The Sindh assembly is pushing the provincial government to lift the ban on student unions in the province. This is an important step in the democratisation of any region because it encourages young people to engage in dialogue, diplomacy and interest articulation. Despite the right guaranteed by the Constitution of Pakistan, a ban was imposed in the Zia-era which was maintained throughout the later years. It not only benefits authoritarian rulers but also helps maintain the status quo and curb dissent within a state. However, we have witnessed the negative effects of maintaining such control. It has allowed radical thought processes to become prevalent and has created space for the right-wing to use force to maintain control over the mainstream narrative.

The resolution was proposed by Nida Khuhro of the ruling Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP). The resolution was later supported by all parties in government in the province - Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaaf (PTI), the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM), and Grand Democratic Alliance (GDA). It is an important step in the political landscape of the country because the youth make up 64 percent of the population and it is important to engage them in the political process. The student unions provide an opportunity for the students to enhance their leadership skills through participation in healthy political, cultural and social activities, said Nida Khuhro.

At the same time, the Constitution of Pakistan guarantees rights such as Article 16 (freedom of assembly) and Article 17 (freedom of association) of the Constitution”. The practice of such rights allows students to collectively work towards gaining access to the leadership and administration along with finding mechanisms to articulate their interests and also work together to resolve issues. Several of Pakistan’s seasoned politicians have had long histories of involvement in student unions back in their college days. It is through this engagement in student unions that several of them made their way to the parliament of Pakistan. It is important to encourage such activities to inspire students to actively participate in the politics of the country. Issues affecting the youth of the country need to make to the parliament of Pakistan and it can only be done by their representation in the parliament. With strong support in Sindh, the adoption of the resolution can be the right push for other provinces in the country.