Pakistan To Deploy Retired Army Commandos At Punjab University
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Posted 28 May 2012 - 05:44 PM
Tuesday, May 29, 2012
By Arsalan Haider
LAHORE: The Punjab government has planned to appoint retired army men at the Punjab University (PU) for implementation of proper security measures, Daily Times learnt on Monday.
Sources in the Punjab government revealed that on teachers’ demand for security enhancement at the university, the government had decided to deploy 60 retired army personnel belonging to the Special Services Group (SSG) at PU.
A senior official at PU, seeking anonymity, confirmed that the Punjab government had, on teachers’, especially Academic Staff Association’s (ASA) insistence, given a green signal for appointment of retired SSG commandos at PU, who would work under PU chief security officer (CSO).
He said that another reason for appointing army commandos was their political impartiality, which would thus ensure proper security at PU.
“It is generally thought that police is easy prey to pressurisation of political personalities whereas army personnel are not easily pressurised or forced, therefore, they are the best option for us”, said the official.
He further said, upon PU Vice Chancellor (VC) Dr Mujahid Kamran’s return from abroad, a meeting between senior PU officials, teachers and Punjab government representatives would be held that would finalise appointment of these army commandos.
Transparency would be ensured in appointing officials, as hiring would be done through advertisement and on merit, said the official.
As per the sources, army personnel were not being deployed at the university to support any group or to create any pressure on students or teachers. They said that the army men would respect the teachers, students and academic environment of campuses and would not disturb the continuity of academic process in any way.
PU has been facing poor security problems for the last several years as several cases of misbehaviour with and manhandling of teachers, clashes between student groups and unions and other criminal activities have become a routine at the institution.
Several bodies of PU teachers had asked various government authorities to appoint police personnel at the varsity to control the law and order situation.
The decision of appointing army personnel was finally taken after the recent chaotic incident at PU’s New Campus.
Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) activists, during a protest two weeks ago, attacked the VC office and manhandled senior teachers, including a PU Syndicate member.
After this incident, PUASA observed a strike and boycotted classes for one week. They ended the protest upon reassurance from the Punjab government of strengthening security at the PU campuses.
The teachers’ community lauded this step of the Punjab government, saying it would help in maintaining a peaceful and constructive academic environment.
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