March 4th, 2021
By Ahmed Saeed
Members of the Sindh Students Council are on a 100-hour hunger strike in Karachi and Hyderabad to demand the restoration of student unions, as well as better accommodation and transport facilities.
Further demands put forth by the students include the safe release of missing students and free education for all. The protesters are also calling for immediate removal of security forces from educational institutions in Sindh, as well as hostel accommodations in all institutions.
The protesting students will conclude the strike today, March 4, which is also observed as a day for Sindhi students’ struggle. On March 4, 1967, students of Sindh University launched a movement against the One Unit Scheme and the dictatorship of military ruler Gen Ayub Khan. Student bodies from across the country have long demanded restoration of student unions to protect their rights.
Former military dictator Gen Zia-ul-Haq banned student unions in 1984 to quell dissent voice and pro-democracy movements in the country. The ban was lifted by the democratically elected government of Benazir Bhutto, only to be reinstated through a contested Supreme Court judgment.
Former Senate Chair Raza Rabbani recently stated the Pakistan People’s Party faced internal division over the restoration of student unions in Sindh. The National Students Collective has held protests across the country for the revival of student unions.