher education bud­get by the PTI government, compelling the public sec­tor universities to take loans from the private sector to run their affairs.

In a statement issued here on Sunday, the PPP chairman expressed grave concern over the fact that 104 public universities in the country were passing through the worst-ever fi­nancial crisis in their his­tory. “Of the required Rs158 billion budget, the ‘puppet’ government is not ready to allocate even half of it,” he regretted. Bilawal Bhutto pointed out that some of the most prominent universi­ties of the country, includ­ing University of Peshawar were not even able to pay the salaries and pensions to their staff while research and higher education had been severely neglected.

“The ‘puppet’ government has destroyed economy of the country under the very nose of its ‘selectors’, pushed millions below the poverty line, overseen sky-rocketing inflation and price-hike, un­leashed unemployment and have dragged the country into a social, economic and political quagmire,” PPP chairman opined.

The PPP chairman de­manded the immediate release of all the funds required for the smooth functioning of public sector universities, and expressed solidarity and support for the students, teachers and staff of these universities in the time of this grave crisis.