The government has decided to hand over the control of Islamia College to the Islamic Education Trust. This decision followed the decision of handing over Aisha Bawany College under the Trust.
This decision did not go well with the majority of the students and staff members and they displayed their opposition by protesting on MA Jinnah Road on Friday. They recited slogans and marched from the Islamia College towards the Peoples Chowrangi. The protest and sit-in by the students caused traffic jams at different points.
Students expressed their concern by saying that handing over the college control to a third-party would be affecting the students’ future and would put it at stake. They warned that the college premises are to be used only for educational purposes and any commercial activities on the campus would not be entertained.
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Muhammad Hussain Mehenti—Leader Jamaat-e-Islami said that education is vital to the success of any country and that the government is bound to provide equal educational opportunities for all the citizens. He further added that Sindh’s education department has failed badly and that they oppose strongly the transfer of the college to any third party.
He further mentioned that the court orders relating the transfer of educational institutes to independent parties were unjust. He also informed that despite the political differences among political parties’ education is one thing they all are on the same page about.
A press conference was also held on Friday by the principals of various Islamia College campuses. Moin Haider Siddiqui—Principal Islamia Law College said that the bad condition of the college is because of the ignorant attitude of the government towards it. He said that the Sindh government could have filed a petition to obtain stay orders, but no such action was done.
He asked the protesting students to maintain peace. He said that the college land is regarded as an educational institute as per the lease. The trustees can take control of the land, but they cannot close the college.
Nadeem Haider—Islamia Science College Principal mentioned that the current scenario is because of a mafia. He claimed that Pir Mazarhul Haq—Education Minister and the land mafia are conspiring to sell the lands of Islamia College. He mentioned that the future of ten thousand enrolled students is at risk. He pleaded the Prime Minister and Chief Minister to consider this matter.
Ziauddin—Principal Islamia Arts and Science College informed that the college alumnus includes names like Shahid Afridi and Zaheer Abbas. He questioned the authorities that if the college premises are handed over to the trust then where would the extra-curricular activities be planned. He expressed that they are hopeful of the plans and verdicts of higher authorities for ensuring a bright future for the college students.