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October 26, 2017

‘IJT activists denying PTI’s student body space in KU’


October 26, 2017

Surrounded by the greens and reds of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) party flag, Imran Fareed sat at a reception camp set up at the main gate of the University of Karachi (KU) with his peers on Wednesday morning eagerly waiting to welcome PTI chief Imran Khan, who was scheduled to address a student gathering.

 A staunch PTI supporter, Fareed, a KU student, has become frustrated with the ethnic and religion-centred student politics on campus. Khan’s visit and the potential entry of his party’s student wing, Insaf Students Federation (ISF), will have a positive impact on student politics, he believes.

Fareed was among the large number of students from KU, neighbouring NED and other educational institutes gathered on Wednesday to listen to the popular PTI leader speak at a students’ convention outside the campus on University Road.  

“Students can play an active role in Pakistani politics,” said Khan in his address. “Youth can change Pakistan and we will make Naya Pakistan soon with their help.” However, it seemed that the euphoria over Khan’s visit was short-lived.

According to ISF leaders, as soon as Khan left the venue, a group of students belonging to the Islami Jamiat-e-Taliba (IJT), the student wing of Jamaat-e-Islami (JI), allegedly scuffled with a group of ISF supporters who were visiting the campus.

“IJT members beat up a group of ISF members when the convention ended and the students were leaving,” Ikram Khan Sadozai, the head of ISF’s Karachi chapter told The News.

He said that some ISF members had entered the campus through the main gate to drink water after the convention, when IJT students started misbehaving with them. “Three students of ISF including Umer Ali, Ghufran and Sohail Ali Jamali were injured by IJT members,” Sadozai said.

He added that a number of students in Karachi University want to join ISF and start their organisational activities in the varsity as Khan had told them at the convention but the IJT was creating hurdles for ISF. 

Even though PTI and JI are in a coalition government in Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa, it seems that the student wings of both parties have an open rivalry in Sindh. According to Sadozai, since both parties have different political ideologies, their student wings also have their own preferences.

“It’s not 2007 when IJT had pushed Khan sahib out from the campus,” he said, “It is 2017, the IJT must learn from its past mistakes.”  

On the other hand, the IJT has denied allegations of roughing up ISF supporters. Uzair bin Akhtar, the nazim of the varsity’s IJT chapter, told The News that the ISF had gathered some students of private universities in front of KU. When the security guards stopped the outsiders from trying to enter the campus, they clashed with the guards, he claimed.

Akhtar further said that the KU administration had not allowed the students’ convention to be held on campus, which was why it was held right outside campus. “There are no students supporting PTI at KU and the IJT will not allow outsiders to form an organisation and disturb academic activities,” he added.

Students hail Imran’s visit

Students who attended a convention organised by the student wing of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf near Karachi University said they had huge expectations from party chief Imran Khan that he will create ‘Naya Pakistan’ for the new generation.

A large number of students from educational institutes from across the city gathered outside KU on Wednesday to attend a convention organised by Insaf Students Federation where Imran Khan addressed the gathering.

Speaking to The News, Ali Khan, a second-year student at Government Degree Science and Commerce College, Orangi Town, said he had decided to come hear Imran Khan speak because the PTI government in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa had changed the education system in the province where students from middle and lower class can also get quality education now. 

He said if PTI wins from Sindh in the next elections and forms a government, it will bring about the same change as it did in KP. 

Muhammad Aziz, a political science student at Karachi University, said that all political parties in the country have made an unannounced alliance against PTI but all of them will fail.  “My leader Imran Khan can face all political parties of the country all by himself,” he said.

The second-year student further said that Imran was the only politician openly talking about corruption while others do not even dare to talk about embezzlement and misuse of public funds. 

Fawad Hussain, a student from Government Jamia Millia Degree College, Malir, told The News that he was at the convention because Imran Khan is educating people about their rights across Pakistan and he wanted to learn from him.  

Hussain said that several years ago, no one wanted to join PTI but Imran kept up his struggle and now had amassed a huge following.

Kamran Ali, a student of a private college said that being part of student organisations was not allowed at his institution, so he decided to come to the convention because didn’t want to miss Imran Khan’s speech. Ali said that PTI will be the most popular party for the next general elections and if Imran visits Karachi regularly, he can acquire a sizeable vote bank.

Rashid Alam, a third-year student at NED University said the citizens have provided opportunities to parties like PML-N, PPP, ANP, JUI-F but received nothing except miseries in return.

Alam said people had become wiser and cannot be cheated again.

“We, the youth can change the fortune of our country thus our leader’s message for us is to work for change,” he added. 

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