Islamabad, Students, activists and supporters across Pakistan came out on Friday to join the Student Solidarity March, led by the Student Action Committee (SAC), to present a charter of demands including the restoration of the student unions.
In a series of tweets, the Progressive Students’ Collective (PSC) shared the final locations for the march taking place in 50 cities of Pakistan. While in some cities the march started in the morning, in others it began in the afternoon, Dawn reported.
The march kicked off early evening in Karachi, with students, parents, lawyers as well as prominent civil society members – such as Mohammad Hanif and Jibran Nasir – gathering at Regal Chowk and then marching on to Atrium Mall with the aim of reaching the Karachi Press Club.
As the demonstration started marching on Fatima Jinnah Road opposite Atrium Mall, shopkeepers started bringing down their shutters.
Echoes of “Hum kya chaahte? Azaadi!” resounded in the area.
Jibran Nasir, while speaking to the media, said: “I have come to support our country’s future. Students are our future. We must realise that our future will never be bright if we keep on lighting monuments of the past.”
“Any real and new leadership that comes forth in the country, will not cross through the corridors of Aabpaara and Pindi. It will come from colleges and universities,” said Nasir.
Students from Balochistan also participated in the march in Karachi demanding the arrest of the vice-chancellor of Balochistan University for his alleged involvement in the harassment of the varsity’s students.
Students from Gilgit-Baltistan also took part to protest the lack of facilities to pursue higher education in the region.
In Lahore, protesters gathered early afternoon at Nasser Bagh and began their march towards the Punjab Assembly.
In Peshawar students and civil society members held a protest rally from the Peshawar Press Club to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly.
Earlier, the PSC and other organisations from all over Pakistan had formed the committee (SAC) at a national level to demand the revival of student unions and other issues. Representatives of student organisations from Sindh, Balochistan, Gilgit-Baltistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Pak-administered Jammu and Kashmir and Punjab are part of the SAC.