ISLAMABAD: Following controversy around the Israel stall set up at an MUN event at IIUI, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) on Tuesday wrote to the heads of all public sector and private universities, asking them to “remain very vigilant and forestall any activity that in any manner challenge(s) the ideology and principles of Pakistan, and/or perspective of the government of Pakistan”.

The letter, a copy of which is available with Dawn, says: “Regretfully, it has been observed that a few activities that are directly or indirectly hosted or sponsored by universities include discussions, or presentations contrary to the ideology and principles of Pakistan. Perhaps due (to) the fact that program detailed are not reviewed and approved discretely by the universities. Such instances not only tarnish the image of an institution but fortify negativism and chaos.

Commenting on the development, Mohammad Omer Imran, former secretary general of FORMUN, the Model UN society of the Forman Christian College University in Lahore, told Dawn that this was a regressive move.

“We need to encourage tolerance for differing ideas, not to further schisms and intolerance within society. MUNs and debates should not be curtailed at the university-level and students should have the freedom to say and argue on various ideas, because that promotes learning and understanding amongst people from different backgrounds,” he said.

Published in Dawn, October 29th , 2014

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