President Alvi asks HEC to take measures to avoid harassment and racial profiling of Baloch students
ISLAMABAD ( Web News )
President Dr. Arif Alvi has directed the Higher Education Commission (HEC) and the Vice-Chancellor of Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU), Islamabad to take all necessary measures to avoid incidents of harassment and racial profiling of Baloch students at the university campuses.
President Dr. Arif Alvi passed these directions after hearing the grievances of Baloch students in compliance with the Islamabad High Court’s Order dated 8 April 2022, passed in Writ Petition No. 794 of 2022 asking the President/Chancellor, QAU to ensure that the issues of Baloch students regarding ethnic profiling are probed and a report is submitted before the Court. The hearings were held at Aiwan-e-Sadr and were attended by Vice-Chancellor (VC) QAU, Prof Dr Muhammad Ali, Additional Secretary Ministry of Interior, Mr Muhammad Ayub Chaudhary, and Advocate, Ms Imaan Zainab Hazir.
While directing HEC to issue necessary instructions to all the Federal Universities to take necessary measures to avoid any incident of harassment and racial profiling at their campuses, the President stated that the country faced a unique situation and the resurgence of terrorist activities was a cause of concern. He added that counter-terrorism efforts were essential to our peace and existence but they must be carried out with utmost care and balance so as to not isolate or profile any segment of our population, particularly the students of Balochistan. He also directed the VC QAU that in the case of students of Balochistan there was a general sense of deprivation or isolation, therefore, it was incumbent on all educational institutions to take more care to address such sentiments. He said that a proactive programme of activities and debates within the student community should be developed to address feelings of deprivation among Baloch students. He further asked the VC QAU to diligently monitor any activity which may be a cause of concern to the Baloch students at QAU and to verify the credentials of visitors in order to check the impersonification and maligning of law enforcement agencies.
Earlier, the President had held hearings on the 20th and 21st of April 2022 with Baloch students where it was informed that a Baloch student had disappeared from his home town in Balochistan after receiving a phone call from an unknown person who asked him to meet another unknown person, at QAU Campus. Later, it was learnt that the student named Hafeez Baloch had been recovered and was under police custody. The students requested the President/Chancellor QAU to freeze the semester of Hafeez Baloch so that he could continue his studies, if and when he is exonerated of charges. The VC QAU agreed to the request of Baloch students and assured the President of freezing the semester of Hafeez Baloch so that he could continue his studies if he is exonerated from charges. The President was further apprised that some Baloch students were being questioned by unknown persons at the university campus, under the garb of conducting research, asking questions about their intentions to join different organizations.
President Dr. Arif Alvi after hearing the students passed the necessary orders to HEC and QAU to ensure the early resolution of Baloch students’ grievances while also ensuring that criminal activities occurring inside university premises are investigated after following all legal requirements and permissions. The students thanked the President for providing ample time to Baloch students and for hearing their concerns with patience.