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Sindh Assembly resolution urges restoration of students’ unions

Naimat Khan

KARACHI: Sindh Assembly on Monday adopted a resolution, urging the federal as well as provincial government of Sindh to restore students’ unions and hold elections for the student bodies at Colleges and University campuses.

Students’ Unions in Pakistan were banned by former military dictator General Ziaul Haq in mid eighties. Since, then, student organizations associated with different political and religious groups have dominated the campus politics.

The resolution was tabled by Pakistan Peoples Party’s member provincial assembly Dr Abdul Sattar Rajpar and adopted unanimously. In his speech, Mr. Rajpar – mover of the resolution, said that a military dictator had banned students’ union. “Now we have democratic government. which should remove this ban immediately,” he demanded.

Women lawmaker from the ruling party, Khairunisa Mughal, said that dictators had banned unions in order to eliminate politics from the country. “These were student unions, which would create political leaders for the national arena,” she said.

Another PPP legislator Khursheed Ahmed Junejo said that students’ union would play the role of nurseries for national politics. The unions have played a great role in the creation of Pakistan, he said. “The unions have also played a great role against dictators and in restoration of democracy. The Ayub dictatorial Government was ended as a result of struggle by student unions. That’s why these unions should be restored,” he argued.

Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf MPA Samar Ali Khan said that the students’ unions should be restored but the organizations should remain in their limits. The political organizations have made student’s union as their political arms.

PPP’s Saeed Ghani said that ideological politics got buried with ban over students’ union. “The provincial government should not wait for center to restore unions. We should take lead and if legislation is required for doing so we should bring law,” Ghani asked his own government.

Lawmaker of the MQM Pakistan Faisal Subzwari endorsed Ghani demand and said that former Prime Minister Yousuf Raza Gilani had announced to restore unions but he was removed. Now the Sindh Government should complete unfinished agenda of the former prime minister.

Subzwari said that many in the house, including him were result of presence of students’ organizations at the campus. “The students’ organizations and union do political training of the students and Garner feelings of brotherhood and tolerance in them,” he concluded.

It’s pertinent to mention that the Senate of Pakistan on 24 August, 2017 has adopted a resolution urging the government to revive students unions in the educational institutions of the Islamabad Capital Territory with a code of conduct in place.

Leader of the House Raja Muhammad Zafarul Haq had tabled the resolution which was adopted by the House. The resolution stressed that the code should provide a mechanism for ensuring zero tolerance for violent activities.

Keeping in view that this was a provincial subject, the House recommended to the provincial governments to review students unions in the educational institutions and regulate the same in order to ensure zero tolerance for violent activities.

Earlier, the Leader of the House presented the report of the Committee of Whole on a matter referred by the House regarding the need for revival of students unions in the educational institutions in the country, particularly in colleges and universities.

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