JAC dares govt to issue show cause notices
* Protests continue despite police pickets
* Governor told that the demonstrators are cursing him
By Waqar Gillani
LAHORE: Thousands of doctors, teachers and students of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) gathered at the Neela Gunbad Chowk (outside KEMC), despite police blockades, to protest against the Boards of Governors (BoGs) issue and the Model University Ordinance, on Thursday.
Daily Times learnt that the police, on special instructions from the Punjab Governor Lt Gen (r) Khalid Maqbool who is ‘personally’ dealing with the issue, blocked the roads leading to various colleges.
The police arrested many students before they could join the rally, misbehaved with the teachers and also seized their vehicles. A heavy police contingent, present at the scene, tried to force different groups to disperse. They even threatened many teachers at their homes late Wednesday night warning them to stay put.
All KEMC gates had been closed and cops were posted there. The security misbehaved with the patients, female students and even senior teachers and doctors were also not allowed to enter, Daily Times witnessed. The police also arrested three students of Diyal Singh College. The Senior Superintendent Police was directing the security, while the agencies and special branch officials were also present at the demonstration.
Along with the JAC, the Lahore High Court Bar Association also participated in the peaceful demonstration. This was the first time that the non-government organizations, under the banner of another joint action committee, different political parties and a number of civil societies also supported the JAC.
The speakers, including Mr Nazim Hussnain, Dr Yasmin Rashid, Prof Haris Rasheed, Zubair Gondal, Shahid Mahmood Bhatti, Azam Butt, Tariq Mahmood, Rana Liaqat condemned the government’s policies, removal of Prof Mahmood Mailk (Chairman BoG, SGRH/FJMC), and demanded the release Dr Amir Aziz.
They raised slogans against the governor and referred to him as ‘America’s pet’. The slogans were so demeaning that one felt embarrassed even by the thought of being in the administration or the army.
Daily Times learnt that the governor contacted senior police officials and asked them about the demo time and again. A senior police official, when asked about the proceedings by the Governor, reported that the demonstrators were cursing him.
The JAC president, Mr Hussnain, said common man was against the government. He said a memorandum, signed by all teachers and doctors would be presented to the government in which they dared the government to issue them show cause notices. He said they were ready for arrests and all sorts of consequences. “We have been ‘harassed’ by the administration and the police,” he said adding, “Now, there will be protests outside all education and health facilities on daily basis, from 11:00 am to 11:30 pm and we will boycott our duties.” He said the masses had come out to support their cause and the movement would continue even in the assemblies, if the demands were not met.
Dr Yasmin Rashid said the boards of governors were not introduced for the sake of patients and stakeholders but they were setup to convert the education and health facilities into money mints.
She said, “the removal of Prof Mehmood from the SRGH upon his views about the system in the presence of the Governor are a clear indication of the government’s dishonesty and foolish policies.” She also demanded the release of Dr Amir Aziz. She asked people if the sate was being ruled by America or Pakistan? On keeping the KEMC doors closed, Dr Rashid called Prof Mumtaz Hassan, the principal of the college, a black sheep in the community. Zubair Gondal of the United Front of Students warned that the students would not be intimidated by the police. He threatened that the UFS would strike back next time.
Mr Hussnain also said the next rally would be held on November 6 (Wednesday) at the Government Islamia College Civil Lines.