CJP Isa supports students’ union revival at QAU

ISLAMABAD:The students’ union is all set to be restored at the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) Islamabad as the varsity’s syndicate has given a go-ahead to the much-awaited move, it emerged Saturday.

Chief Justice of Pakistan Qazi Faez Isa also supported the decision in the syndicate meeting and it is hoped that the move will pave the way for the restoration of unions in other educational institutions as well.

The decision was made during a syndicate meeting chaired by university’s Vice Chancellor Prof Niaz Ahmad Akhtar. The CJP, who is a member of the forum by virtue of his position, also participated. Justice Isa became the second CJP, after former chief justice Rana Bhagwandas, to have attended a QAU syndicate meeting.

Student unions were banned in 1984 by then military dictator Gen Ziaul Haq. The move was meant to suppress the student uprisings against his oppressive policies. It left a huge vacuum in Pakistan’s political arena. The students of QAU would get their democratic rights back after four decades and it is being hoped that other universities would also follow the suit.

“The syndicate was discussing the engagement of students in positive and healthy activities when the matter came up,” said a statement issued by the QAU. It added that Federal Education Secretary Waseem Ajmal Chaudhry expressed an opinion in favour of reviving the student unions. He was seconded by the chief justice who observed that Gen Zia’s Martial Law Order had been repealed by an act of parliament in 1989.

He also gave reference of a 1993 Supreme Court judgement which favoured the elected bodies of students to resolve their issues on the campus. The syndicate also talked about a unanimous resolution passed by the Senate in 2017 on the same subject. Later, the syndicate unanimously decided to revive QAU’s students’ union.

Meanwhile, a committee has been formed to come up with a detailed proposal on the modalities of elections and other related issues. A representative of the education ministry, the QAU registrar and the director of the university’s School of Law will be its members. The committee will submit its report to the syndicate within two weeks.

CJP Isa said it should be a platform for the welfare and excellence of students and for the flourishing of democratic culture.