2nd March 2023
By Hamza Saeed
On Monday, the Quaid-i-Azam University (QAU) in Islamabad turned into a battleground as two student groups clashed, leaving several students injured.
According to reports, the violence started with a minor conflict between Baloch and Pashtun students that quickly escalated into a full-blown clash. Both groups reportedly beat each other with sticks, stones, and other harmful tools.
The university administration failed to control the situation, and the campus remained in turmoil for several hours. No police were called by the university administration to handle the situation except for mobilizing the internal security personnel, who failed to bring the situation under control. It is not immediately known what triggered the violent clash.
University Administration Shuts QAU Indefinitely, Asks Students to Vacate Hostels
In response to the violent clash on Monday, the university administration announced an indefinite closure of Quaid-i-Azam University. The administration directed all students, including boys and girls, to vacate hostels immediately due to the precarious law-and-order situation on campus.
According to an administration official, the violent groups were led by expelled students of the university who had been indicted in various FIRs for creating the law-and-order and resorting to violence. The official reportedly claimed that the university disciplinary committee had taken some decisions against them, and as a result, they tried to instigate the students to create disorder on the campus by staging strikes against the administration.
Five Students Arrested in Connection with Monday’s Clash
The capital police on Wednesday arrested five students of the Quaid-i-Azam University in connection with Monday’s clash between two groups. A case has been registered against more than 400 students, and the police are investigating the matter. The QAU registrar, Raja Qaiser, had lodged a complaint against the students, leading to the filing of the case.
As per the First Information Report (FIR), a musical event organized by the Pashtun Council was taking place at the university’s primary cafeteria. Upon arrival, the security personnel, along with the Quick Response Force (QRF), requested the students to lower the volume. Subsequently, after the security staff departed from the cafeteria, the students stormed towards the Baloch students and assaulted them, resulting in severe injuries, the FIR noted.
Trouble had been brewing at the university for the past few days, and the two groups had faced off numerous times earlier. The clash left around two dozen students injured.
21-Member Committee Formed
In the wake of Monday’s violent clash, the university’s management has formed a 21-member committee to chalk out a comprehensive strategy to keep the working environment on the campus peaceful and come up with enduring solutions for all issues concerning hostels.
The committee comprises Prof Dr. Zafar Nawaz Jaspal, Prof Dr. Ilhan Niaz, and Prof Dr. Tayyab Kamran, who will submit their recommendations within a week.
The Interior Minister, Rana Sanaullah, has issued a statement, saying neither would students be allowed to do politics on campus nor would violence be tolerated in the university. He said students would be provided with the best environment, adding that at the request of the QAU management, FIR had been registered against those involved in the fight. He said a special police force would be deployed in educational institutions to ensure safe and disturbance-free education activities.
QAU extends deepest & immense gratitude to @RanaSanaullahPK @akbarnasirkhan, DIG Operations Shehzad Bokhari, SSP Operations Malik Jameel Zafar, respective SPs & @ICT_Police for assisting the QAU all and out in responding to a crisis situation and preventing any grisly happening.
— Raja Qaiser Ahmed (@rajaqaiserahmed) March 1, 2023
Protest outside Islamabad Press Club
A protest was called by different student organizations demanding that the state release all arrested students immediately and reopen the university so that students from far-flung areas can continue their education in peace. They staged a protest outside the Islamabad Press Club against the actions of the university administration demanding their university campus be free from violence and police.
Today, the Quaidian Student Federation, along with other progressive student organizations, organized a peaceful protest against the University administration. Qsf demand the restoration of normalcy at QAU and oppose the securitization of the campus by security forces. pic.twitter.com/SrV3D1eNbU
— Nusrat ullah (@NusratU89104407) March 2, 2023