There is no doubt that there has been a long history of manipulation, control, forceful silencing and crackdown on dissenting voices and ideas in our country from colonial to post-colonial times. But ever since the Tabdeeli Sarkaar had held its office for last two years both the regression and repression had reached to unprecedented heights. Very few regimes in our political history have ruled with such impunity and senselessness. But we are witnessing a new kind of onslaught on activists, academic freedoms and critical thinking for a while now which is happening both through systematic manipulation and force.
The crackdown on student activists demanding right to fair and egalitarian education system is the most disturbing one. After the arrests and violence on a large number of students in Quetta, in a recent wave of crackdown two student activists from Sindh, Karachi and Ghotki, Muhammad Amin and Shafqat Hussain were abducted from their homes and are still being kept in unknown dark dungeons without any clue, for several days now. They have not been charged of anything and have not been presented in front of court remembering the fact that they have been clearly abducted by state security institutions. These kind of condemnable tactics are completely unacceptable to us and cannot be allowed to happen in any decent society. We, at the students herald, strongly condemn it and demand that our abducted comrades be immediately released. We cannot let this happen to anyone for it is a clear negation of justice and rule of law. We also strongly condemn the abduction of one of the most prominent members of our journalist fraternity, Matiullah Jan, who was released after an unprecedented and powerful solidarity from all sections of society. We deem these shameful tactics as anti-people and anti-constitutional and demand that state must rethink its priorities and reject such destructive approach to its educated people.
These are a few examples of control by force but there is also a clear wave of control and manipulation through systematic and structural approaches by this increasingly fascist regime. After the rooting out of all progressive academics in our educational institutions, the incorporation of religious doctrine, status quo’s propaganda machinery and ruling ideological narrative in our education system and society through excessively weird initiatives like ‘Tahaffuz e Bunyad e Islam’ (Fundamentals of Islam Protection) Bill and soul less and fully manipulated initiatives like Single National Curriculum are unprecedentedly dictatorial. Under these laws it would be very clear that the fascist state apparatus will be vested with every right to put you on trial on anything you write, and there will be a very narrow narrative that will be in complete with ideological state apparatus that would be taught from Class I to Masters. Teaching alternative ideological narratives, discussion of the debates that are being generated worldwide and critical thought seem too far if have a look at these purely fascist laws.
These are clearly steps towards the unprecedented mass manipulation and ideological and political subjugation. This is an onslaught aimed to eradicate all kinds of remaining vestiges of progress and dissent that still miraculously exist in our society and education system and to push society towards a dark past whose wretches still horribly resonate in our collective consciousness and continue to haunt us in each possible way. These are steps towards the programming of society in a certain way, an experiment that had already been done in our country and delivered us nothing else than terror, extremism and misery, and we would not get anything else repeating the same patterns. The students of this country will not allow it to happen and will never accept it.