IJT protests cultural event at UoP for playing music,‘spreading vulgarity’

University spokesperson says permission wasn't taken for the event and musical functions are banned on campus

Izhar Ullah May 25, 2017
The seminar titled ‘Peace Building through FATA Reforms’ was held at UoP's Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies. PHOTO: FILE

PESHAWAR: Yet another university event celebrating arts and culture was marred by the Islamia Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT), this time at the University of Peshawar (UoP), where the student group held a protest and called the administration to put a stop to it.

A seminar titled ‘Peace Building through FATA Reforms’ was held on Monday at the varsity’s Institute of Peace and Conflict Studies (IPCS) in collaboration with the non-profit Equal Access. The event featured a Pashto poetry and music session.

The IJT began protesting against the event because music was playing and then called the administration claiming it was “spreading vulgarity” on campus and should be stopped.

Department head Professor Jamil Ahmad Chitrali told The Express Tribune that since the event’s theme was peace building in Fata, several students who hailed from the tribal areas were invited along with musicians and poets.


According to Chitrali, local folk music was being played at the venue but the administration called the organisers and told them to stop the music.

“When the event ended, police and administration officials were standing outside with IJT activists and confiscated musical instruments from our guests,” he said.

Chitrali further said the instruments were only handed back after he repeatedly requested the police.


Musical instruments that police confiscated after the event. PHOTO: Izhar ullah/Express Musical instruments that police confiscated after the event. PHOTO: Izhar Ullah/Express

When questioned on whether the department had sought permission from the administration to hold the event, the professor claimed according to university rules, a head can hold a function in his department and doesn’t need to take permission from the administration.

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He added the dean of the faculty was invited a few days prior but he did not attend.

However, UoP Spokesperson Rafiullah told The Express Tribune that permission is indeed needed, which the department had not sought before the event.

“Legally, a permission letter is needed to hold any event in the university campus,” he said. “Moreover, all sorts of musical events on campus have been completely banned for the last four years.”

IJT's general secretary on campus Dost Muhammad Khan said for the past few years Professor Ahmad has been trying to “spread secularism on campus”, which would not be tolerated.

He said under university rules, professional musicians were not allowed to perform in on-campus events where boys and girls could mix. “In the event arranged at IPCS, both male and female students were performing the attan dance together which is shameful for an educational institute,” he said.

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He claimed the IJT did not interfere in the function nor forcibly stop it. “We just held a peaceful protest against the spread of vulgarity which Professor Ahmad is supporting.”

The student leader said they ended the protest after the university administration assured them action will be taken against those who organised the event and no such functions will be held on campus in future.

However, Professor Chitrali said traditional music and poetry was performed at the event and that it was promoting culture, not vulgarity. “If the IJT believes playing local music is vulgarity, it’s just their view, but it’s not the reality,” he said.


Rex | 7 years ago | Reply Musical instruments being confiscated, as if they were dangerous weapons!
Khan | 7 years ago | Reply Musical instruments = spreading vulgarity!!! typical IJT mentality...shameful attitude of the university administration by accepting IJT as their masters...
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