The provincial government has decided to utilize the Old Abbasia Campus of the Islamia University, Bahawalpur for establishing the South Punjab secretariat.
After the government’s plan got viral on social media, criticism emerged from the civil society members, political, social, and religious circles.
Although the top bureaucracy in the province claimed that IUB Syndicate would make the final decision in this regard, it is believed that the decision should have been made at the Prime Minister level. The social circles condemned the PTI government’s step; terming it contradictory to the promises which the current rulers had made in connection with setting up universities in Prime Minister and Governor houses; before taking up the charge.
The decision has been criticized by the civil society members, political, social and religious circles, sources claimed
Although media persons tried to put their query to additional chief secretary ACS (South) Saqib Zafar about the ultimate position of the decision and the alternate residence for thousands of the students; no response was given in this regard. Currently, the secretariat is functioning at the premises of the Bahawalpur Circuit House. The provincial government spent millions of rupees on its renovation in year 2020.
It was revealed that the former south Punjab ACS Zahid Akhtar Zaman had recommended the building of IUB Abbasia Campus for secretariat during his visit here last year. He not only inspected the building for the said purpose, but also shared his feelings and desire with the VC Professor Dr Akhtar Mehboob of setting up the South Punjab secretariat in the said building. The building is undoubtedly magnificent and catches the attention of the visitors at first glance.
Although the university administration assured the students to amicably deal with the issue, the IUB students expressed their anger and concern over the provincial government’s decision in the form of a protest rally on Monday. The Vice Chancellor confirmed that they were intimated in the official meetings about the government’s plan however nothing had been received in black and white in this regard.
IUB Academic Staff Association President Prof Dr Javed Chandio and Secretary Dr Syed Safdar Hussain categorically announced that the government would have to face strong resistance if any such step was taken. Both the leaders strongly condemned the government’s unjust decision with regard to establish its secretariat here and told that the Abbasia old campus was in fact a mark of identification of the IUB.
The historic heritage was gifted by the late Nawab of Bahawalpur as his patronage for education and learning, IUB Academic Staff Association members told
They vowed to counter any such decision which could damage the elegance of the historic heritage which the late Nawab of Bahawalpur had gifted to the people of the city as his patronage for education and learning.
Located in the heart of the city, the 26 acres institution was established by the Nawab under the name of Jamia Abbasia in 1925. In 1950, the foundation stone of the central building was laid by the late Nawab Muhammad Abbas Abbasi while in 1975, the then Punjab Assembly passed an act and the Jamia Abbasi was converted into Islamia University Bahawalpur (IUB).
They submitted their appeal to the Prime Minister Imran Khan, IUB Chancellor Chaudhry Muhammad Sarwar (Governor Punjab) and CM Punjab Sardar Usman Buzdar to review their decision and withdraw the proposal, respecting the feelings and affiliations of the people with the IUB.