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PAKISTAN

Students take Islamia College to court over fee increase

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PESHAWAR: Two students of the Islamia College University Peshawar have moved the Peshawar High Court against the administration’s decision to increase fee of different classes by 10 per cent insisting the move violates its agreement made with students in 2017.

Mohammad Nauman and Mohammad Ijaz filed a joint petition requesting the court to stop the university’s administration, syndicate and academic council from increasing fee.

They also sought orders for the government to keep the seats for open merit and self-finance categories in equal proportion claiming that currently, seats on a self-finance basis are more than those of open merit.

Petition also seeks order for equal seats in open merit, self-finance categories

The respondents in the petition are the Islamia College University Peshawar through its registrar, vice-chancellor of the university, its academic council and syndicate.

The petition filed through senior lawyer Abdul Lateef Afridi said the students of the university had begun a protest and staged a sit-in on Dec 12, 2017, against increase in the fee of the university and college.

It said the protest forced the administration to hold negotiations with students, while a committee consisting of professors and chairmen of different departments was formed for the purpose on Dec 8, 2017.

The petitioners claimed that the deliberations led to an agreement on the matter as the committee accepted all genuine demands of the students on Dec 18, 2017.

They added that the committee agreed that the fee won’t be increased for three years, while the administration would be free to increase fee thereafter.

The petitioners contended that the treasurer of the university had made a request earlier in the year for 10 per cent annual increase in tuition fee for FA/FSc, BS, MA/MSc, MA, MPhil and PhD programmes, which was made part of agenda to be taken up by the academic council.

They said the council, which held its ninth meeting on Apr 24, 2019, with the vice-chancellor in the chair, accepted that proposal and sent it to the syndicate for final approval.

The petitioners said prior to approval by the syndicate, the university included and printed the proposed fee structure in the 2019-20 prospectus in a clear violation of that agreement.

They also said at the time of the said sit-in, the university had an unequal number of students enrolled in the pre-medical and pre-engineering programmes on open merit and self-finance scheme.

The petitioners said pre-medical and pre-engineering programmes had three sections each with 50 students, while there were 250 students each in both categories of classes.

They added that the students wanted the number of students enrolled on the open merit and self–finance basis to be equal but the 2019-20 prospectus had showed the unequal number of seats in the two categories.

The petitioners contended that the agreement between the representatives of students and administration was meant to provide opportunities of education to students belonging to middle class but it had been violated by the administration.

They feared that the breach of that agreement could force students to agitate yet again.

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PAKISTAN

Tribals seek permission to bring vehicles back from Afghanistan

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MIRAMSHAH: The militancy-affected people of North Waziristan tribal district, who took refuge in Afghanistan, have demanded of the government to permit them to bring their vehicles back to their native areas.

Residents of Datakhel tehsil gathered in front of the press club in Miramshah on Friday and staged a protest demonstration, carrying placards and banners.

Malik Nazar Din, an elder of Datakhel, told mediapersons on the occasion that thousands of people had taken refuge in Afghanistan when security forces launched operation Zarb-i-Azb in June 2014.

He said that displaced people fled to Afghanistan in vehicles loaded with their belongings. He said that thousands of people returned to their homes after completion of military operation, but local authorities had placed ban on bringing their vehicles back from Afghanistan.

The elder said that after negotiations the local authorities had promised that the returnees would be allowed to bring their non-custom paid vehicles back to their regions.

But, he complained that the senior officials of the district administration had backed out of their commitment.

Malik Nazar said that authorities were using delaying tactics and their vehicles stranded in Khost province of Afghanistan were being rusted. He said that the affected people would block Miramshah-Ghulam Khan route if their demands were not materialised.

He urged Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister Mahmood Khan to take notice of the issue and direct local authorities to allow owners to bring their vehicles back from Afghanistan.

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PAKISTAN

Ex-militant commander shot dead in Khyber

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LANDI KOTAL: Unidentified gunmen killed a former militant commander in Akkakhel area of Bara tehsil late on Friday.

Police officials said that two gunmen riding a motorcycle opened fire on Noor Rehman, who was a member of a proscribed group, killing him on the spot.

They said that the assailants managed to escape from the scene after the incident leaving behind their motorcycle which was later seized by the local police.

Officials said that Noor Rehman had surrendered to security forces sometimes ago and had also undergone special treatment in a de-radicalisation centre and was only recently released.

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PAKISTAN

Deaths caused by electrocution: KE told to identify ‘negligent’ officials

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KARACHI: The city administration on Friday asked the K-Electric to identify the negligent officials behind the incidence of electrocution during the spell of monsoon rains earlier this week, warning that the top management of the power utility might be booked in cases in this regard.

Sources said that Karachi Commissioner Iftikhar Shallwani held a meeting with officials of the power utility and others and expressed grave displeasure and concern over the performance and working of the KE that led to the killing of around 20 people in the metropolis.

The city administration had taken strict notice of incidence of electrocution during the two days of rains and asked the KE and others to attend a high-level meeting to discuss preventive measures.

The power utility is also asked to revamp its distribution system to avoid such tragedies

Representatives of the power utility, electrical inspector of the provincial government, managing director of the Karachi Water and Sewerage Board, representative of National Electric Power Regulatory Authority (Nepra) and provincial energy secretary attended the meeting.

The sources said that the commissioner asked the KE to revamp its distribution system to avoid recurrence of loss of human lives in future.

They said that the commissioner on behalf of the Sindh chief minister had shown his stern displeasure over such tragic loss of precious lives and performance/working of the KE during monsoon rains.

Officials said that the power utility was asked to identify the negligent officials within 48 hours as the city administration had to face the federal and provincial governments’ queries and was waiting to ascertain the facts and reasons behind this unfortunate happening.

They said that KE authorities were directed to send the details of every case of electrocution during rains to the commissioner office within 48 hours.

The sources said that the commissioner asked the power utility to improve and upgrade its system and operations to avert such incidents in future.

They said that KE was also asked to pay full compensation to the families of the victims immediately.

‘Electrocution due to kundas’

The sources said that the KE representative told the meeting that the kundas [illegal hook] connections were one of the main reasons behind the incidents of electrocution.

They said that the power utility was told to get their wires properly insulated.

The sources said that Nepra representative told the meeting that the power utility had already been asked to submit a detailed report in this regard and a team from Islamabad was to arrive in the city to fix the responsibility with facts and figures.

They said that the KE would submit its report to Nepra within two weeks. Besides, the sources said, the power utility was also asked to improve their safety and precautionary measures manual.

The sources said that the representative of the provincial energy department also informed the meeting that the electric inspectors had to visit KE as a mandatory requirement.

They said that he was of the view that the provincial energy department’s official might be included in the course of inquiry so that specific responsibility could be established.

The meeting was also informed that only one FIR of an electrocution incident was registered at the Paposh Nagar police station, while the remaining cases were reported in the station diaries of the police stations concerned.

The sources said that the KE authorities also expressed their sorrow and concern over the incidents and assured the city administration of due action against the officials found responsible.

They also sought provincial governments’ assistance and support to further improve and upgrade their distribution system.

The sources said that the commissioner also asked the KE authorities about the recent power breakdowns that piled miseries on people.

They said that he asked the power utility to take appropriate actions to provide utmost relief to people by utilising modern technology.

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