KHAIRPUR - A laptops distribution ceremony was held at the Shah Abdul Latif University here on Friday under Prime Minister’s Laptop Scheme.

Dr Darshan Lal Punchi, leader of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) and Member of the National Assembly, distributed laptops to 938 research scholars of MS, MPhil and PhD programmes.

Speaking on the occasion, Punchi said the Shah Abdul Latif University was catering to higher education needs of the Khairpur area in an effective manner. He said that he met many graduates of the university in the United Kingdom. He said that more than 200,000 laptops had been distributed to students in two years in a transparent manner. He said that Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif and his daughter Maryam Nawaz deserved credit for this scheme because they were its pioneers.

He said that education, health, law and order and communications were top priorities of the prime minister. Recently, he said, the prime minister had announced a Health Insurance Policy for the people of 36 districts of the country. Under this policy, he said, a poor patient could get treatment costing up to Rs1 million free of cost. He said the prime minister had earmarked Rs100 billion for the Benazir Income Support Programme (BISP), which provides financial assistance to downtrodden women of underdeveloped rural areas.

The PML-N leader said the China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) was a game changer in the region; it would provide ample job opportunities to the people of Pakistan and strengthen the Pakistani economy.

Earlier, Prof Dr Noor Ahmed Shaikh, pro-vice chancellor of the Main Campus, welcomed Punchi to the campus. He appreciated collective efforts of the prime minister and the Higher Education Commission for the laptops scheme. He said that students of underdeveloped rural areas were also benefitting from the Fee Reimbursement Scheme.

Prof Dr Nisar Ahmed Kanhar, director of the Postgraduate Studies and focal person for the laptops scheme, highlighted salient features of the scheme. He said that 1,250 laptops and Rs1 million were distributed to MS, MPhil and PhD scholars in the first phase. He said that this scheme attracted more than 2,000 candidates to MS, MPhil, LLM and PhD programmes of the university recently. He said that currently more than 2,500 scholars were doing research under MS, MPhil and PhD programmes at the university.

Punchi also visited the Faculty of Management Sciences and met faculty members. Prof Dr Syed Noor Shah Bukhari, dean of the Faculty of Management Sciences; Prof Dr Iram Rani and Prof Dr Minhoon Khan Leghari briefed him about academic and research activities of the faculty. Punchi also visited the Faculty of Education where Prof Dr Ghulam Ali Mallah, chairman of the Department of Teacher Education, briefed him about academic and research activities of the department.

Jamshed Soomro, representative of the HEC; Prof Dr Muhammad Yousuf Khushk, dean of the Faculty of Arts and Languages; Prof Dr Mumtaz Hussain Mahar, dean of the Faculty of Physical Sciences; Prof Dr Badaruddin Memon, dean of the Faculty of Natural Sciences; Prof Dr Taj Muhammad Lashari, media coordinator; Syed Asif Shah; Suhrab Shaikh; Ahmed Din Lakho and research scholars attended the ceremony.

FIVE CRIMINALS ARRESTED

Five criminals were arrested after an encounter with police here on Friday.

Khairpur SSP Ghulam Azfar Mahesar told the media on Friday that Yaqoob Sandelo and Latif Phulpoto were arrested in the Katchha area of the River Indus during an operation. He said the government had announced Rs2 million award for Sandelo’s arrest. He was wanted to the police in more than 20 criminal cases. He said there was Rs100,000 award for Phulpoto’s arrest.

Separately, criminals Hidayatullah Rajper, Akbar Rajer and Majid Shaikh were arrested after an encounter on Handiyari Link Road. The government had also announced award for their arrest.

DRUG PEDDLE CONVICTED

A special anti-narcotics court sentenced a drug peddler to four-and-a-half years in jail here on Friday. Judge Sayed Ghulam Shah also imposed a Rs20,000 fine on drug peddler Maroof Bugti. Bugti was arrested by Kotdiji police a year ago with two kilograms of hashish in his possession.