Suspended Baloch students reinstated in Ghazi University after protests

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The Baloch students who were suspended by the Ghazi University in the Dera Ghazi Khan, were reinstated by the university administration after several days of continuous protests. Baloch student organizations welcomed the announcement and said that they will always support the rightful struggle of Baloch students.

According to reports, eight Baloch students were suspended from Ghazi University for the supposed violation of the university’s conduct. The students reportedly held a study circle inside the university premises. The university administration saw this and officials disrupted the study circle, snatched the students’ mobile phones and suspended them from the varsity. Baloch students also claim that they were harassed and racially profiled by the university administration and photographed without permission.

The suspended Baloch students and scores of others held protests in front of the Ghazi University, demanding an end to the racial profiling of Baloch students in the university and the reinstating of the suspended students. A university teacher, Professor Rafiq Qaisrani, supported the Baloch students and resigned from his post in protest.

The Baloch Students Action Committee, a student organization comprising Baloch students in different cities of Pakistan, confirmed the suspension of Baloch students from Ghazi University. The eight students were also members of BSAC; they organized a days-long protest in the sweltering summer heat in front of the varsity, demanding an end to racial profiling. Their efforts eventually bore fruit when the university administration announced that the suspended students were reinstated.

Baloch student bodies, human rights groups and social activists claim that the Baloch students studying in different universities in various cities of Pakistan have been harassed and racially profiled, allegedly at the hands of the personnel of Pakistan’s intelligence agencies who disguise themselves as officials of the HEC. Baloch students claim that they have been interrogated in private by these people, their phones have been checked and the intelligence personnel have asked them inappropriate questions. Students who don’t turn up for these interrogations are allegedly harassed and threatened.

The disappearance of Hafeez Baloch, an MPhil scholar at the Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad, is an example of this. According to close colleagues and friends, Hafeez Baloch was summoned by the intelligence personnel for an “interview” which he refused. He was called multiple times, but he refused to go and as a result, he was “forcibly disappeared” by the Pakistani forces when he came to Khuzdar for holidays. He has been in custody ever since.

Beebagr Imdad, a Baloch student in the NUML university in Islamabad, was forcibly disappeared, allegedly by the intelligence personnel, from the hostels of Punjab University in Lahore. The episode was caught on camera as Imdad was manhandled into a car by a group of people early in the morning.

Baloch students in Islamabad and other parts of Pakistan held protests for the safe recovery of their counterparts. The students carried out a month-long protest in front of the Islamabad National Press Club for this cause. Beebagr Imdad was released a few days after his arrest, but Hafeez Baloch is still facing legal inquiry on “fabricated charges.”


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