Author: Mehrwan Baloch
In a concerning development at the University of Turbat, a portion of the Law Department building has recently been contracted to the Frontier Corps South Balochistan by the university administration. This area was once under the Virtual University’s jurisdiction, where various online courses were offered to students. Notably, the Vice Chancellor, Pro Vice Chancellor, Registrar, Law Faculty Chairman, and Dean of the University of Turbat have played an active role in this handover to FC, raising questions about its colonial nature.
A faculty member at the University of Turbat, choosing to remain anonymous, disclosed that the Frontier Corps had communicated security concerns to the university administration. They requested permission to deploy security forces at the main gate of the Law Department. This isn’t the first instance of the university’s cooperation with the Frontier Corps within university’s premises.
Further scrutiny reveals the Law Department’s Dean had previously contracted the department’s cafeteria to Kashif, the former PRO of the Core-Commander FC Balochistan. Additionally, there are reports of female students being taken from hostels to F.C camp programs without parental permissions. Even male students were once forced to participate in a candle walk at Airport Chowk Turbat, protesting the alleged killing of six Punjabis.
Local sources also indicate that some lecturers from the University of Turbat and Girls Degree College Turbat participated in a recent National Security program organized by Inter-Services Public Relations (ISPR). The purpose of this program was ostensibly to train them to promote a colonial narrative within educational institutions in Turbat. These activities by the armed forces in Balochistan seem to have various motives, including restricting and sabotaging the free and independent learning environment and countering the emerging Baloch national consciousness.
It is crucial to note that the security forces’ access to the Law Department appears to be aimed at establishing a station for profiling, harassing students, and disrupting the educational and academic environment. Such actions raise serious concerns about the autonomy and integrity of academic institutions.
To address these issues, a comprehensive demilitarization strategy must be implemented. This involves revisiting contracts with military entities, fostering an environment that prioritizes academic freedom, and ensuring the protection of students’ rights. The University of Turbat must uphold its commitment to education, shielding its students from external influences that may compromise their academic journey. In doing so, the university can reclaim its role as a bastion of learning, free from undue external pressures.
Disclaimer: The views and opinions expressed in this article are those of the author and do not necessarily reflect the official policy or position of The Balochistan Post or any of its editors.