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The Higher Education Commission (HEC) after a weeklong protest by students against on-campus examinations has broken its silence, directing all universities to hold online exams.

The commission has also directed the universities to strictly implement the standard operating procedures (SOPs) for the online exams.

A number of students were staging demonstrations in multiple cities including Lahore, Faisalabad, Islamabad and Peshawar against the decision to hold in person-exams.

The students were demanding online exams as they took the classes virtually but some private universities were opposing it.

In Lahore and Peshawar, students stormed private universities, causing clashes with security guards and police official. During the protests, students were also injured.

As the protest intensified, Federal Minister for Education and Professional Training Shafqat Mehmood addressed students' concerns regarding online examinations and said: “This is a decision for the universities to make but I have asked HEC to consult VCs and see if it is possible given special circumstances this year”.