The scenes from the Peshawar university crackdown making rounds on mainstream and social media have left several questioning the amount of authority that university administrations and police personnel can exercise over students. The fact that a protest against a fee hike, which is the right of students, can result in such gruesome imagery cannot be justified in any manner. Taking up arms against students and setting such a violent precedent within the premises of a university goes to show the lack of checks on the power of a university administration.

 Another pressing matter is the involvement of the police personnel on the university grounds. Over the course of the last five years, the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) claimed to have depoliticised the force to ensure that no innocent individual is wrongfully penalised, however, such barbaric treatment and its pictorial evidence proves quite the contrary. Protests are the right of the student body and if they do not engage in any illegal activity or violence, this treatment cannot be justified by any measure of the law. A government, which itself understands the need for providing space for peaceful protests, should condemn this incident and launch an investigation because universities are becoming grounds for extremism. The incident of Mashal Khan, with the involvement of the university admin along with the facilitation of the police force, should have served a lesson to ensure that such an incident does not repeat itself again.

If the university administration was facing issues with the student body hijacking the hostel space, as they allege, these tensions should have been resolved in a proper manner. Sources also claim that the student body hijacking the hostel space has links to several political parties. If that was the case, the right course of action should have been to involve the government and resolve the issue in a manner which did not result in bloodshed.

Police brutality in the Model Town incident has resulted in the suspension of the policemen involved. If the government is truly committed to its principles, it follows that the same course of action should be implemented here and it is the responsibility of the government to ensure a just treatment in this investigation as well. Those responsible for this incident must be identified and checks and balances need to be introduced to keep the authority of the universities and police force in check.