Quaid-e-Azam University has taken the decision to restore student unions in the university. This initiative is worth applauding. Since student unions were banned by General Zia in 1984 we have seen our universities struggle and often fail to deal with issues like unaffordable fees, lack of hostel space and concerns over the quality of education without a strong student voice and representation to help highlight and manage these problems. Student unions also inculcated a politically literate culture among young people by encouraging activities such as debates and reading circles.
I find it quite surprising that none of the democratically elected governments of the 1990s reversed General Zia’s ban on student unions. The main parties that constituted the governments in those days still go around calling themselves champions of democracy. I believe it is impossible to build a democratic society with a politically illiterate youth.
Shahab Dad Baloch