Govt decides on a whim to open ‘some colleges’ on Kashmir day


Students and faculty not informed during college timings

Govt directs to hold events in connection with Kashmir Day

Asks GCU to hold debate competition at a day’s notice

Government Islamia College Civil Lines, Government College for Boys Gulberg and Government Islamia College for Women Cooper Road to remain open in Lahore on February 5

The Punjab government at the eleventh hour issued directions to major universities and colleges to remain open on Kashmir Day despite the fact that February 5 is celebrated as a national holiday throughout the country.

Students and faculty members showed resentment over the fact that they were informed of the decision very late, even after the college timings.

According to the sources in Higher Education Department (HED), one or two colleges in each district have been informed to remain open today. The officials said that events would be organised in education institutions in connection with the Kashmir Day. A lecturer of Government Islamia College Civil Lines Lahore told Pakistan Today that his principal informed him about the college staying open after he had delivered his lectures and left for home. He said that it was unfair to call faculty members on the national holiday to come to the college. He said that he wondered how the Kashmir cause would be reinvigorated by organising “fake seminars” in colleges He said that the attendance of students would be extremely low as they had not been informed during the college timing to come on Kashmir Day.

Another lecturer from Government Degree College Nankana Sahib told this scribe that the initiative to organise seminars in colleges was hollow and fake as there would be no student present in the college that day. He said that several fake seminars on dengue day and Independence Day had been organised in the college as well and that the same would happen this time.

An official from the HED told Pakistan Today that a notification was received from the office of chief secretary at noon which said that some colleges would remain open to commemorate Kashmir Day. He told this scribe that Government Islamia College Civil Lines, Government College for Boys Gulberg and Government Islamia College for Women Cooper Road would remain open in Lahore on February 5. According to sources, Islamia College Civil Lines had been selected because of the strong presence of Islami Jamiat Taliba (IJT) in the college and which campaigns ardently for Kashmir cause.

A debate competition will be organised in Government College University (GCU) Lahore to express solidarity with the Kashmiris on Kashmir Day. However, an official privy to the development in GCU told this scribe that HED had told the university to hold the debate competition at the eleventh hour too.

“It is very difficult to organise a debate competition on the notice of just one day. It shows that the government takes decisions haphazardly and without any proper planning,” he said.

The government also took an eleventh hour decision when it announced to cancel the national holiday of Iqbal Day last year.

Zaeem Qadri, the official spokesperson of the Punjab government was not available for comment.

The national holiday on Kashmir Day was first observed in 1990. The idea for the holiday had been advanced by the then Amir of Jamat-e-Islami Qazi Hussain Ahmad.


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