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Punjab University becoming hub of political activity

LAHORE, July 10: The Punjab University (PU), these days, has become a centre of political activity despite a ban on political activity in educational institutions.

Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) workers and some faculty members have on several occasions offered the PU as a platform to politicians for their election campaigns by inviting them to university functions.

Interestingly, PU is the only public university in the city that indulges into such activity despite an official ban on political activity on campuses levied by President Pervez Musharraf. Other quarters believe that the government should lift the ban on political activity and allow student unions to operate freely.

PU sources said that several politicians attended PU functions and delivered speeches on their political agendas in the last few weeks. They said the politicians were observed trying to create anti-government sentiments among the students.

In a recent function arranged by the IJT in memory of students allegedly killed by the Imamia Students Organisation (ISO) in 1994, Muttahida Majlise-e-Amal (MMA) leader Hafiz Salman Butt was invited as chief guest.

A few weeks ago, the IJT invited Tehrik-e-Insaf leader Imran Khan, MMA leaders Liaqat Baloch, Hafiz Salman Butt and MNA Fareed Paracha as guests of honour for a cricket tournament. The move to invite Liaqat Baloch is also significant, as PU falls in his constituency.

Also, the PU Academic Staff Association and IJT jointly welcomed Supreme Court Chief Justice Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry.

PU IJT nazim Muhammad Ayub said that they were working for the rights of students and such programmes were curricular activities. He said the involvement of political personalities was important to make students aware of what was happening in Pakistan's political arena.

He said every student had the right to vote and that the IJT was trying to educate students about the importance of their vote. He also said the purpose to invite politicians was to improve Pakistan.

PUASA president Prof Dr Mumtaz Ahmed Salik said the university was open for dialogue where anyone from any field of life could participate and express his or her point of view. He said the university should be free of any kind of hurdles so that politicians, philosophers and scholars could deliver lectures to students. He said speeches of politicians to PU students were not unique.

A faculty member of PU said that political leaders were trying to use students for their election campaigns. He said that last month the MMA funded a night cricket tournament at the PU campus. He also said PU was the focus of politicians earlier also and that Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leader Zulfikar Bhutto started under the banner of the National Students Federation (NSF) and this student wing of the university spread the voice of the PPP across Pakistan. He said this student wing played an important role to get Bhutto to the office of prime minister and now the IJT was playing a similar role, as it was the MMA's student wing.

Hall Council acting chairman Sami Uzair said that according to PU policy all political activities would be banned and that students involved in such programmes were either expelled or under trial in the university. He said it was difficult for authorities to stop such activity by force because the government did not want disturb PU's peace.

Another official said the university often tried to stop the IJT by force and that it had asked the help of the police in such operations, but the IJT could still not be stopped. He said that although university had its own security, it was not trained to take action against them. He said the government should take action in this regard. Daily times

Your Comments
"Update ur knowledge plz!Jamiat is not a student wing of MMA. its an independent student org.uve mentioned urself that they invited Imran Khan,so how u can say they r compaining for Balochs seat.Salman Butt,Liaqat Baloch n Fareed Paracha all r x-PU students n elected union inviting old boys is Cricket tournament a political activity?"
Name: Numair Hasan
City, Country: Islamabad, Pakistan

"UPDATE UR KNOWLEDGE! The IJT is not a students union as u seen after the story of imran khan thousands of students were agnist of IJT and these students come from thier deptt: for protest on the other hand few ijt members were come for IJT favour. the member of IJT zahid jameel and m.abid of geology says that they join IJT only for protect himself from IJT actions of their wrong works. they shows that IJT protects only its members and give them free hand. "GO JAMIAT GO".
Name: geologist
Email: ammar_800@YAHOO.COM
City, Country: LAHORE, Pakistan

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