Tag Archives: Haripur

Hanging in the balance; Students suffer as Haripur university without statutory bodies



HARIPUR: 

The future of over 300 PhD and MPhil students at the University of Haripur (UOH) hangs in the balance as the degree-awarding process has been repeatedly delayed in the absence of statutes, insiders told The Express Tribune. 

According to official sources, most of these students have completed their coursework and research while others have submitted their theses but have not been awarded their degrees.

Dr Nasir Ali Khan, the vice chancellor of UoH, confirmed a 19-member university senate has been operational but without regulations, the Advance Studies & Research Board (ASRB), selection committee and academic council are not functional.

The ASRB is meant to accept and approve students’ research proposals, appoint their supervisors or approve degrees. At least 15 PhD students started their research work based on provisional approval and submitted their theses but have not been accepted.

Unless statutes are approved by the chancellor—an office held by the governor—degrees cannot be awarded, added Khan.

Khan has written to the chancellor twice and urged the minister for higher education to take prompt action. However, they have yet to set a date for a meeting to discuss the matter. As a result, no new universities in the province have formulated statutory bodies.

In the absence of a statutory mechanism, the university has denied admissions to fresh candidates interested in pursuing advanced studies over the last two years.

“The UOH is in fact a college-level institution that is offering just bachelor’s level courses rather than advanced-level courses for which it was established,” said a faculty member at UOH.

In the lurch

Khan added another problem with awarding degrees is that most research students had not met the Higher Education Commission’s (HEC) requirement of passing the Graduate Assessment Test (GAT) prior to being admitted to university. Khan said research students who had been registered before he seized the reins were allowed to continue their studies but were told they will only obtain their degree after they sit the GAT.

Earlier, in May 2013, the administration declared the admissions of over 220 students null and void and stopped them from appearing in exams until they passed the GAT. Students protested and also took the matter to court. The court allowed students to continue their studies but also told them to sit for the GAT.

Politically motivated?

Moreover, faculty members and clerical staff who have been hired on a contractual basis over the last two years were employed on purely political grounds, said insiders. Those familiar with the matter claim 80% of employees have been hired through this arrangement.

Published in The Express Tribune, October 16th, 2014.


Back with a vengeance: Dengue reportedly claims constable’s life in Haripur



HARIPUR: 

A police constable reportedly succumbed to dengue, while 12 out of 60 suspected cases have been diagnosed with the virus by the National Institute of Health (NIH), Islamabad, official sources claimed on Tuesday.

Moreover, 15 people were admitted to the isolation ward of the District Headquarters (DHQ) Hospital with high fever.

However, Haripur District Health Officer Dr Zakim Khan denied that a constable died at any health facility in Haripur and that too of dengue.

Sources at the DHQ Haripur said over 60 suspected cases were registered over the last two-and-a-half weeks and majority of them were from Khalabat Township, a settlement of displaced people from Tarbela living on the left bank of the reservoir. Individuals from Sera-e-Nehmat Khan, Pind Gujran in Khanpur, Kot Najibullah have also come to hospital with high fever.

The hospital source said most suspected cases, running temperature between 102 and 104 degrees Fahrenheit, were treated and discharged. However, eight women and seven men, who came to the hospital over the last four days, were still being treated at the dengue ward.

He claimed Constable Shehzad from Kot Najibullah village died on Sunday night. Shehzad was admitted to the DHQ for over four days and was later referred to Ayub Medical Complex in Abbottabad.

Meanwhile, dengue ward in charge Dr Nasir Mehmood confirmed that around 15 people with high fever were admitted, but added none of them had tested positive for dengue as yet. “They are suffering from a fever of unknown origin (FUO) and blood samples have been sent to the NIH which has not sent any confirmation yet,” he added.

About the police officer, Mehmood said the patient came in with high fever, but the NIH had yet to confirm if his samples tested positive for dengue. He also denied that the patient died at the DHQ.

Commenting on the situation, Haripur District Health Officer Dr Zakim Khan said over 30 suspected cases were registered during the months of August and September and eight patients tested positive for the virus.

However, he said all of them had been treated and had recovered fully. He denied that the police constable was dengue positive. The DHO said although he had not studied the constable’s file, it was certain that the policeman was not suffering from dengue and could have died from another ailment.

When contacted, Abbottabad Ayub Medical Complex Deputy Medical Superintendent Dr Abdul Manan also denied that a police constable died at the AMC recently.

Published in The Express Tribune, September 24th, 2014.


Stigmatised: Woman commits suicide following divorce in Haripur



HARIPUR: 

A woman allegedly committed suicide over a marital dispute by jumping into a well in Dingi union council of Haripur, shared police officials on Sunday.

According to residents and police, the woman committed suicide after her husband divorced her.

Police said 31-year-old Shah Watan Bibi married Jamshed four years ago and the couple had a daughter.

However, according to family sources, Jamshed was upset with his wife and would give her a hard time for not bearing a son.

On Saturday, the couple reportedly quarreled over a minor dispute and Jamshed, after beating Bibi, said he was divorcing her. He then forced her to move to her parents’ home in Gulshanabad Dingi village.

Traumatised, Bibi jumped into a well on Sunday morning, according to her family members.

Villagers retrieved Bibi’s body and took her to a hospital where doctors pronounced her dead. They claimed she had been seriously depressed afterher divorce.

Published in The Express Tribune, June 23rd, 2014.


Police official allegedly rapes woman in Haripur



HARIPUR: A police official allegedly raped a woman and then threw her down from the hill-top of a village in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s Haripur district, Express News reported on Wednesday.

The incident took place in Sirikot, which is a village in Ghazi tehsil of the district.

The 22-year-old was taken to a local hospital in critical condition for medical treatment.

An FIR was registered against the police official, who is a resident of Swabi.

The policeman has managed to flee and further investigations into the incident are underway.


Celebrating wheat harvest: Jashn-e-Khari Gandgar to bring more festivities for Haripur



HARIPUR: 

The three-day Jashn-e-Khari Gandgar festival kicked off on the grounds of Khalo cattle market in Ghazi tehsil. 

Similar to Jashn-e-Hazara, Khari Gandgar attracts thousands of spectators from Ghazi’s eight union councils and adjoining areas of Chach in Attock district, Hasan Abdal tehsil, Taxila and Gadoon Amazai every year.

Chief guest of the occasion, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA from Haripur-IV and District Development Advisory Committee Chairman Faisal Zaman inaugurated the event on Saturday.

The administration arranges the festival every year at the onset of summer or the wheat harvesting season. It will include horse shows, bull races and other sporting activities along with cultural shows.  The festival started during the Sikh era and is named after ‘Koh-e-Khari Gandgar’ – the mountain range that overlooks the population of Ghazi tehsil and Tarbela Dam on its west and the villages of Gadwalian, Sari, Pandori, Bhera, Panian and Baka
on its east. 

Published in The Express Tribune, May 5th, 2014.


Illegal substances: Poppy continues to be grown in Haripur despite ban



HARIPUR: 

Despite restrictions on the cultivation of poppy by the government, farmers in Nara Amazai and Bait Gali tehsils of Haripur continue to defy the ban and grow the crop, which is mostly used for narcotics.

DSP Ghazi tehsil Ishtiaq Khan said while talking to The Express Tribune that he led a raid party to Balongi village in Bait Gali and found eight kanals of land with mature poppy plants. As per the government’s policy, he added, the crop was completely destroyed and the flowers sent to laboratories for further reports.

The DSP said a criminal case was registered against five farmers; however, he added that the accused were on the run from the police.

He said there is information about the crop being grown in certain other areas and the farmers have been asked to destroy the crop voluntarily within a couple of days, or they will be severely punished. The DSP added that Ghazi police had destroyed the crop in the region last year as well and registered cases against over a dozen farmers.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 29th, 2014.


Clearing the path: Haripur braces for anti-encroachment drive



HARIPUR: Following a successful anti-encroachment drive in Abbottabad, the district administration has decided to launch a similar one in Haripur to reclaim illegally occupied government land.

During the first phase, the administration will clear Circular Road of cemented and temporary encroachments, official sources shared on Thursday.

“On the directives of Hazara division commissioner, we have identified over 500 encroachments, including cemented ones on Eastern, Western and Northern Circular roads,” said Municipal Officer Regulation Syed Sikandar Mansoor Shah.

“The encroachers have constructed shops, plazas, staircases, sheds and stalls on the illegally occupied land,” claimed Shah, adding the encroached land ranges between one and 13 feet.

The municipal officer added the occupants have been warned several times in the past, but they have not responded. He maintained the broad roads have been transformed into narrow streets, making it difficult to cross, even on foot. “These encroachments have often resulted in fatal accidents.”

He said the roads in the district were carpeted during the Sikh era from 1822 to 1848. “They were later improved during the time of the British era in 1853 and were made 44 to 50 feet wide,” he said, adding the encroachments have considerably narrowed the roads down. “The municipal corporation will bring it back to its original size according to the map of Haripur of the year 1981.”

Shah added they will serve the illegal occupants notices, asking them to clear the road in seven days after which the structures will be razed to the ground. He said in the second phase of the drive the authorities will clear GT Road and internal routes.

Published in The Express Tribune, March 28th, 2014.


Missing faculty: Female teacher kidnapped in Haripur



HARIPUR: 

Unidentified persons have kidnapped a female school teacher from Sarai Saleh area of Haripur, police said on Monday.

Police officials revealed Sadiq Shah of POF Colony, Havelian had reported that his 20-year-old daughter was employed at a private school in the Kholiyan Bala village. Four days earlier, she left for work but failed to return home. The father accused Talat Shah, son of Akhtar Shah, a relative from Gujjar Khan, of having abducted his daughter.

Police have registered a criminal case against Talat and his parents, however, the accused are still at large.

Seminary teachers still missing

The police are yet to make any headway in their investigation for the recovery of two seminary teachers kidnapped last week from Battal area of Mansehra.

Quoting Maulana Noor Wahid Shah, head of Madrassah Arbia Islamia, Battal, the police revealed that two teachers identified as Maualana Arshad Iqbal and Maulana Rizwanullah went to a local market after offering Asr prayers on Friday, but did not return.

Later, when the seminary administration tried to contact them on their cell phones, which were switched off, and despite repeated attempts no contact could be established.

The seminary head ruled out any concerns that the two teachers might have had suspicious backgrounds or family feuds. When approached for comments, Battal police said investigation was under way for the recovery of the missing seminary teachers.

Published in The Express Tribune, February 18th, 2014.


Re-election on NA-19, Haripur: Over 9,000 voters to decide MNA today



HARIPUR: 

The fate of the MNA-elect from NA-19, Haripur is in the hands of over 9,000 voters who will cast votes at seven polling stations of the constituency today (Wednesday).

A total 9,198 registered voters, including 5,712 women, will vote for candidates for the second time within a span of eight months. At least 20 polling booths have been prepared and 10 to 12 policemen along with elite force officials will provide security.

An interesting aspect of this election is the fact that both main contenders, Omar Ayub and Dr Raja Amir Zaman, are close relatives of two MPAs.

PK-49, Haripur-I MPA Raja Faisal Zaman, elected on a Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) ticket, is the younger brother of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) candidate Dr Raja Amir Zaman.  PTI’s MPA elect from PK-50, Haripur-II is the first cousin of Omar Ayub Khan.

Some insiders claim, these MPAs are indirectly influencing the voters and asking for support for their relatives in violation of party discipline.

PTI’s Dr Raja Amir Zaman had won the May 11 elections with 117,000 votes. However, runner-up Omar Ayub Khan, who belongs to the PML-N, challenged the results of 78 polling stations, accusing the winner of rigging.

In response to Omar’s petition, the returning officer carried out a recount and declared Zaman the winner on May 24, 2013. However, Omar once again objected to the results of seven polling stations and demanded re-election. On December 31, election tribunal Abbottabad suspended Dr Zaman’s membership and ordered re-polling.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 29th, 2014.


One more round in Haripur: Electioneering picks up for partial polling in Haripur



HARIPUR: 

With the Supreme Court of Pakistan upholding the election tribunal’s decision regarding the suspension of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s (PTI) lawmaker from NA-19 and ordering re-election in seven polling stations of Haripur district on January 29, election activity has again picked up in the respective areas.

Residents of Haripur, especially those living in the provincial assembly constituency PK-50, are going to cast their votes for the second time in a week as they exercised their right to vote on January 23 and elected PTI’s Akbar Ayub as their MPA after the disqualification of his elder brother Yusuf Ayub Khan for having a fake degree. However, the voting this time around will be in seven polling stations of Haripur-II.

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PTI’s Dr Raja Amir Zaman, son of late caretaker chief minister and federal minister Raja Sikandar Zaman, had defeated Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz’s candidate and former minister of state for finance Omar Ayub Khan with a margin of over 1,300 votes during the general elections in 2013. However, Khan had challenged the election results pointing out certain anomalies. On Khan’s application, recounting on all the 4,376 polling stations was held and Zaman emerged as the winner again. Khan, the son of former National Assembly speaker and foreign minister Gohar Ayub, did not accept his defeat and moved the election tribunal, accusing the PTI MNA of rigging on seven polling stations. Election tribunal judge Ziauddin Khattak ,after hearing arguments from both sides, suspended Zaman’s basic membership and ordered fresh elections at seven polling stations of the constituency.

Zaman then challenged the tribunal’s decision in the Supreme Court, which upheld it. After the apex court’s decision, the Election Commission of Pakistan fixed January 29 as the date for re-election in the polling stations pointed out by the applicant.

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After the announcement of a date for fresh polls, electioneering has picked up in the area with the two candidates engaging with various lobbies and individuals to ensure they bag the maximum number of votes and secure the National Assembly seat of the area this week. Both candidates have accused each other of manipulation and maneuvering. Ballots will be cast at polling stations number 71, 74, 256, 276, 279, 342 and 397.

Published in The Express Tribune, January 27th, 2014.