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‘Victims of crisis’: Solidarity march to demand student rights

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Progressive Students Collective is set to organise Student Solidarity March at Chairing Cross in Lahore on November 30 to highlight problems faced by the student community in Pakistan and to raise voice for provision of fundamental rights. The march is scheduled for 2pm and will be attended by renowned activists, politicians and students among others from across the country.

“Pakistan’s students are victims of crisis: the crisis of exponential rises in tuition fees. The crisis of bogus educational institutions that prey on the dreams of young Pakistanis. The crisis of state negligence and apathy towards its future leaders, professionals and creatives. In short, the future of Pakistan is being squandered in the present–and we can no longer stand for this,” the organisation said via a Facebook post.

What do they demand?

Progressive Students Collective aims to table three demands via their march which are as follows:

  • A reduction in fee hikes
  • Increasing quotas for students from out of Punjab
  • A transparent system focused on providing students with academic freedom.

Activists urge students to participate and demand their rights

Awami Workers’ Party Spokesperson and veteran activist Farooq Tariq thanked the Progressive Students’ Collective for organising the event and condemned private universities for ‘looting’ students. He added that hostels have become ‘slave camps’ and restrictions on interactions between male and female students in some institutes were also uncalled for.

Yasir Jalib, son of the legendary resistance poet Habib Jalib, urged students to participate in the event and raise voice against injustices against them. He said the youth of Pakistan must come out and support the cause because it was not only about their future, but that of the coming generations too.

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Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir also urged the youth to take part in the Students’ Solidarity March. He said that this was a significant opportunity for the youth to share their problems, reservations and demand fulfillment of their fundamental rights. He also emphasised that this was a peaceful march focused on making the education system better and working for the betterment of the country.

Journalist and activist Marvi Sirmed said the march was essential for the future generations and for promotion of learning and critical thinking. She lauded the students’ collective for the initiative and requested everyone, especially the youth, to participate.

Awami Workers Party Deputy General Secretary and President Women Democratic Front Ismat Raza Shahjahan said 25 million children were out of school, out of which a majority were Pashtun and Baloch and females among them. She said the march was to talk about the rights of these children and students all over the country and stand in solidarity with them in times of crisis.

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