LAHORE : The Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) has decided to challenge the Punjab government’s decision to bar student bodies from conducting functions at public varsities of the province.
The decision came in the wake of a letter sent to all vice chancellors of public sector universities in the province asking them that all activities should be held with the administrative control of vice chancellors.
Reacting to the decision by the provincial government, IJT Spokesperson Tamour Khan said that the provincial government did not had the authority to ban student activities. He claimed organising such events was a part of their basic rights enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan. “We will challenge it in the Lahore High Court (LHC) as such activities are part of the learning process.”
Tamour said the decision showed the double standards of the government when it came to public and private educational institutions.
“Why hasn’t the same orders given to private universities, where similar events are organised by student bodies?” he questioned. He added that in private universities, societies with different names operate and hold functions and events for the students of the university. If these [student activities] were harmful in any way, then the private universities should have also been asked to ban them, he said.
According to the Punjab Higher Education Department (HED) letter sent to all vice chancellors of public universities of the province, “Activities by students in the name of holding functions should not be allowed, on their own, in order to ensure a conducive educational environment. Such activities must be under the administrative control of the vice chancellors without exception.”
The letter was a response to violence between the IJT and the Pakhtun Education Development Movement (PEDM) when the latter held a culture day at the Punjab University. The clash resulted in injuries to several students and both sides blamed the other for starting the incident.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 13th, 2017.