A day after a local court booked a student activist, Alamgir Wazir, for allegedly delivering a seditious speech, National Assembly Opposition Leader Shehbaz Sharif on Tuesday condemned the filing of a first information report (FIR) against students and urged the government to “engage the youth”.
On Monday, a Lahore court sent Wazir – who was detained three days ago in a sedition case registered against the organisers and participants of the recently held Students Solidarity March – on a 14-day judicial remand. He is accused of delivering provocative speeches and chanting slogans against the state and its institutions.
Speaking on the aftermath of the March, Shehbaz wrote: “The nation’s future hinges on the youth. Their voices must be respected and demands heeded”.
Engaging the youth & students is what the government must be doing instead of muzzling their opinion and registering FIRs. The nation’s future hinges on the youth. Their voices must be respected and demands heeded.
— Shehbaz Sharif (@CMShehbaz) December 3, 2019
Students and activists held demonstrations across the country last week, calling upon the government to restore unions in colleges and universities. The marchers’ demands also included measures to prevent harassment of students, withdrawal of fee hikes and an end to interference by security forces posted in campuses.
Student unions in colleges and universities had been banned across the country through a martial law order by military ruler Gen Ziaul Haq on Feb 9, 1984. The reason cited for imposing the ban was violence on university campuses allegedly perpetrated by student wings of political parties.