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Punjab University vice-chancellor's decision to hold book fair on May 27 critici

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Punjab University vice-chancellor's decision to hold book fair on May 27 criticised

Lahore: The Punjab University vice-chancellor's decision to organize a book fair on May 27 is being seen by many stakeholders as an "imprudent" and "unwise" decision.

The PU remained closed from May 12 to 15 in order to prevent the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT), a student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), from organizing a three-day book fair.

Those who oppose the decision say instead of organizing a book fair in an apparent move to answer back a particular group of students, the administration should have taken steps to overcome the academic loss of students due to the closure of varsity.

The PU boarders, especially female students, were worst hit by closure of the university and they had to undergo great ordeal while leaving hostels for their hometowns abruptly with so many unexpected holidays.

The stakeholders further argue there was no academic activity for a whole week. The varsity opened on Friday, which was a half day, and the next day, Saturday was again a holiday.

They added the prevailing hot weather was not suitable for an outdoor activity like book fair, adding the event could be organized with better arrangements in a relatively better weather conditions in the coming months.

A number of PU students expressed concerns in that sayinh another controversy could erupt over the varsity's own Kitab Mela.

"Is there any guarantee Jamiat would not interfere in the book fair to be organized by PU administration on May 27?" said a student.

Another controversy over PU book fair occurred in 2006 when the then administration led by VC Lt Gen (r) Arshad Mahmood had failed to stop Jamiat activists from virtually "hijacking" the event despite police deployment in and outside the varsity's New Campus. However, later the administration expelled over a dozen students for "challenging" its writ and varsity Syndicate decided not to allow any student group to organize any event without its permission.

In 2007, no Kitab Mela was held as the administration, foreseeing the same controversy, successfully managed to adjust annual summer break giving no time to Jamiat to hold its event.A senior PU teacher, on condition of anonymity, said PU Registrar had recently circulated a letter among varsity's Deans, Chairmen, Directors and Principals informing them that an international book fair would be held in October 2008.

What had compelled the administration to organize the event on May 27, was difficult to understand, he questioned expressing his apprehension. "There might be some kind of deal between PU authorities and Jamiat". "The students are no more interested in this event and just want a peaceful academic atmosphere", he added. Another teacher said the administration should make all out efforts to compensate academic loss faced by the students instead of keeping itself busy in making arrangements of an event which had earlier caused varsity's closure for almost a week. In a recent meeting with columnists of different newspapers, PU VC Dr Mujahid Kamran said the situation would have been different provided he was not out of country when the issue of Kitab Mela surfaced.

The PU VC, with the help of the varsity's video conference technology, could chair a meeting to get himself briefed over the issue and take a decision in the larger interest of the students, they said. The News

میں بہت عظیم ہوں جو کہ بہت ہی عظیم علمی کام کررہا ہوں