- Admin says USTB does not allow ‘divisive’ activities, ‘anti-state’ sloganeering on university premises
LAHORE: After being barred from entering Gomal University in Dera Ismail Khan, the leader of Pashtun Tahaffuz Movement (PTM), Manzoor Pashteen, was banned entry into the premises of University of Science and Technology Bannu (USTB) – another one of his alma maters.
According to a notification issued by the university dated May 4, Manzoor Pashteen’s entry was banned into the university, including its hostels. It added that “legal action would be taken against those students/staff members who would facilitate his [Pashteen’s] entry into the university.”
“All activities which encourage social/ethnic divide or anything which is against the interest of the Federation of Pakistan is banned in the university. Distribution of such pamphlets or wearing of specific caps whether by the staff members or student are forbidden,” the notification read.
When contacted, USTB Administration Director Dr Muhammad Javed told Pakistan Today that the ban is not only on Pashteen, it is on every person who engages himself and others in political activities which create divisions in the university and attack the state.
He informed that the university particularly banned Pashteen’s entry into the university this time fearing that he might ‘forcefully’ hold a public gathering within the university due to his following. “He has a number of followers and is also a former student of the institution,” he added.
USTB strongly discourages student politics and factions of any kind and does not want divisions on any line, Dr Javed said. It is an educational institution and we want to keep it that way, he said, adding, “We don’t want a group highlighting itself as distinct from the rest of the university on the basis of ethnicity or a political ideology they believe in.”
He also said that PTM raises slogans against the army so we cannot allow that on the premises of the university.
“They are kids,” he said referring to the university students, adding that they can’t make rational decisions at this age and it’s the university’s responsibility to keep a check on what they do. “They are free to follow Pashteen outside the university,” he concluded.
Earlier, PTM leader Manzoor Pashteen was reportedly barred from entering the premises of his former university, the Gomal University in DI Khan.
“On the directives of the worthy vice chancellor, both the campuses (New and City Gomal University), are out of bounds for Manzoor Mehsood, ex-student of the university, with immediate effect,” read the notification which was circulating on the social media.
It is worth mentioning that on April 15, a visit by ‘state functionaries’ to Gomal University was reported, in which the faculty and administration at Gomal University were questioned about the content of their courses. The faculty and administration were also reportedly given a warning to not teach subjects that would “encourage critical thinking amongst the students”.
It was being speculated that the supposed barring of Manzoor Pashteen from Gomal University campus might have to do with this visit, and maybe the result of coercion or pressure.