Senate Passes Resolution To Restore Student Unions
The Senate passed a resolution on the 22nd of August 2017 calling for the revival of student unions in educational institutions, stating that student unions provide a platform for the students to engage in social and educational activities as well as defend their rights at the same time.
Members of the Senate acknowledged that student unions have played an important role against dictators in the past and claimed that Mashal Khan’s murder would not have occurred if student unions were allowed on campus.
However, it was stressed that the Federal and Provincial governments must ensure that a no-weapons policy is strictly observed on campus and administrations maintain peace in educational institutions by making unions follow a code of conduct. Moreover, no student should be granted membership to a union without clearing all exams.
Senator Rabbani went on to say that student unions give the poor and middle classes a platform to enter national-level politics, therefore, “they must be revived”. Being an independent institution, it’s the duty of the Senate to pass legislation that benefits the people.
Student unions were banned during Zia’s regime. Benazir Bhutto rescinded this order in 1988, however, in 1993 the Supreme Court imposed a ban on these unions on the grounds that they contribute towards violence on campus.
Referring to Supreme Court’s 1993 ban, the resolution stated that restoring student unions would not be violative of court orders as the Constitution of Pakistan gives everyone the right to form associations.