Karachi, December 03, 2019: Civil society and student leaders here on Tuesday strongly condemned the lodging of police cases against students for raising voice in favor of restoring student unions and demanded to withdraw these fake cases, immediately.
Addressing a joint press conference arranged by Naujawan Inqilabi Tehkrik (Young Revolutionary Movement) at Karachi Press Club (KPC), they said the organizers of the Students Solidarity Rally on November 29 to demand the restoration of student unions and stopping sexual harassment of students and promoting democratic culture deserve warm greetings for their well-organized struggle.
After 1968, this was the first time when people belonging to different walks of life and their organizations supported the demand of students and showed their determination in favor of the revival of student unions.
They said now all major political parties including the ruling party and its Prime Minister have accepted this democratic and constitutional right of students, but the sitting government at the same in an highly hypocritical manner has filed sedation cases against the organizer of the student march Comrade Ammar Jan and his supporters including the father of Comrade Mishal Khan, Iqbal Lala, and another student leader Alamgir Wazeer is whisked away, which is shameful.
They expressed full support and solidarity with the organizers of the student rally and condemned violence and undemocratic steps of the government. They said that on one hand the Prime Minister has accepted the right of union making, but on the other hand he accuses the student organizations of promoting violence, which shows his undemocratic thinking. They regretted that for last three decades students have been deprived to make their unions in educational institutions and work in a democratic manner.
The speakers said that it is the fundamental right of each and every citizen to take part in unions as this right is guaranteed in the constitution of Pakistan. They said parliament and provincial assemblies are also working in the country under this fundamental right.
They said; however, the ban slapped on student unions during the dictatorship of General Zia is practically present up till now, which is harmful for democratic traditions and culture. They said that the federal and provincial governments by slapping illegal ban on student and labor unions, which are the nurseries of democracy, have created a political suffocation in our society.
The voices for democratic rights in educational institutions are being stifled. There is a sense of fear and insecurity in educational institutions and the expression of thought has been made a crime. In this undemocratic atmosphere, the incidents of violence and sexual harassment have also risen sharply and religious, ethnic, linguistic and sectarian extremism is also on the rise.
The ruling class is getting the benefit of this whole situation. It is said that the political parties who run their student who is now supporting the restoration of student unions, in their tenure in government had themselves deprived students of the democratic right of making their unions. They also said that the ban on student unions lifted in the PPP government led by it in its true sense and never held student union elections.
They demanded that cases against Ummar Ali Jan, Iqbal Lala and others should be immediately withdrawn. Missing student leader Alamgir Wazeer should be recovered and legal action is taken against his abductors.
In all educational unions should be immediately restored and the election of unions should be held. Sexual harassment of women and girls in educational institutions should be stopped and anti-harassment vigilance committee made there with a due representation of female students.
At least a 10percent increase be made in by cutting down unnecessary expenses. All missing political and social leaders should be recovered and privatization of education should be stopped.
They also condemned the attacked on DAWN in Islamabad by bigots and anti-democratic elements.
Those spoke included Saira Feroze of Naujwan Inqilabi Tehreek, Tauseef Azam of Jammu Kashmir National Students Federation, Mohsin Ali student leader, Kulsoom Baloch student leader, Ashraf Afghani of Balochistan Student Federation, Mubashir of Jea Sindh Student Federation, Zehra Khan of Home Based Women Workers Federation (HBWWF), Asad Butt of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Karamat Ali of PILER, Nasir Mansoor of National Trade Union Federation, Comrade Zubair Rehman columnist, Sajjad Zaheer columnist, Saeed Baloch of Pakistan Fisherflok Forum, Aslam Khokhar of Mazdoor Kisan Party, Abdul Khaliq Zadran and Gul Rahman of Workers Right Movement.