The recent reports of the Islami Jamiat Talba’s (IJT) growing influence in Quaid-e-Azam University in Islamabad should be treated as a very serious matter by the government. The student organisation is using slowly accumulating increasing power within the university by appointing teachers and handing out benefits to students from within its ranks. The Nawaz administration will want to avoid stepping on the toes of the religious organisations at this point, however, since a confrontation at this point seems inevitable anyway, it might be wise to clamp down on a significant part of their power. A student organisation that has brutally beaten and tortured other students cannot be allowed to function, and its members need to face the law to answer for their crimes.

The IJT has already terrorised students in Punjab University (Lahore) and the Islamic University (Islamabad), and sees itself as responsible of the moral cleansing of these institutions. The biggest advantage they have over students is that they are allowed to exist as a political organisation, where no others are allowed. Using their numbers to flout the rules, inciting and committing acts of violence and often resorting to downright torture of the students are a few reasons for why this organisation needs to be banned.

A product of the Islamisation policy of a misguided dictator cannot be allowed to flourish, especially with suspicions of growing links with the IS to the student organisation. Providing terrorists with a potential recruiting pool full of the type of candidates they prefer is tantamount to admitting defeat in this war. For after all, the ideology of IJT attempts to strictly impose on educational institutions what the terrorists want to impose over the entire country. It is time to see IJT for what it is, and look to counter it. Banning it would be a good start, and forming organisations to provide a counter-narrative should be considered as a way to diminish IJT’s hold over university campuses. However, it is important to let the situation stay in control and ensure that no political party uses the new organisations to increase violence instead of curtailing it. The idea is to enable debate and discussion instead of forming a new mob to counter the old one. The sensitivity of this matter cannot be overstated and it can only be hoped that the government is up to this momentous task.