ISLAMABAD: Progressive and democratic students staged a rally for restoration of student unions and better facilities in educational institutions.
Scores of students from the Progressive Students Federation (PrSF) along with representatives of other student organisations from the twin cities gathered outside the National Press Club Islamabad and marched toward Super Market and then Jinnah Avenue.
The student unions were banned during the regime of military dictator Ziaul Haq.
In 1993, the Supreme Court also prohibited the formation of student unions and called for a proper mechanism if the government wanted to revive them. But successive governments did not take any step for the revival of the student politics by taking shelter under the court verdict.
The rally was part of a countrywide ‘Student solidarity march’ held in major cities, including Lahore, Karachi, Multan, Gilgit and Quetta.
In Islamabad, the rally was also joined by scores of workers and activists from progressive political parties.
Abdul Hameed Bukhari, a student leader, told Dawn that there was a need for restoration of the student unions. He said in the absence of the unions, students had been facing several challenges such as shortage of hostels, increase in fees and shortage of transport etc.
Another participant, Danish Yaseen, said without restoration of the unions, students could not get their due rights.
The speakers on the occasion also called for the resolution of problems being faced by students.
Their charter of demands included students’ representation in decision-making processes on the campuses, restoration of student unions, issuance of degrees to all enrolled students, functional harassment policies on the campuses and freezing of fee hikes and improving quality of teaching and research.
Published in Dawn, December 1st, 2018