The Senate's Committee of the Whole passed a resolution on Tuesday calling for the revival of student unions in educational institutions, DawnNews reported.

The student unions provide a platform for students to engage in social and educational activities and defend their rights at the same time, read a resolution passed in Senate during a session chaired by Chairman Raza Rabbani.

Members of the Senate said that student unions have played an important role against dictators in the past and claimed that Mashal Khan's murder would not have taken place if student unions were allowed on campus.

However, the Senators stressed that the federal and provincial governments must ensure that a no-weapons policy is strictly observed on campuses and that administrations maintain peace in educational institutions by making unions follow a set code of conduct.

No student should be granted membership of a union without clearing all exams, they added.

Agreeing with the senators, Senator Rabbani said that student unions give the poor and middle classes a platform to enter national-level politics; therefore, "they must be revived".

Being an independent institution, it's the duty of Senate to carry out legislations that benefit the people, he observed.

Referring to the Supreme Court's 1993 ban on student unions, the resolution said that restoring student unions will not be a violation of court orders because the Constitution of Pakistan gives everyone the right to form associations.

Student unions were banned during Gen Ziaul Haq's regime. The order was rescinded by the late Benazir Bhutto in 1988; however, in 1993, the Supreme Court imposed a ban on unions on the grounds that they contribute to violence on campuses.

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