LAHORE: The Punjab University students continued with their sit-in for the third day on Monday against the arrest of Alamgir Wazir, a former chairman of the Pukhtun Council, and registration of a sedition case against organisers and participants of Student Solidarity March.

The Civil Lines police on behalf of the state had registered a case on sedition charges against march’s organisers, including Ammar Ali Jan, Farooq Tariq, Iqbal Lala (father of Mashal Khan who was lynched over allegation of blasphemy in Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan), Alamgir Wazir (nephew of MNA and Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement leader Ali Wazir), Mohammad Shabbir and Kamil Khan, besides 250-300 unidentified participants.

A number of students from different councils including Seraiki, Punjabi, Baloch and Pukhtun had been encamped outside the vice chancellor house against the arrest of Mr Wazir for the last three days.

They said they would continue to hold sit-in till the release of Mr Wazir, who was visiting the campus to get his degree.

They alleged that the university administration had handed over Mr Wazir to security agencies because agencies could not enter the campus without approval of the administration and the chief security officer.

However, Mr Wazir was produced before a judicial magistrate and he was sent to jail on a 14-day judicial remand.

The PU spokesman said all students have liberty within the ambit of law; however no student organisation would be allowed to disrupt peaceful atmosphere on the campus.

He said: “We did not have evidence about former PU student Alamgir Wazir’s arrest from the campus and now he is on judicial remand.”

He said it was learnt that his last location was Barkat Market, Garden Town, before he went ‘missing.’

He said a particular segment of so-called “thinkers” must not interfere in the affairs of Punjab University.

He said around a dozen students staged a demo outside VC office while all academic activities were as per routine on Monday.

Meanwhile, Senate former chairman Raza Rabbani has condemned registration of FIR under sedition charges against 300 students.

He said the students were demanding their fundamental rights guaranteed under Article 17 of the Constitution for lifting ban on unions.

He said the government was executing a ‘dual’ policy as it withdrew the notification of the prosecution team in the high treason case against retired Gen Pervez Musharraf and filed a petition in Islamabad High Court praying that the Special Court be restrained from announcing its verdict on Nov 28.

He said the Committee of Whole of the Senate of Pakistan in August, 2017 after hearing all the stakeholders passed a unanimous resolution calling upon the federal and provincial governments and Federal Capital Territory to lift ban on student unions in educational institutions and regulate the same in order to ensure zero tolerance for violent activities.

He also demanded withdrawal of sedition case against the students.

Published in Dawn, December 3rd, 2019