PU rival groups team up to win ASA elections

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LAHORE – For the first time in the Punjab University’s (PU) history, two rival groups having completely different ideologies – the Academic Group, consisting of pro-Jamaat-e-Islami (JI) and pro-Islami Jamiat-e-Talba (IJT) teachers – and the Academic Forum, consisting of leftist teachers, defeated the Teachers Front (TF), a group consisting of neutral teachers and those supported by the VC, in the Academic Staff Association (ASA) elections held at the varsity.
It was quite surprising for the teachers’ community that two rival groups, who have a history of fighting each other, joined each other just for their interest and giving a tough time to the varsity administration, which according to them is indulging in revengeful activities against the two groups. The Academic Group and Academic Forums jointly defeated the Teachers Front and grabbed all top positions of the Academic Staff Association (ASA) Council as candidate of both panels for the presidential slot Dr Maher Saeed Akhtar got 308 votes against 194 bagged by the TF-backed Aamir Sarwar.
Similarly for post of secretary, joint panels-backed candidate Iiftikhar Ahmad Tarar defeated TF’s Javid Sami by bagging 278 votes compared to Sami’s 222. For seat of vice president (Arts), joint panels Abdul Majid Khan Rana got 297 votes compared to Dr Hafiz Khalil’s 205. For seat of VP (Science), joint panels’ Dr Nazir Ahmad was elected unopposed. For seat of joint secretary, joint panels Dr Naveed Ahsan secured 287 votes compared to his opponents’ 209. On seat of treasurer, Muhammad Ahmad of the joint panel bagged 318 votes while TF’s candidate secured 187. Eight seats of the executive body were cleaned sweeped by the joint panel as Dr Abdullah Durrani, Dr Aslam Malik, Muhammad Ramzan, Dr Ammanullah, Farooq Umair Niazi, Dr Amir Hashmi, Dr Zaheer Shafique and Abida Latif were declared victorious.
After their victories, the joint panel celebrated their win and expressed their commitment to work for the teachers’ community’s welfare. According to sources, around 500 votes were cast out of the total 630, as 125 PU teachers were on study leaves. Polling was held from 9am to 4pm. No untoward incident was reported during the polling while members of both groups were also present in polling booths with their respective manifestos.
PU ASA President Maher Saeed told Pakistan Today that welfare of all teachers would be his priority and he would play his role in developing research culture at the PU. He said that there are various issues in research and he would try to sort them out. ASA Secretary Iftikhar Ahmad Tarar said that his success is due to confidence of the teaching community on him.