In the wake of students rallying across the country pressing for their demand to unionize, Prime Minister Imran Khan on Sunday acknowledged that student unions played a positive role in grooming young people into becoming future leaders of the country but added that they could not only be restored after establishing an “enforceable code of conduct”.
“Universities groom future leaders of the country and student unions form an integral part of this grooming,” he tweeted.
“Unfortunately in Pakistan, universities’ student unions became violent battlegrounds and completely destroyed the intellectual atmosphere on campuses,” he maintained.
The prime minister vowed that the government would “establish a comprehensive and enforceable code of conduct, learning from the best practices in internationally renowned universities so that we can restore and enable student unions to play their part in positively grooming our youth as future leaders of the country”.
Hundreds in cities across the country participated in the Students Solidarity March campaign on November 29, calling for lifting the ban on student unions, access to quality and affordable education and an end to racial, religious, and gender-based profiling of students.
They also demanded the withdrawal of the recent fee hikes and restoration of the HEC’s budget, the constitution of legal committees for sexual harassment cases with students’ representation, uniform curfew timings irrespective of gender and an end to surveillance of students on and off-campus.