September 30th, 2021
Medical Students who have been camped outside Islamabad’s D-Chowk for the last eight days have given out another 24-hour deadline to the government after the government failed to act on their previous 24-hour warning.
“We are weak and in no position to give out ultimatums to the government but no one can stop us from putting forth just demands. We demand that senior officials of the federal health department (including Faisal Sultan) come to D-Chowk within the next 24 hours to listen to the just demands of the students. If they fail to do so we will continue our March to the PM house. And this time we will not stop, no matter how much the police beat us up,” said Erfan Yousaf, President of the Mustafvi Students Movement (MSM) announced at the Dharna site, on the evening of September 30th.
The Anti-PMC marchers had originally planned a Dharna outside the PM’s house in Islamabad but failed to do so when they were met with severe violence from the police’s side. Several of the students were bloodied in the resulting violence and dozens were ‘picked up’ only to be released a little while later.
Medical students all across Pakistan have taken out a string of processions, under the leadership of a wide spectrum of students’ organizations to protest what they term as a ‘botched online MDCAT test’. Protests have been conducted in Lahore, Islamabad, Karachi, Quetta, and almost all major cities of Pakistan. The government has responded with brute police violence to stem most of these protests.
Yesterday, Munizae Jahangir, the editor in chief of Voicepk.net spoke to a brother-sister duo who have been protesting in Islamabad when the procession was attacked by the police. “The online system is a complete flop. Many of the assessments made by PMC’s new system are inaccurate and moreover many places in Pakistan do not even have access to a stable internet connection. Making this test highly unfeasible,” explains Hamna Ayub.
Speaking of the violence in the protest yesterday Hamna says that the police surrounded the students’ protest and started attacking students, female students gathered on one side and made their way to the D-Chowk while they witnessed their male colleagues being beaten up by the police.