For the past ten days, Baloch students have been protesting against the National Licensing Examination and Pakistan Medical Commission over irregularities in the entry test for Bolan Medical College in Quetta. The students allege that many of the questions in the test were out of the syllabus and many candidates who are yet to take the test have already been declared failed. A few days ago, a protest against the Pakistan Medical Commission in Quetta was brutally quelled when the police baton-charged the peaceful protestors, beating many of them bloody and apprehending at least 50 participants.
The students’ complaints have now snowballed into a massive online campaign against the federal and provincial governments. Scores of students have taken to social media over the days to call the authorities over their failure – or unwillingness – to address and resolve their issues regarding the entry test. The students allege that gross irregularities have been found in the entry test for the Bolan Medical College.
The students say that the authorities are busy saving their failing government and they are willfully ignoring the students’ pleas. On Saturday, students affected by the entry test irregularities held a press conference at the Quetta Press Club where they said that authorities are crushing their dreams. They said that Baloch students – “supposedly the ‘future’ of the country” – are rallying on the roads as the authorities are scrambling to save their government. The opposition is also busy in their efforts secure their chunk in the struggle for power. At such a crucial juncture, the students have been abandoned.
The students rejected that the online entry tests and demanded that the PMC conduct physical tests. They said that the minimum passing marks shall be kept at 50% and the slashed seats for the FATA and Balochistan shall be reenacted. They also demanded that the personnel of Quetta police responsible for assaulting the protesting students shall be suspended.
The students announced a “grand protest” on September 23 to make their voices heard. They appealed to other students, activists, social leaders, labour unions and the general public to participate and help the students in acquiring their due rights.