Jamat-e-Islami’s student wing (IJT) has de-facto control over most of the public sector universities and they have earned the reputation of being extortionists and terrorists, who terrorise all those who don’t follow their prescribed rules. Their main obsession is women – they don’t let any males and females to sit or talk with each other and if one is found to have done so, the punishment won’t be any less than a good beating, including humiliation. 

Secondly, they are the harbingers of conservatism and don’t let anyone challenge their absurd views. They keep an eye on all liberal and moderate students as well as teachers and create opportunities to intimidate them. They brutally crush any kind of freedom of speech. They pursue the evangelical purpose of purifying the people who don’t agree with them. 

Thirdly, they have illegal possession of hostels where they keep people who are found to have links with terrorist organisations. When I was in Punjab University, IJT’s goons used to extort money from canteens and also used to make money out of illegal admissions, allotments in hostels. 

Lastly, they interrupt the peaceful educational environment by their periodical fights and hooliganism; they block roads, intimidate administration and damage property to coerce administration. Frequent strikes over trivial matters have become a norm in universities; all these activities are carried out in order to show their strength. 

It is very sad that our educational institutions are still occupied by hooligans and rascals. They have ruined the very purpose of educational institutions: To illuminate and enlighten the minds of youth and to eliminate dogmatism and fundamentalism. They have also spoiled the conducive environment required for creative thinking and art; it is desperately needed at this time when we are fighting with the forces of darkness. 

The Pakistani army is fighting against terrorists who want to impose their ideology on the people; IJT is doing exactly the same thing – imposing their own version of Islam on students by the sheer use of force and violence. They have their own standards of decency: Sitting with opposite sex is indecent while brutalising teachers and students is okay. I cannot understand why our government has never thought about ending their rule of terror and to emancipate the innocent students who are often beaten up by IJT goons. This indifferent attitude of the government makes it complicit in this vicious crime. It gives a message that one can still intimidate authorities and impose their ideas on others by the use of force. We all are told that de-radicalisation of society is the part of our anti-terror policy, but nothing has yet been done as far as our educational institutions are concerned. There is a desperate need to take stern actions against these people. 

TAYYAB BUTT,  

Lahore, March 22.