ISLAMABAD – The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has given a deadline to the federal government till June 30 for the immediate release of funds for the universities otherwise a protest movement will start countrywide.

The teaching faculty will protest at universities and in front of press clubs and display banners in Punjab on July 3, in Sindh on July 4, in KPK on July 5, July 9 in Islamabad, July 10 in Balochistan and Kashmir. And if the issue was not resolved within the given time, academia faculty and university employees will leave their work and boycott the classes.

The announcement was made at a press conference addressed by FAPUASA President Prof. Kaleem Ullah Barech here on Thursday.

Elected office bearers of 74 public sector universities from all over the country including Prof. Zahid Majeed, Vice President, Prof. Dr. Hamyun Khan President Khyber Pakhtunkhawa, Prof. Dr. Sohail Qureshi President Punjab, Prof. Dr. Muhammad Usman Keerio President Sindh, Prof. Dr. Rasheed Khalid President Islamabad and Fareed Khan Achakzai, Secretary Balochistan were present on the occasion.

The FAPUASA also criticized the behavior of the vice chancellors for not playing their due and effective role for timely release of funds and over other academic and administrative affairs.

They demanded of the government to fulfil its promise and commitments and the issue may be given priority for immediate resolution so that each year the university faculty and other stakeholders may not suffer.  

They have also demanded immediate reinstatement of 11 faculty members of Shaheed Benazir Bhutto University, Nawab Shah, and demanded that the authority of issuance of NOC to the faculty members should be with the Vice Chancellors of Sindh universities as per practice in other provinces.

They also demanded immediate removal of Arshad Saleem, Vice Chancellor SBBU, and Nazir Mughal, Vice Chancellor, University of Sindh, saying that the appointments at the public sector universities should be merit based especially in the province of Sindh.

They also demanded that the uniform act be adopted in which sufficient representation be ensured of the universities teachers in all statutory bodies and in this regard double standard may be avoided.

Earlier, at a meeting of the General Body, FAPUASA severely criticized the Higher Education Commission for interfering in university affairs and not implementing its criteria for appointment of Vice-Chancellors/Rectors/Presidents uniformly in all public-sector universities.

The participants said that the government should disburse the funds after getting amounts of their respective allocation from HEC to universities directly for running them smoothly and HEC, which they called a white elephant should be given only the budget to run its offices in the country. Dr Sohail Naqvi, HEC Executive Director, who joined session mid-way tendered unconditional apology for delays in issuing minutes of meeting with HEC, which unfortunately had become an annual feature.

About Benazir Bhutto Shaheed University, Nawabshah where all faculty members were removed, arrested and tortured and an order issued by VC stopping them to go to press or courts, Dr Naqvi said that the Commission would not recognize degrees of universities not following HEC criteria. About appointment of VCs, he said that Chancellor appointed first person in a new university without search committee but the second time, it would not happen and search committee would do the job.

He said that HEC was religiously following its criteria on appointing VCs at federal level but could not provide satisfactory answer about VCs/rectors in universities run-by armed forces. He said that there could be administrative experience and a combination of qualification and administrative experience “which be worked out.”

A participant said that scholarships should be given to provinces through Council of Common Interest. He also called for lowering HEC funding. He criticized recent raise in the salaries of Vice-Chancellors saying they should be paid according to BPS package.