The administration of Abdul Wali Khan University, Mardan has expelled 13 students who are members of the Pakhtun Students Federation, in what is being termed as a clampdown on student activism on the campus.
The notification was issued on Tuesday, and stated that the expelled students would be barred from entry into the university campus, and would be ineligible to enroll in any AWKUM program in the future.
Following this development, the hashtag #RestoreAWKUMStudents began circulating on Twitter, with people condemning the university’s administration for its random and baseless expulsion of students for no reason.
The PSF issued a statement via Twitter, saying that the struggle for the rights of students is a national duty. “PSF members cannot be intimidated by such clever tactics,” they said.
The organization also said that they would be running a campaign tonight from 9 PM to 12 PM, protesting the expulsion and eviction of the students.
The Awami National Party (ANP)’s Secretary of Youth Affairs, Sana Gulzar appealed to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government to ask them to cease the interference in the lives of the students, otherwise the situation would escalate.
The central deputy general secretary of the PSF wrote about how the organization has been struggling for a political, secular, democratic, and gender balanced campus.
Other users demanded that the administration reconsider its decision to expel the students.
There were also questions being raised at why students from a particular ethnicity were being depoliticised.
Three years ago Abdul Wali Khan University Mardan became the site of a horrific incident, when political activist and student Mashal Khan was lynched by an angry mob on the university premises, on fake blasphemy charges.