The protest of Academic and Administrative Staff Associations in Muzaffarabad University of Pakistan occupied Jammu and Kashmir enters it’s fifth day of protest. The protestors marched from Chehla Bandi to City Campus, advocating for overdue salary increases since July 2023.
Despite appeals to university authorities and a boycott of teaching and administrative duties since November 23, the employees’ demands remain unaddressed. This deadlock threatens both the staff’s economic well-being and the educational stability of thousands of students. The employees affirmed their commitment to protest until their rightful salary increments are honored.
Educational institutions in POJK, like the Muzaffarabad University, have been reduced to a center of persecution by Pakistan. Pakistan Army that de-facto runs the region knows the importance of education. It knows that harbouring education would make the Kashmiri youth competent and more oriented towards stability. Pakistan sees it as a threat to its illegal occupation of the region. In POJK, the youth are forced into the terrorism industry, while the teachers and other staff in various institutes are paid less to jeopardise the learning fabric of the region. Pak instigated scarcity for resources is solely guided to gradually dismantle the education system, so that ultimately, the Kashmiri youth becomes directionless and could be easily coerced into the terrorism industry. On the other hand, the misguided youth gets disconnected from the real world and does not question the exploitation of their regional resources.