Student Organizations in Pakistan

By Zeeshan Arif

(from Dubai)

On November 29, people from all walks of life took to the streets to demand reinstatement of student unions, demilitarization of campuses and a 10 per cent increase in the education budget across various cities throughout Pakistan. Police on 1st Dec registered cases against participants of the Students Solidarity March for chanting slogans against state institutions. Thereafter a debate has started in Pakistan with a mixed reaction on student demands mostly in favor and few not in favours.

Youth is an asset for any country. They are the source of capable human resource and movers of the wheel of development of the country. They have the power to perform any activity and bring honor and respect for the country. The youth of Pakistan also has left no stone unturned in performing something big and bring honor to the country. According to the Comprehensive National Human Development Report, of the UNDP, Pakistan is one of the youngest countries in the world having the youth form 64 percent of the population, which is next to Afghanistan in South Asia.

Students from Aligarh were the first to stand with Quide Azam for the demand of Pakistan. Than as a force they brought down Ayub regime who gave three rivers to India under Indus Basin Treaty, insulted Fatimah Jinnah, brought Pakistan in control of 22 families, the biggest one being his own family. His regime led Pakistan towards its dismemberment in 1971, the greatest loss of Pakistan forever.

Historically, student politics was banned by General Zia’s regime step by step, beginning from a ban on student politics in Islamabad in January 1984, and spread to the whole country within a few months. He feared that students could be a threat to his regime and could begin a wave of protest against him. After him, student unions and student politics were allowed in the country for a short period of time till they were again banned by the Supreme Court of the country, after some violent activities by the students. However, it is pertinent to mention that the Supreme Court in its 1993 judgment had banned politics within campus but had stressed for a platform where students may indulge in intellectual discussions and debates.

Now going forward country needs Student organizations where Student leaders should be elected fairly through a democratic process of voting without any outside involvement as this will infuse them with democratic ideals. In this way, merit based and capable leaders would join student politics and provide Pakistan with future leaders who would try their best to resolve issues faced by Pakistan and make their country proud in the eyes of world leaders. This will also strengthen our institutions, as unfortunately, in our country personalities are given precedence over the institutions which are inimical to a democratic dispensation.

Solutions to end Public Miseries

By Muhammad Arif

Chairman CAIF

Since from the beginning, Pakistan is shifting from one political mess to another, recently with the JUI-F dharna and the Bajwa extension fiasco being the latest ones. This has sidelined PTI government for the moment. However calm has prevailed for the moment.PML N, PPP and other opposition parties are looking silent but now body knows when another wave of earthquake may engulf politics of Pakistan again.

Why this is happening, because Pakistan has yet to find a clear direction on political or economic arenas. Politically, it keeps lurching from overt autocracy to limited democracy to overt autocracy (as now). Civilian supremacy remains absent.

Economically too, Pakistan lurches from external deficit crises to fiscal deficit crises to stagnation. These frequent crises show that Pakistan hasn’t found a niche in the global economy, unlike Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka. Our few short eras of economic growth have been artificially induced by an overvalued exchange rate, easy flow of aid money due to political reasons and footloose global money flows looking to make a quick buck and exit.

The end result is that we have an economic or political crisis every two to three years, and in between an unending series of smaller political fiascos. Security challenges take advantage of frequent political and economic crises to wreak violence often.

Political instability is a result of political activism in high military ranks historically, for our politicians are no more corrupt, dynastic and inept than those in regional states with more political and economic stability. This activism arose from the weaknesses of political institutions compared with military ones in 1947.

Each crisis is in fact not a “passing phase” but a “structural issue”. For instance Spurious growths under first five years of Ayub and Musharraf were the passing phases. India, Sri Lanka and Bangladesh have more national potential than us and may thus continue to outpace us.

The key for our country is to realign the institutional imbalance. Institutions whose forte is muscle power and strict discipline (which stifles creativity and experimentation) must take a back seat and let political and civil institutions lead society to take the risks of some failures in experimenting and sorting out first its political fissures and then its economic weaknesses. But then how does one bell the cat to do this?

Let us see what is happening. With no relief measures still to end increase in prices and unemployment, Prime Minister Imran Khan on 30th Nov put to rest speculations regarding a change in the Punjab government, saying he was satisfied with Chief Minister Usman Buzdar’s performance but the latter is needed to publicize his work.  However Buzdar on instructions of Imran Khan is trying to address Punjab issues by making immense transfers in Beuracrats running from IG to Chief Secretary. God knows that from where Buzdar would get his required persons, whether they would fall from sky or appear from beneath the grounds. The same technique is also being applied in KPK.

Just lashing at others by quoting what you did in your 30 years and what you did in your one year is not the answer. In current situation there can be four solutions. First one is that PTI government may take all political parties on board in making decisions and legislation to run the country. Second one is to bring a change from within PTI who does not believe on blaming its opponents in all matters in his A to Z statements. Third one is to form a national government and fourth one is to go for fresh elections.


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