Daily Times : Students should unite for Pakistan’s sake: Imran Khan

Saturday, December 01, 2007

Students should unite for Pakistan’s sake: Imran Khan

* Hundreds at students’ convention demand a free judiciary

Staff Report | December 1, 2007

LAHORE: Students of the country should gather on one platform for the country’s sake, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) chairman Imran Khan said at a students’ convention at the PTI office in Ichhra on Friday.

A couple of hundred students of various educational institutions of the city including the Lahore University of Management Sciences (LUMS), Beaconhouse National University (BNU), FAST-National University and the Punjab University (PU), had gathered at the PTI office for the convention. The convention aimed at gathering student support for the judiciary’s independence and the lifting of the emergency.

Khan said he had not called the students to launch a students’ wing of his party, but to mobilise them in the ongoing struggle for the judiciary’s freedom. He said the student’s participation in the movement was pivotal for success.

The PTI chief said that incidents like the one when members of the Islami Jamiat Talaba (IJT) manhandled him in the PU and handed him over to the police would neither deter his resolve nor his confidence in the students’ power.

He said the All Parties Democratic Movement’s (APDM) call to boycott the coming elections had a one-point agenda of restoring the judiciary to its pre-emergency status. He urged the opposition leaders who had expressed willingness to contest the elections to unite with the APDM for this purpose.

Khan praised the deposed judges for not taking oath under the Provisional Constitutional Order (PCO). He also stressed the role of an independent judiciary for the rule of law in the country. “Without an independent judiciary, the country has no future.” He said the judges, who had taken oath under the PCO, were holding offices they did not deserve.

Many students also made speeches at the convention and expressed support for Khan.

IJT stops PU students: Some students of the PU told Daily Times on Friday that IJT activists had stopped many students of the varsity from participating in the convention.

Ali Shah, a PU student, said IJT workers had stopped hundreds of PU students standing at bus stops from boarding buses heading towards Ichhra. He said the IJT workers also beat several bus drivers for stopping buses at the stops despite their signals not to.

PU IJT media secretary Imran Kiyani said the IJT had not stopped anyone and termed the allegation baseless. He said that after the Friday prayers, all IJT workers had been at an IJT protest against the emergency.