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Arrest of al-Qaeda Operative from PU Raises Eyebrows
« on: September 09, 2013, 07:42:20 AM »
Arrest of al-Qaeda Operative from PU Raises Eyebrows
Lahore : September 09: THE arrest of an alleged al-Qaeda operative from the Punjab University (PU) hostel last week should be an eye-opener for the varsity administration as well as the government.
Five years ago in September, the PU administration had recovered ammunition, including five Kalashnikovs (AK-47), hundreds of rounds of the assault rifles and 12 hand grenades from near the very hostel No. 1 where a sensitive agency personnel nabbed the suspected militant on September 3, this year.
On several occasions, violence-related incidents had taken place at the Punjab University in the past and most of the time, outsiders boarding in the varsity hostels were found linked to such incidents. Almost every time, the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) was alleged for being involved in such incidents which is also evident from many FIRs registered against its activists by the PU.
There had been many student groups at the Punjab University but the varsity had been a stronghold of the IJT, the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), in the past. However, the incumbent Vice-Chancellor Prof Dr Mujahid Kamran took a firm stand against Jamiat and closed down its offices at both the campuses of the varsity after taking charge in 2008. However, the student organisation continued proving its existence at the varsity by holding various events, including a big general convention at varsity’s New Campus in 2011.
Sources in the PU administration alleged that the nabbed suspected al-Qaeda operative was provided shelter by Jamiat activists at the hostel. However, Jamiat denies the charge, terming it a conspiracy by the present administration to defame and malign the country’s largest student organisation.
The sources also claimed the captured activist was not a foreigner, saying the initial investigations into the whole episode revealed that he had even led prayers at prayer room of the hostel No. 1 more than once.

 

The IJT’s popularity graph sharply declined at the Punjab University when it “facilitated” the arrest of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chief Imran Khan during the emergency rule of General (retd) Pervez Musharraf in 2007.

 

It is pertinent to mention here that the JI student wing had been opposing the Musicology Department of the university since its inception in 2006, terming it against the Islamic principles. Ever since the launch of MA Musicology programme, the classes are being held at Alhamra, The Mall, as PU management failed to shift the same to its campuses either at New Campus or Old Campus fearing “backlash” by the IJT.

 

Many of the PU faculty members believe that had the Punjab government supported the varsity administration in clearing hostels from outsiders and non-student elements by conducting police operation, many of violence-related incidents might not have happened.

 

They are of the view that the presence of alleged al-Qaeda operative is also failure on part of government because of its indifferent attitude towards the country’s oldest and largest university, having 30,000 on-campus students.

 

They also argue that if strict police action had been taken against outsiders and those providing shelter to them in the past, the situation would have been different today.
However, many other faculty members see the same sheer failure on the part of PU the administration, observing as to how it could not keep an eye on suspicious persons with its own security mechanism comprising an army of security guards headed by the chief security officer. They also question that as to how the administration could not stop entry of outsiders after a clean-up operation suggesting the university admin should devise proper security plan with the help of relevant agencies and implement the same.The news.
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