THE arrests at a Punjab University hostel and the subsequent ugly street protest by the Islami Jamiat-i-Talaba in Lahore on Monday were the latest eruptions of tensions that had been brewing for a while now. Simply put, the Punjab University has in recent times been trying to cleanse its campuses of the influence the Jamiat was allowed to build up over time. The violent rioting on Monday was a statement of the Jamiat’s resolve to resist its dethroning. The latest round in the PU-IJT tussle had its origins in an incident last week at the Law College in Lahore in which some Jamiat activists were accused of browbeating a couple of teachers. The incident itself was cause enough for a probe and solution. But in the given circumstances, it was more reason for what is being widely seen as intensification of the campaign to rein in the Jamiat, an action that has been justly demanded over the years to free the Punjab University from fear and the unwritten code imposed on it.

It is not too difficult to see what distinguishes the current Punjab University administration from its predecessors who were always reluctant to move against the Jamiat’s excesses. The IJT’s parent body, the Jamaat-i-Islami, has taken rabid stands on crucial national and global issues such as the war against militancy. There are routine revelations which project the Jamaat as not just a sympathiser of the militants but as their partner. In recent days, reports of the nabbing of a Jamiat worker in Lahore with alleged Al Qaeda links and the death of a former, prominent Jamiat member from Karachi in a drone attack in the tribal areas enhance the portrayal of the JI and IJT as radicals. This image in the context of power and its demands also makes it impossible for the PML-N to maintain good relations with its old JI ally. The separation of the two parties raises the prospect of a real purge that has been long in coming.

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Comments (7)

December 4, 2013 11:06 am

"In recent days, reports of the nabbing of a Jamiat worker in Lahore with alleged Al Qaeda links and the death of a former, prominent Jamiat member from Karachi in a drone attack in the tribal areas enhance the portrayal of the JI and IJT as radicals."

Really? Not only did you just voice support for an extra judicial illegal murderous act, you are actually using that heinous acts as basis to form further allegations against the JI.

Dawn should really be ashamed at its mentality of using whatever means necessary to score its ideological point.

December 4, 2013 12:40 pm

Very well written. I was a hardcore supporter of PTI but ever since it has moved close to JI, a terrorist organization by any definition, I am extremely disappointed in Imran Khan.

December 4, 2013 2:53 pm

Its a wish list not a reality. The existing VC is a known culprit and at least 2 cases have been filed by lady teacher against his behaviour. Its a blessing that Jamiat has some influence in PU where positive activities are progressing. Please look at the campuses govt. or private where there is no Jamiat and you will feel the heat. Please be honest while highlighting the issues,,, show full picture to the readers, biasness will harm your reputation,

December 4, 2013 7:36 pm

Jamiat was wiped off Karachi 20 yrs ago. Let's hope for a similar fate in Lahore.

December 4, 2013 9:56 pm

@Pakistani: There is no one as blind as the person who does not wish to see.

December 5, 2013 3:13 am

Kudos Dawn news for highlighting the real culprits. Violence and politics first of has no place in an educational institution. Second there moral character, there family background and there ideology is obvious from the way they have responded to the situation by actually heinously terrorizing the citizens of Lahore.

December 5, 2013 4:39 am

I say better late than never. The administration should have the guts and patience to eradicate this malignancy known as the IJT from the PU and indeed campuses all over the country.

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