Recent events at Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad have brought to light the many challenges faced by university students in Pakistan. On February 28, the university was closed due to a fight between student groups. In the middle of the night, police officers raided the university hostel and arrested and punished several innocent students. They also vacated the hostels at midnight, leaving many students without a place to stay. After two weeks, the university administration announced that they were cancelling the hostel allotments of all students without any reason. This decision was especially difficult for students who live far away from the University, some of whom are from foreign countries. The sudden closure of the university and the subsequent cancellation of hostel allotments have had a profound impact on students’ lives. In addition to the logistical challenges of finding alternative housing, students are also grappling with the disruption of their studies. For students who are in the middle of a semester, the sudden switch to online learning has been particularly challenging.
The recent events at Quaid-e-Azam University highlight the need for greater accountability and transparency in university administrations. Students have a right to a safe and secure learning environment and any actions that threaten this environment should not be tolerated.
Abdul Waheed Chijan