On 13th April 2023, Haqooq e tulba tehreek, Revolutionary Students Front & Peoples Student Federation organized a Torch Rally to commemorate the sixth death anniversary of Mashal Khan. The rally aimed to condemn growing extremism and commemorate Mashal Khan’s life and struggle against false blasphemy charges, which resulted in his brutal lynching.
During the event, participants lit torches as a symbolic gesture to combat the darkness of extremism and hopelessness that surrounds them. Speakers shed light on various issues faced by students on campuses. They spoke about the challenges that students face, including rising fees, poor quality education, and inadequate facilities, while the university administration refuses to be held accountable and provide audits for its accounts. Students who raise their voices on these issues face intimidation and threats to silence them.
Speakers expressed their concerns about the worsening situation on university campuses since the tragic incident of Mashal Khan’s lynching. They spoke about how right-wing elements are allowed to morally police students and perpetrate violence on campuses. They vowed not to tolerate the militarization of campuses and to continue fighting until the last breath.
The students put forth several demands during the rally, including the restoration of the Student Union, an increase in the education budget by 100 percent, the establishment of Anti-Harassment committees on campuses, the reopening of QAU University, and revoking all FIRS lodged against students.
Speakers emphasized the significance of student politics in the current political turmoil and highlighted the challenges students face while engaging in political activities. They stressed the importance of unity and solidarity among themselves to collectively address the issues faced by them in the current political climate.
The event concluded with students raising slogans against growing inflation, extremism, and violence. They reiterated the need for a peaceful and inclusive environment for students to engage in political activities. They urged the authorities to take measures to ensure the safety and security of students and to address the demands put forth during the rally.
This rally serves as a reminder of the importance of students in shaping the political landscape and emphasizes the need to create a peaceful and inclusive environment where students can exercise their rights and freedoms without fear of intimidation or violence.