You have to stand guard over the development and maintenance of democracy, social justice and the equality of mankind in your own native soil. [Mohammed Ali Jinnah]

Saturday, March 15, 2008

Non-violent Resistance and non-"Islami Jamiat Talba"

For ages, the educational institutions of Pakistan have been plagued by fascist groups of terrorists posing as students. Islami Jamiat Talba (IJT) is one of the most "organized" of such cults and has been holding the largest university of Pakistan - University of Punjab (PU) - hostage for more than a couple of decades. They always resolve to violent tactics when faced by competition since they lack any moral ground whatsoever. These criminals, guised as students, sell the name of Islam to gain some sympathies in order to continue their heinous activities which range from extorting the local businesses and the university administration, allotting hostels to their favorites, irregularities in the examinations, and last but not the least, creating a continuous atmosphere of fear amongst the university population through use of violence. The students on the campus of PU have been living in a constant state of Martial Law where they can not even talk on social or political issues without getting beaten up.

IJT has repeatedly targeted (despite their promises of cooperation on all public forums) peaceful activists of Student Action Committee (SAC) which is a non-violent, non-partisan, students association striving for rule of law, freedom of judiciary and a rejuvenation of non-violent and non-partisan student activism on Pakistani campuses in Lahore and Islamabad. In the most recent string of events, they beat up three SAC activists who were merely distributing pro-judiciary flyers after the Friday prayer. Read the full story at FASTRising. They were brutally attacked, kicked and punched by more than a dozen IJT gangsters in front of the Mosque. How Islamic is that? and how student-like is that? The SAC activists, on the other hand, made a deliberate show of non-violence and did not make any effort to respond with the violence being thrown at them. Though they were badly injured in the process, but they came out victorious nonetheless; because they have shown, by practical example, what they stand for and how different they are from the thugs that oppose them.

The purpose of this post is to salute our heroes: Sajjad, Amir Jalal, and Haroon Riaz; who stood up to the challenge and showed what human will can accomplish despite terrible odds. They have, once again, put life into non-violent activism. They have provided us with, yet another, proof that the so-called IJT is neither Islamic, nor a student organization. The question that remains is, how long? How long will these gangs be allowed to disturb the calm of educational institutions? How long will these children of Zia's Martial Law be supported to maintain their own kind of Martial Law on students' soil? And, most important of all, how long will the students in general keep quiet about the cancer of our public universities/colleges?

RiseOfPakistan team thanks and salutes Sajjad, Amir and Haroon; who have made us all proud!


ReallyVirtual said...

It is sad to see they are still operational, I thought removing the Ignorant Juvenile Terrorists from PU was one of the agenda of the army VC guy.

Anonymous said...

A student is not only to get degree papers from such a big institution. If there are some bad things then there are also good things among them. By the way is there any other student forum organized like this. One can see many bad things from them, but I have seen many good things. If someone is doing wrong then there is a gap in management strategies to do wrong.

aZ said...

@ReallyVirtual: I don't think the VC is serious in rooting them out. Otherwise, the recent opposition that Jamiat has been getting from the student population was a golden chance. I have witnessed for myself how much difference the students' opposition can make in getting rid of Jamiat (at FC College) and no sane person who wants that would've let this opportunity go by.

@anonymous: First of all, let me thank you for making your opinion known. I never proposed that a student's job is just to get a piece of paper from a university but whatever else includes in this job, violence, sure as hell, does NOT. They have repeatedly resorted to violence which by far outweighs any good they might have accomplished. Making one mistake is one thing and making it a habit is another! I will not go into details of all other "good" they have been doing since this one point is evidence enough.

ReallyVirtual said...

Damn, are you saying Jamiat was thrown out of FC? It looks like I was born a few years too early 'cause I had to break the Jamiat reign in all its glory for almost 10 years at both FCC (92-96) and PU (97-2001) :-/
@Anonymous: I spent a LOT of time with my hostel friends at both FC and PU, so I was a keen observer of the Jamiat species. There are certainly good people among them, but good people are everywhere, in jails, in torture cells etc. The ends don't justify the means, if a 'good person' wants to impose Islam through torture, he will just create rebels.
I know of more than one males who were beaten up by these saviors of Islam for talking with female classfellow IN PUBLIC. The only good thing that I experienced from them was at form submission times, when they "borrowed" some professors' stamps and set up booths to attest forms in thousands - and handed over pamphlets and recruited freshmen while attesting the forms illegally.
Life at a university like PU would have been so much better without Jamiat

Anonymous said...

Read this story:

PEPSI and CocaCola is banned in a University in Pakistan, a guy was leading the "strike" against them that PEPSI stands for :Pey Each Peny Save Israel and other arguments he has regarding this....

Then after completing his degree he is now Marketing Manager at one of the above said company.


What about this?

ReallyVirtual said...

I had to break the Jamiat reign
I had to bear the Jamiat reign

aZ said...

@RV: Yeah, it was. I was there 98-00 and that's exactly the amount of time it took for Jamiat to get what it deserved. It was very strong when I joined but by the start of Year 99, Shehbaz Sharif, with strong support from Dr. Siddiqi (Principal) started the process. They (Jamiat) made a lot of fuss about it but strong presence of police around the clock didn't give them much of a chance. By the start of year 2000, campus was finally free with Jamatias minimized to less than a couple of dozens overall (the ideological kind).

@anon: thanks for sharing the PEPSI story, principles are always very hard to live by when there's a price tag attached. But, that's really the only time when they DO matter and carve your character.
But then again, I wouldn't call opposing Pepsi a principle to live by (Though I personally prefer Coke :D)

ReallyVirtual said...

I'm really glad to hear that, though I didn't stay in touch with FC after leaving it. After what they did with Imran Khan, I was really feeling ashamed to be a PU Alumni - I hope PU follows the same pest-control policy one day.

Asif Tasleem said...

Me too have witnessed that Jamiat is not more than a group of gangstors operated by some characterless politicians who acted as B team of Mush.

My elder brother has been a student of UET Taxila back in 1992 to 1997. During this time he saw a transition from Jamiat to MSF. And I still remember that it was said "Oye you are laughing here, come to see the Nazim today eveing in Q Hall".

@aZ: Ya, you are right that opposing Pepsi is not worth a principle to live by.

books said...

Students are not participate in these activities. they forced to do so by the hidden hands. IJT is the pure islamic and well organized organization. but those who wants to hold PU, they do that things to devalue IJT but IJT can never ever DEVALUE because GOG HELPS THOSE WHO HELPS OTHERS... like ATI in bahawalpur and MQM in karachi wants to hold it and tobody compete them...... therefore fore IJT also wants to hold PU. but IJT never ever use unlawful way for holding but everyone knows about the MQM that hold all the karachi with bullet and illegal kill innocent students... to kill laywers... etc...... see the facts and then participate in it.... Donot write as NUT.....

aZ said...

Hey, books! I must apologize for the harsh tone I am going to use in the start.

Your logic sounded like a thug saying "look there's a bigger thug out there, so I have a right to exist as well". Is that it? MQM is a much bigger thug, granted, but IJT is no angel itself.

And what did you say? IJT never uses "unlawful" ways? Are we talking about the same IJT? I have lived under their "reign" for six years and have been observing PU, their crown jewel, for almost a decade now. Do you consider bhatta, beatings, iron marks on students ass, weapons on campus, roughing up the teachers etc. etc. "lawful"? Have you visited any of their torture cells? Do you know of the tactics they use?

Islamic organizations don't beat up peaceful students in front of mosque. IJT's Islam ends with separate cafeteria for men and women.

Anonymous said...

Hey guys
Jamiat is one of the biggest and most organised student group in pakistan which is dedicated towards building an islamic environment in many of the educational institute of our country.
Criticising IJT is very easy but compare it to organisations such as PSF and MSF and you clearly get the difference.
There are blcksheeps in every single group but they dont define nor represent an organisation in its entirety.
People are just jelous of jamiat amnd want to discredit them of the various services and benefits that they provide to students studying in our educational instiuions

ReallyVirtual said...

Organized crime is organized as well, which doesn't make it good. Taliban is dedicated towards building an islamic environment everywhere too, and even though I might agree with it in principal, we have all seen the methods they utilize - the ends really don't justify the means. Also, threatening and abducting male and female students to stop them from interacting isn't my definition of islam?
Your PSF and MSF comparison says a lot about how you think. We don't want to accept the lesser of the two evils because it is the "lesser" one, the thing is, we want NO evil, and believe me, Jamiat were evil, atleast when I was at the university. If they had been angels, there wouldn't be people tortured or marches against them by women of the university (unless you wear a halo and think all those women were sinners)
So, my friend, blacksheep are there in every group, true, but you are assuming that universities want or need the white sheep of Jamiat. They don't. Just like a few terrorist black sheep of Islam have brought wars on muslim nations, similarl, even if they "don't define or represent the organization", they are the ones who try to change the world to their way, using unjustified means, and they are the ones that BRAND this organization. We can't accept the holy good cops of jamiat and ignore the bad terrorist cops of jamiat because we are so impressed with the holy ways of the good cops/white sheep.
Lastly, I don't know who would be "jelous" of jamiat - unlee that person is a jackal who envies the huge packs that jamiat manages to gather together somehow.
I have studied in Jamiat ruled institutes for around 7-8 years. The only "service" that I ever got from them was 1- when a classmate and I were talking to a senior who happened to be his first cousin and my friend was about to be "taken away" by jamaatis, when the female burst out in anger and cursed the jamiat's "naib nazim" or some such guy away, and 2- on the numerous occassions when I had to fill up and attest forms - somehow the jamiat guys always had a room, a bunch of stamps of professors, and were attesting thousands of forms on the behalf of professors (and recruiting freshies in parallel ofcourse). Some Islam!
So that's the brand (pun intended) of jamiat I knew and that is what Jamiat will always be in my eyes. I seriously hope they evolved, but in my days in the 90s, they were anonymous cowards coming from far-away places to "study" arts subjects, and staying in hostels for a few years instead of the usually 2 or 3 required.

PS. This comment was written during a tea break, not in a fit of rage :-)

Anonymous said...

i observed jamiat during my studies in verious institions. jamiat,s boys worked well for the students, they guided new comers appropieately and organized very helty activites for nourshment of the students such as festivils, islamic activites, bookfair, tunaments of different supports
in my opinion jamiat is organization of very nice people

aimal said...

zinda hai jamiat zinda hai

Anonymous said...

zinda hai jamiat zinda hai