On February 27th, hundreds of students associated with the Pashtun Council in Quaid-e-Azam University, Islamabad, attacked Baloch students who were studying in the university. More than ten Baloch students were injured, with many of them suffering from serious head injuries that required several days of hospitalization.
This attack is not the first of its kind on Baloch students in Islamabad, as there have been several other attacks on Baloch students studying in various universities in Punjab. The police and administration of Quaid-e-Azam University Islamabad failed to stop the attack on Baloch students. A conclusion can be drawn from security officer of Punjab University Lahore, Colonel Ubaid’s instigation of student organizations to attack Baloch students that the state institutions are allegedly involved in the attacks on Baloch students, and that the opportunities for Baloch students in Punjab universities are being curtailed.
Meanwhile, the Pashtun leadership has shown foresight by condemning the attack on Baloch students and by visiting the injured students. They sent a message that the Baloch and Pashtun nations must show patience in these situations, and that the attack on Baloch students is a small clash among students and it should not be portrayed cynically.
While fights between student organizations are not uncommon in universities, Baloch and Pashtun students must show foresight and avoid turning the student fight into a Baloch-Pashtun clash. The Baloch and Pashtun nations in Balochistan and Pakhtunkhwa are victims of state oppression, and they need to show solidarity and take steps to fight against state oppression.
On the other hand, Baloch nationalist circles are alleging that secret forces are allegedly active behind the attacks, harassment, and forced disappearances of Baloch students in the universities of Punjab. These forces are reportedly unhappy with the political role of Baloch students and are trying to create confusion among the students.
Attacks on Baloch students in Punjab may lead to further widening of the gap between Baloch and Punjab. Therefore, the government should ensure the protection of Baloch students.