ISLAMABAD:12 April: Thousands of students and teachers of Allama Iqbal Open University (AIOU) expressed solidarity with the Pakistan Army and prayed for the safe recovery of the soldiers who are trapped in an avalanche in Siachen.
The prayer meeting was held on Wednesday at AIOU’s main campus. Students, through video-conferencing, expressed deep grief and sorrow over the tragedy in Gayari sector and prayed for early recovery of 127 soldiers and 11 civilians.
AIOU’s Vice Chancellor Professor Dr Nazir Ahmed Sangi, who chaired the meeting, said that the university wished to join the nation and the armed forces in this great loss and prayed for the success of the ongoing rescue operation. He said the university was working on a plan to build up a volunteer force, comprising 70,000 students to take part in the rescue and rehabilitation activities at times of disasters and natural calamity.
While expressing shock at the tragic incident, Sangi said he will ask teachers, employees and students of the university to pray for the soldiers’ safety and stand with the armed forces in times of adversity. AIOU is not only catering to the educational needs of people living in all parts of the country but also fully supports the nation during such tragic occasions, he added.
In addition, he said the university has always been in the forefront on providing necesssary relief to its students residing in the calamity-hit areas. Helping needy and deprived people, providing equal educational opportunities to under-privileged students and to those residing in far-flung and backward areas across the country has always been the university’s priority, he added.
In order to further expand educational facilities, Dr Sangi said the AIOU had started various schemes, like students’ support fund, video-conferencing system, constructing its own buildings in various cities, setting up model study centres at village and town level.
A resolution was adopted at the meeting, demanding the United Nations to declare the Siachen region war-free zone, asking both Pakistan and India to withdraw their forces from the area to avoid further loss of precious human lives. Million of dollars are being spent to keep soldiers in such a dangerous area, he asserted.
At the end of the meeting, Faculty of Arabic and Islamic Studies Dean, Professor Dr Ali Asghar Cheshti, prayed for a quick rescue of the soldiers and asked God to grant courage to the bereaved families.Daily Times.