It’s a curious case when a government indirectly awards itself. However, it is not so surprising in the case of the PTI government. From spats about mental enslavement of the elite to be the parent company of its student movements: ISF. PTI is marred with contradictions. Yet it takes an all-new low to host parties to bolster their own manufactured image as that of a progressive political party when the only reaction met by authentic student organizations is a cold shoulder.
Governor Mohammad Sarwar holds the position of chancellor of all universities in Punjab. Hosting the 14th foundation day of a sham student organization of their own making serves only the purpose of gaslighting actual concerns of the students. Concerns, such as the arrest of Muhammad Zubair Siddique who was detained for 5 days in prison and faced criminal charges that followed him for 11 months. Siddique’s transgression was being the voice against private education institutes mandating on-campus exams when all classes with conducted online. Consistently, student organizations are barred from speaking out on matters of deep political and social importance such as fee hikes and delayed semesters, and harassment as this challenges the fabric on which institutes are built. This may even bring to question why something as serious as the disappearance of two students from the esteemed University of Balochistan is not being reported by the mainstream media. Especially since the disappearance took place a mere week or so before the 14th foundation. This institutionalization has led to many, rightfully being fearful of speaking out due to the repercussions following it. An environment of fear and intimidation paralyzes growth and progress that PTI flaunts.
A pat on the back for Insaaf students federation (ISF), but criminal charges for other student organizations is exactly why organizations have become wary of the government.
Another issue with this affair is that as a student, after hours of searching the internet, one can find multiple sites dedicated to the PTI manifesto, where the ISF charter should have been. This alone speaks to the gravity of indifference the government feels towards student activists.
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