ISLAMABAD: Parliamentary Secretary of Ministry of Human Rights, Lal Chand Malhi took notice of the expulsion of students from University of Lahore for hugging on campus.
In a letter written to University of Lahore’s Vice Chancellor, Dr M.H. Qazi, Malhi said, “This refers to our previous (most urgent) letter from the Ministry of Human Right’s regional office, Lahore, dated March I5, 2021, on the above subject. In response to our letter, your office has sent us a reply and furnished a report.”
“Based on my review of your report and also information from other sources including media, I believe that the management of the university has overreacted on the incident and expelled the two students without hearing them and looking into the details. Moreover, apparently both the boy and girl did not commit such a heinous crime as such [sic] they were punished severely and expelled from the university.”
Decision to expel the students on the basis of proposal is in contradiction of the basic human rights, admin should restore their admission. @LALMALHI writes letter to @ULahore Admin. https://t.co/X5gZJ2pzJs pic.twitter.com/yYMLrPmnjS
— Nadir Guramani (@nguramani) March 16, 2021
“This would destroy their career and future education opportunities,” Lal Chand Malhi said.
“The university’s action can only be termed as ‘moral policing’ and to regulate deviant behavior of the students by giving [sic] them counselling services, which are mostly not provided by the university administration. Hence, it was certainly uncalled for and an evident case of violation of the human rights of the students,” he further said.
“As per information given in the report both publicly proposed each other on 8th March, which is International Women’s Day. This kind of freedom is very much outlined in the article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Pakistan is a party and also under the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights. The Constitution of Pakistan and relevant laws also guarantee personal freedoms including the right to marry and propose at free will,” he added.
“I think the extreme action taken by the university’s administration has sent a very critical message at national and international levels, which can not even afford [sic] co-students proposing each other publicly,” the letter reads.
“I am equally concerned after reading the minutes of the meeting of Special Disciplinary Committee held on 12 March for two reasons: one, none of the five members were women where as one of the students in question was a female student; two, the sections of the university code quoted are related to regular and ordinary conduct where as this was a special occasion where both the students proposed each other,” the letter further reads.
“Please note that over 64 percent of Pakistan’s population comprises youth under the age of 29 years and 30 percent of them are in the age bracket of 15- 29 years. It is important to be mindful of the aspirations of youth who have extra ordinary exposure to digital world,” the letter states.
“I am very much in favour of moral character building as a part of higher education curriculum and extracurricular activities but don’t think that the extreme actions like expelling the students would serve the purpose,” Malhi points out in the letter.
Lal Chand Malhi concluded the letter by saying, “Being a parliamentarian and as a Parliamentary Secretary of the Ministry of Human Rights, I would reiterate that the decision is in contradiction of basic human rights and urge the administration to kindly reconsider its decision and restore the admission of the students.”