Punjab University has starting becoming known for the violence that goes on inside the campus, and the name of one organisation has been consistently been associated with it more than any other - Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT). A student body able to terrorise a campus raises a huge question on the ability of the administration to control its student body. And the fact that the violence has been taking place for long shows their inability to solve the problem.

Student bodies are the epitome of democratic principles in an educational institute. It allows the student body to have a voice and go through the process of interest aggregation and articulation; just like that in a polity. It prepares leaders and diplomats for the country. However student bodies terrorising people to have control of the narrative kills the purpose entirely. This neither encourages debate nor the patience to cooperate. It shows indulgence in meagre politics and sets a bad precedence.

The incidents in PU have set such an example for other educational institutes that they do not even consider allowing student bodies to exist. This has only aggravated the problem. Instead of there being a constructive environment of debate and diversity, these bodies form on ethnic and provincial grounds; which eventually turn political and then wreak havoc on the campus. If you look the constitution of Pakistan, it allows student unions to function on campuses but the negative precedent set by lax control of these groups has set a precedent that stops universities from granting the students this right.

The authorities need to be held accountable for this matter. Not being able to control the situation is worrisome. If the university needs a change in the administration or a help from the governmental authorities, then they need to make the decision soon. PU is one of the more prominent universities in Pakistan. It has been able to secure that rank before of some brilliant work that goes on inside. Such an extremist environment cannot exist in that campus. This is what other universities aspire to be. It should set a brilliant example for others.

Banning student bodies is not the solution, the solution lies in demarcating their domain and ensuring a peaceful process. For that to be done, the use of violence by IJT members needs to be strictly controlled.