In DI Khan, students oppose university’s music concert ban

Gomal University says will not allow shows where ‘participants smoke hashish’ and rickshaw drivers attend.


Zulfiqar Ali April 17, 2012

DERA ISMAIL KHAN: In Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa’s southern district of Dera Ismail Khan, students at Gomal University disapprove of the institution’s decision to ban musical shows at its two campuses, The Express Tribune has learnt.

A concert organised by a student group was disrupted by authorities late Sunday night, ostensibly for violating the official ban, organisers and officials confirmed.

The Pakhtun Student Federation had organised a concert by Pashto singer Mazhar Khan at Gomal University in DI Khan. A police party arrived at the university’s Facilitation Hall, where hundreds of students gyrated to Khan’s tunes, removed the stage and forced students out of the hall.

“A ban has been imposed by the university’s vice chancellor on programmes involving music, songs and dance on campus premises under Section 13 (3) of the Gomal University Act 1974,” Dr Salahuddin, director of student affairs at the university, told The Express Tribune.

The PSF, however, said that they will continue to struggle against what they felt was usurpation of their rights. “Access to entertainment is our fundamental right,” Sherullah Wazir, a political science students and secretary of PSF at Gomal’s campus, said.

Sherullah said that a majority of the university’s student body came from Fata, particularly from North and South Waziristan agencies. “They want musical shows at the campus as it is the only venue where they can entertain themselves. They can’t even think of such things in [their] war-torn tribal areas.”

But, Dr Salahuddin categorically stated that the university was not against entertainment activities. He defended the decision saying that all the administration is opposed to are programmes that disturb the university’s environment. “A number of outsiders also came to campus [for the disrupted musical show], which cannot be allowed. The university will not permit programmes that are attended by rickshaw drivers and participants smoke hashish,” he said.

In support of his assertion that the administration supported entertainment activities, he said that students are allowed to play the Rabab during welcome and farewell parties and other events but the administration will not allow professional singers to perform on campus.

He also said that the decision was not made due to fear of militants or threats from them.

A student, who spoke on condition of anonymity, said that a tussle was going on between the university’s students and administration over organising musical shows. “Students often arrange programmes outside campus but it is insecure to do so.”

On the other hand, right-wing religious party Jamaat-e-Islami’s student wing Islami Jamiat Talaba says it backs the administration’s decision to disallow musical shows.

“It is the IJT’s mission to not permit such activities on campuses and we will back the university administration in not allowing musical shows and dance parties,” IJT’s nazim Shafirullah said.

COMMENTS (9)

Waqas ali | 9 years ago | Reply I know the situation of that university.. And i was a student there and i organized such activities but outside university premises.. And i know PSF when they organize a musical show so wine,hashish and weapons are must in their shows.. So if they wanna do such activities they can do it outside uni... I wil also back uni admin...
ALi | 9 years ago | Reply

@faridy: “A ban has been imposed by the university’s vice chancellor on programmes involving music, songs and dance on campus premises under Section 13 (3) of the Gomal University Act 1974,”

did you read the above part in the article? One has to follow rules of that university. One has complete freedom to live in moderation but if something is not allowed you can do it at your home. Nobody is stopping you over there. But according to this university its not allowed. Sorry liberalism won't work here. One has to respect the constitution.

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