The student solidarity march which took place this Friday has taken the country by storm. After decades of complete prohibition on unions in education institutions, the students held countrywide protests for the restoration of student unions.
The solidarity march was a movement of students that aimed to fight against ban on student unions and the militarization of campuses in the name of security.
The movement received massive support from people nation-wide and across the borders
The Student March received endorsements from renowned public figures who showed their support for the rights of students and asked people to join the march.
end to privatization of public universities, implementation of sexual harassment legislation, right to student housing & the demilitarization of campuses. The spirit of activism and yearning for peaceful democratic process from a new generation of students is truly inspiring. 2/2
— BilawalBhuttoZardari (@BBhuttoZardari) November 29, 2019
ANP supports #StudentsSolidarityMarch. Students must have the right to assemble and speak for their rights. I urge all members of Pakhtun Students Federation to actively take part in the march.
— Aimal Wali Khan (@AimalWali) November 29, 2019
We must support #StudentsSolidarityMarch today for free school education and for the restoration of students unions but there must be no violence by student organisations affiliated with political and religious parties who were also involved in misbehaving and beating teachers pic.twitter.com/dYWzqMhLic
— Hamid Mir (@HamidMirPAK) November 29, 2019
@MJibranNasir is also supportung the students cause here at press club Karachi.. Zinda heyn Taliba Zinda hen.
— Khaleek Kohistani (@KhalekKohistani) November 29, 2019
Apart from national figures, the march also received support from international bodies. In an open letter to the government, the Pakistan International Students Alliance stated that the ban on student unions has ‘not only significantly restricted the ability of students to politically mobilise themselves and silenced their political voices, but also prevented students from campaigning on issues crucial to their well-being such as campus safety, fee hikes, accommodation security and many others’.
The letter has been signed by almost 40 various student bodies including those of Harvard University, Cornell University, McGill University and the National University of Singapore.
A day after the Students March on Saturday, student activist Alamgir Wazir from the Punjab University has gone missing.
A gender studies’ student at the Universty of Punjab, Alamgir Wazir came into the spotlight after his “fierce” speech at the students solidarity march. A video of his speech during the march quickly went viral all across social media where he says “We are asking for education, justice, and roads but they are giving us guns”.
A day after the march, Alamgir Wazir has been reportedly gone missing from his university. According to his cousin Riaz Khan, Alamgir was allegedly abducted by unidentified persons from the university. He was visiting the campus to receive his degree in BS Gender Studies, which he had completed last year.
Alamgir Khan Wazir (Ali Wazir’s nephew) has been picked up by d “Na Malooms” a few hours ago from Punjab University. This is extremely condemnable & Sharamnak we demand immediate release of Alamgir and the perpetrators must be charged for this Un lawful Act. #ReleaseAlamgirWazir pic.twitter.com/fHe3p03Uo7
— Mohsin Dawar (@mjdawar) November 30, 2019
Alamgir is the son of Farooq Wazir and nephew of Ali Wazir. His father Farooq Wazir, was shot dead by state-sponsored militants as he stood against the horrendous Talibani. According to sources, a total of 17 members of his family have been extra-judicially killed.
Student Rights Activists soon took it to Twitter about the abduction and people started speaking up
The news of Alamgir Khan Wazir’s sudden disappearing fueled a nationwide outrage. Students activists on social media demanded the authorities to release Alamgir Wazir and staged numerous sit-ins across the country against the illegal abductions.
The Progressive Academics’ Collective (Lahore) demands the immediate release of Alamgir Wazir & the withdrawal of the FIR registered against Dr. Ammar Ali Jan, Alamgir Wazir, Farooq Tariq, Iqbal Lala, Muhammad Shabbir, & Kamil Khan. #ReleaseAlamgirWazir #StudentsSolidarityMarch pic.twitter.com/W4akpjkb9C
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) December 1, 2019
You are pushing Pashtoons to the wall, but be aware your enough was not that much enough for us but if we as Pashtoons declare enough is enough then you would forget your 93k paints it will be much more than that.
— Haris Afghan (@Haris22century) December 1, 2019
This is what the powerful do when they feel threatened. They go after those who are most vulnerable to scare the rest of us. It will not work. We will not stand by and watch silently. We will speak. We will resist. We will fight. #releasealamgirwazir
— Nida Kirmani (@nidkirm) November 30, 2019
Abducting a youth leader for taking part in s country wide peaceful march shows how insecure the “security apparatus” feels. Alamgir Wazir’s family has faced brutality of terrorists & cruel state repression. Don’t push them to the wall.#ReleaseAlamgirWazir
— Afrasiab Khattak (@a_siab) November 30, 2019
Students from Punjab University have been protesting outside the vice chancellor’s office since Wazir went missing, demanding his release. According to the protesters, Wazir has been arrested for chanting slogans against the authorities.
Hundreds of students are present at the sit-in protest infront of the VC office of University of Punjab. With one single demand: #ReleaseAlamgirWazir now! pic.twitter.com/GnZwUxyyNB
— Haider Kaleem (@HaiderKaleemB) November 30, 2019
Amnesty International, a renowned human rights organization also condemned the detention of peaceful protestors
The crackdown on the #StudentsSolidarityMarch in Pakistan is a brazen violation of their rights to freedom of expression, freedom of association and freedom of peaceful assembly. (1/2)
— Amnesty International South Asia (@amnestysasia) December 1, 2019
The police complaint against the organizers must be dropped and anyone detained for their peaceful participation in the protests must be released immediately and unconditionally. (2/2)
— Amnesty International South Asia (@amnestysasia) December 1, 2019
Abducting a youth leader for taking part in a country-wide peaceful march shows how insecure the “security apparatus” feel. Alamgir Wazir’s family has already faced enough brutality from terrorists & cruel state repression. They must not be marginalized any further.
The government needs to spot radicalizing Pashtuns again by repeating the same strategic depth policy (in an other form ofcourse) over and over.
What are your thoughts on this nationwide fiasco? Let us know in the comments.