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November 29, 2020

Rally demands restoration of student unions, better education facilities

Karachi

November 29, 2020

A large number of students belonging to various student outfits, civil society activists and supporters took part in a rally on Friday to demand the restoration of student unions and better education facilities.

The rally, organised under the banner of the Students Action Committee, an alliance of several student groups, started from the Regal Chowk and ended outside the Karachi Press Club, where the participants chanted slogans, and their leaders delivered speeches.

SAC comprises Pashtun Students Federation, Punjabi Students Association, Progressive Students Federation, All Baltistan Movement, Baloch Students Organisation, Pashtoonkhwa Students Organisation,

Connect the Disconnect, Revolutionary Students Federation and other organisations.

The protesters were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans to demand free education, restoration of student unions, formation of committees against harassment on campuses and provision of internet facilities.

Addressing the rally, leaders of various student groups said the students had been facing several problems, especially fee increases and harassment on campuses for the past seven decades, and no one was taking measures to address these issues.

They also said the poor students were deprived of higher education due to lack of funds, and the current government, which claimed to be the representative of the youth, had cut education budgets.

Student leaders also rejected the government’s claims that student unions vitiated the atmosphere in educational institutions.

Speakers also informed the participants that the student solidarity march was being held in different cities, including Lahore, Islamabad and Peshawar, to raise a voice for the students.

They demanded that universities and hostels be equipped with basic facilities, such as transport, libraries, computers and internet, to facilitate the academic process.

In order to effectively prevent sexual harassment on campuses, functional anti-harassment committees should be constituted with student representation, they demanded.

SAC leaders also demanded that unemployed students should be granted allowances until they found jobs. They further demanded that in memory of Mashal Khan, who was lynched by a mob at Abdul Wali Khan University in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province on April 13, 2017, a public holiday should be announced on the date.