Alienating Students: The Next Attack on Pakistan

By Sajjad Shaukat

Students and activists chant slogans demanding the restoration of student union during a country wide student solidarity march in Hyderabad, Pakistan November 29, 2019. REUTERS/Yasir Ali NO RESALES. NO ARCHIVES.

Being the only nuclear country in the Islamic World, Pakistan has become special target of some foreign entities, especially India and Israel who have been destabilizing it as part of their sinister designs. In this respect, terror attacks have coincided with a continued propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Indo-Israeli lobbies which are well-penetrated in the US administration and Europe, research centers, think tanks, universities, so-called human rights groups and media leave no stone unturned in continuing their endless propaganda to defame Pakistan internationally. Particularly, Indian RAW is availing the opportunity of the organized propaganda campaign against Pakistan. Some internal entities of the country have also become tools of this propaganda intentionally or unintentionally.

While, Pakistan’s Armed Forces have successfully broken the backbone of the foreign-backed terrorists by the military operations Zarb-e-Azb and Radd-ul-Fasaad. Army and top intelligence agency ISI have broken the network of these terrorist groups by capturing several militants, while thwarting a number of terror attempts. Peace has been restored in various regions of Pakistan, including Karachi and Balochistan.

But, in one form or the other, propaganda campaign keeps on going unabated against Pakistan. In the latest attempt, these external enemies are attempting to alienate the students, which may be called as the next attack on Pakistan.

In this regard, after repeated kinetic, ideological and financial assaults on Pakistan orchestrated through compromised political leaders, sold out media and shady activists, the new scenario building is of Students Solidarity Campaign.

In this respect, a press conference was held at the Lahore Press Club on November 24, this year in which students said that The Student Solidarity March would take place on November 29, 2019 in more than 40 cities across the country, while students and activists will demonstrate for their rights which have been denied by the state for a long time.

Among the list of demands is uplifting the ban on student unions, undoing the cuts on educational budget, elimination of fee hikes and privatisation of education.

However, in the recent past, Pakistan’s youth-students starting making headlines across all media platforms—students’ campaign for Student Solidarity March gained popular traction after a video from the recently held Faiz Festival in Lahore (from November 15 to 17, 2019) went viral in which one of the students’ activists Arooj Aurangzeb almost moved everybody with the recitation of verses from one of Faiz’s poems in the most passionate way. In the video, dozens of students can be seen reciting the poems of revolutionary poet, Faiz Ahmad Faiz, and sloganeering passionately against the state of governance in the country—“Asia will be red”, highlighting the socialist political leanings of the activists.

Twitter users were quick to express their judgement on how the activists seemed like “confused desis”. Many fixated their attention on the clothing of the female activist leading the poetry’s recitation, saying that she was a LUMS alumnus and had little idea about the actual problems of the common man.

Online sources suggest that the verses were, incorrectly, attributed to Faiz Ahmed Faiz, the author of the poetry was Indian poet Bismil Azimabadi. Written in Urdu as an ode to the freedom struggle against British colonial rule, the activists were chanting the poetry to raise awareness of the Student Solidarity March.

Nevertheless, the Student Solidarity Campaign in Pakistan is gaining momentum and has already gained support from important sections of the Pakistani left. The left party, Awami Workers Party (AWP), was the latest to express its support to the organizers.

Besides students’ other demands, special mention is being made to sexual harassment and blackmail in Balochistan where security forces are being accused of abusing their position to use surveillance and heavy-handed policing to curb the students movement, the AWP demanded the de-securitization of campus spaces in Sindh and Balochistan where Security Forces have been stationed to control student activities. They also demand release of all students arrested for organizing protests in Balochistan and Sindh and the sedition charges imposed on students of the Jamshoro University for demanding clean water should also be revoked.

Very intelligently issues of students and education system are being linked to security apparatus in an attempt to release pressure on anarchists in Balochistan and Sind.

It is mentionable that HKM’s [Higher Education Commission] Ammar Ali Jan was removed from his position as a professor at Punjab University earlier this year, and was briefly arrested as well, allegedly over his involvement in political protests. Ammar Ali Jan has said: “After a long time, we’re witnessing a movement featuring the youth…Pakistan is fortunate that this has emerged at a time when there’s so much gloom and all dreams of ‘change’ have been shattered…The government that came to power on the back of the youth’s vote, slashed the HEC budget from Rs 45 billion to Rs 30 billion. As a teacher let me tell you that our education system was already on the ventilator and is now heading towards its demise”.

Nonetheless, this should be treated as the next attack on Pakistan in 5the generation warfare spectrum. In this connection, foreign nefarious designs are well-disguised to gain sympathies of the students countrywide and to alienate them from the mainstream of the country to weaken the latter.

So, it is suggested that the politics should be eliminated from universities and colleges, and a peaceful and healthy environment should be created. Instead of affiliating with any political parties or local or foreign actors, students should better pay attention on their education, as future of Pakistan depends upon them.

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