ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Muhammad Balighur Rehman failed to succeed in convincing the protesting students of Quaid-e-Azam University (QAU), mainly belonging to Baloch council, to call off their protest here on Wednesday.
Though the educational activities have been resumed at the QAU, the students of Baloch council are adamant to continue their boycott until the restoration of expelled and rusticated students. The members of the council staged a sit-in in front of the National Press Club on Wednesday and subsequently took a protest rally to condemn the arrest of their colleagues and the baton charge on the students by the police.
The protestors were seen holding placards and banners inscribed with slogans in favour of their demands and against the university administration. They said that they would continue their protest until acceptance of their just demands.
Sources said that the Baloch council succeeded in getting the support of Pakhtun council, whose members were also present in the protest demonstration, which would give a moral and political boost to the Baloch council’s cause. They said that an important meeting of both the councils would be held in order to hammer out a joint future course of action.
Federal Education Minister Balighur Rehman, along with Education secretary reached the press club to convince the protesting students to call off their protest sit-in but in vain. He ensured that their genuine demands would be resolved but they should wait, at least till the syndicate’s decision.
The minister said that no authority could reverse the decision of the university syndicate, but he could only request the authority to show leniency in their case in its review meeting. Therefore, he said, “You should call off your protest now and wait for the syndicate’s review meeting scheduled for November 17.”
He said to the protestors that they backtracked off their promises despite giving assurances in the last meeting that no one would hold the protest and the educational activities would be resumed normally.
Though the minister could not convince the QAU students to call off their protest, he succeeded in ending the protest of National Commission for Human Development’s (NCHD) employees. The NCHD employees had been protesting in front of the press club for the last 108 days to press for their demands.
The minister said that the NCHD employees’ service structure has been approved, while the appointment of around 75 per cent permanent employees in NCHD headquarters would be ensured.