ISLAMABAD: Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) is set to once again open its doors Friday morning following a settlement between representatives of the protesting students, university officials, and district administration, Geo News reported on Thursday.
Teaching and other academic activities at the institution, however, will resume Monday.
QAU had been closed since October 4 — approximately 16 days — when its students launched a demonstration to voice their protest against a 10 percent addition to the fees.
As the protests began, the students had blocked the university’s main road and refused to allow buses to ply on the campus.
The university issued a notification Thursday night saying it has retracted its decision to make a 10 percent upward revision in the fees, its vice-chancellor disclosed, adding that the students have concluded their protest.
“The talks [between protesting students and university administration]have been successful, culminating in the university reopening its gates on Friday,” Captain (retd.) Mushtaq Ahmad — Deputy Commissioner, Islamabad — commented.
“It is not advisable to take any action in education institutes that may have a negative impact on the country’s image,” Ahmad added.
The Deputy Commissioner noted that 12 out of the students’ 13 demands pertained to the university’s administration, and of those, the biggest one was related to the fees.
The students had claimed that they were protesting for better facilities in the hostel and for the cancellation of a recent hike in fees.
However, QAU officials said the real reason was their demand of bringing back the students who were expelled owing to the recent clashes in the varsity.
While the matter has now been resolved, Ahmad said an important meeting is to be convened today to discuss the issue of expelled students.
FIRs filed against students
In May, almost three dozen students were injured after clashes erupted between students’ groups from Sindh and Balochistan. Police had to resort to tear gas-shelling and baton-charging to disperse them.
Based on a QAU official’s complaint, first information reports (FIRs) were filed against several students at the Secretariat Police Station. Charges against the accused comprised possession of illegal weapons, attempted murder, and wreaking havoc.
Consequently, numerous students were expelled and a notification was issued by the varsity that banned all student councils on the campus.