KARACHI: Scores of Karachi University students under the aegis of the Muttahida Qaumi Movement students’ wing organised a mushaira on the campus in protest against the cancellation of the permission for a Mohajir cultural festival by the university administration on Tuesday.
According to the All-Pakistan Muttahida Students Organisation (APMSO), the KU administration informed the students on Monday morning, just a few hours before the inauguration of their two-day festival, that they were revoking its permission.
On Tuesday, university students led by APMSO workers and supporters gathered outside the main Silver Jubilee Gate of the varsity and staged a peaceful demonstration against the KU administration. Holding banners and placards, they shouted slogans against the administration for what they called its anti-Mohajir actions.
They were joined by senior MQM leader Dr Farooq Sattar and anchor Dr Aamir Liaquat Hussain, who also recently rejoined the MQM, who were the chief guests of the festival.
As the vehicles of the two leaders were not allowed to enter the campus, both riding a motorbike entered the campus along with a large number of protesting students.
Speaking on the occasion, Dr Sattar said it was unfortunate that the KU administration on the “pressure of someone” cancelled the permission of the Mohajir cultural festival. “They are trying their best to push Mohajirs against the wall.”
Dr Aamir Liaquat said: “Our ancestors did not get permission from anyone to create Pakistan and therefore we do not need to get any permission from anyone to organise a Mohajir cultural festival.”
The two leaders along with APMSO workers and students reached the Arts Lobby, where they were greeted by a large crowd. They cut a cake to mark the beginning of the celebrations of Pakistan’s Independence Day.
As the permission had already been cancelled by the KU administration, students and APMSO workers organised a mushaira without using microphone and speakers as a mark of protest and in defiance of the revoking of the permission at the eleventh hour.
According to an APMSO statement, famous poets including Arif Shafiq, Haider Hasnain Jaleesi, Azeem Rahi, Saleem Akkas recited their poetry.
Other programmes which were planned as part of the festival could not be held due to the cancellation of the permission.
Published in Dawn, August 3rd, 2016