Academicians hail lifting of student unions ban
March 2008: Academicians of Sindh public universities have hailed
the Prime Minister Yusuf Raza Gillani's decision of lifting the decades old ban
on the students unions.
They were of the view that it would help politicising
of the students in appositive way for resolving their genuine demands faced by
them at the campuses..
It may be recalled here that former military dictator
Ziaul Haq in 1984 banned the students unions before which the students'
political activities were conducted through regular annual elections in
universities and colleges.
And now at least after 24 years, Pakistan
Democratic Alliance-elected PM Yousuf Raza Gillani, just after having taken the
vote of confidence, lifted the ban.
Prof Dr Mutahir
Ahmed Sheikh from department of International Relation Karachi University said
that it was a healthy sign that government announced the lifting of ban from the
student unions adding that it would help create awareness among the
He said the student unions could provide middle-class leadership,
which has become a rarity in modern-day Pakistan.
He added that student
unions had always played key-role in the democratic struggle against the
military dictatorships adding that with the ban lifted, the student unions would
strengthen the democratic process and the institution-building in the
He added that it was wrong perception that student unions promoted
violence at the campuses saying that it was just reflection of violence
prevailing in the society due to de-politicisation of our society and ethnic and
sectarian hatred dominated in our society.
Prof Dr Mutahir Sheikh said that politicisation of student would help eradicate
the sectarian and ethnic hatred and would give chance to the students for
holding open debates on every conceivable issue.
Prof Dr Fehran Ahmed of
Karachi University of International Department said that it was a
good adding, 'yet it would take some time when the student politics would take a
firm root and the students would consolidate as a political force.
Ammer Sindhu at Philosophy Department at Sindh University Jamshoro also welcomed
the decision adding that PPP's announcement proved that it was a party of the
Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and his Shaheed daughter Benazir Bhutto, who had always
vowed that PPP would lift the ban on student unions.
She however expressed
her concerns that in the beginning it might be difficult in the beginning, given
the present political immaturity among the student organisations. She urged
media and civil society to play their role in what she termed the evolution of
the student politics.
She added that it would also help the university
administration to curb the violence that took place at the campus of-and-on and
that there would be a check on the teachers and university administration for
creating a conducive atmosphere.
Citing the example of Indian varsities,
where the student unions have always played positive role for academics by
taking part in the decision-making of the affairs of the universities.
added that Student politics in Pakistan has had a tumultuous but rich democratic
history and played important role against the military dictators and produced
better politicians than the ones engineered by the anti-democratic
Prof Dr Majeed Chandio from Shah Abul Latif Khairpur University was
of the view that it was a healthy sign and that it would give opportunity to
students highlighting problems faced by students; be they of transport, fees and
other genuine issues. The Nation
Students welcome unions' restoration
Islamabad/ Rawalpindi: Students welcomed restoration of student unions by Prime
Minister Yousaf Raza Gillani on Saturday and they urged the government to issue
notification in this regard at the earliest.
They said that the student
unions platform would help them increase their abilities.
unions were banned in 1984 during the General Ziaul Haq regime and later no
government took any initiative to restore them.
Greeting Week: At some
institutions students have decided to celebrate the next week as the 'Greeting
Week' and take out rallies.
Joint Students Movement (JSM) President
Jahanzeb Waqas said that students of the universities had expressed
their jubilation and expected that a notification would be issued at the
earliest to restore the unions. He said that the students were displaying
banners inscribed with salutations and thanks to Gillani for the
He said the decision was commendable and hoped that the
government would take more such initiatives in the interest of
Decision unexpected: Students Action Committee (SAC) Secretary
General Aliya Ameer Ali said that the students were not expecting the
announcement at this time. However, she said that the students had lauded the
bold decision of and they were happy that the government had given priority to
the students' interest.
Jamiat Tulba-e-Islam Secretary General Muhammad
Zubair Safdar said that the unions' platform could provide the nation good
leadership. He said that all the prominent leaders like Javed Hashmi and Gillani
who were leading the nation at present were student leaders. He termed the
unions' restoration a historic decision.
Khawaja Shehzad, a Muslim
Student Federation (MSF) central leader, said that the students had
been striving for unions for long. He said it was a good step for democracy and
all eminent politicians remained student union leaders during their studies. He
said the country was lacking a good leadership after 1988.
congratulated the Pakistan People's Party and Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz
(PML-N) upon lifting of the ban on unions. He said student unions were working
in girls' colleges under the name of student councils, which had been made
non-functional in boys' colleges.
People's Student Federation (PSF)
District President Sheraz Kiyani said the PPP had always encouraged the youth to
participate in politics. He said student unions had been the backbone of
political parties, enabling the poor to have their share in the decisions being
taken on their behalf.
Azmat Khattar, the PSF president at the
University of Arid Agriculture Rawalpindi (UAAR), said student unions were a
gift given to the nation by Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, offering the poor an important
role to play in politics.
He said heroin and Kalasnikov culture was
introduced in educational institutions during a time when unions were banned,
indicating towards the era of Gen Ziaul Haq.
He said Benazir Bhutto had
promised to lift the ban on student unions during her lifetime. He said the PSF
would try to hold student unions' elections in Rawalpindi colleges and
universities. Bilal Azfar, a social worker, said the government should prepare a
comprehensive code of conduct for student unions before their elections. Daily Times
Post your Feedback about information available on this page.