University students in Pak-occupied Gilgit-Baltistan protest over indiscriminate fee hike

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Students Of Karakoram International University Protesting Over Indiscriminate Fee Hike (Photo: News Intervention)

Since five days, the students at Karakoram International University in Pakistan occupied Gilgit Baltistan (POGB) are protesting over the indiscriminate fee hike.

On 6 October, the KIU students carried out a protest by blocking the University Road for hours against the indiscriminate and unjustified fee hike. They also raised concern over the mismanagement in the University.   

According to the students, university has messed up its resources and is exerting burden over the poor students by means of fee hike. Notably, students have claimed that the university administration has increased the tuition fee by 134-150 per cent. Infuriated by the huge student protests in and around the university, the administration had suspended the admissions of various students involved in agitations and also registered FIR against them.

Parents come in support

Interestingly, some of the parents of university students also joined the protest. Accordingly, one of the parents said, “The whole region is crushed under inflation. The poor strata are breaking under the high prices. There is a two-fold increase in the prices. The students and people here are victims of a double whammy. In this scenario, increasing fees to the tune of 134-150 per cent is a stark attempt to crush the students and their parents and deprive students of education.”  

Today marks the fifth day of the protest and students are sloganeering against the university administration and Vice Chancellor, without any assurance of their concerns getting acknowledged. Meanwhile, some students have also claimed that the VC often remains absent and spends the university funds on his own, instead of spending it on the university development and requirements.

A move to deprive POGB students from education

It is worth mentioning that the region is already grappling with many challenges including high inflation and basic amenities’ shortage. In such a condition, raising the fee indiscriminately and unilaterally without taking cognizance of the issues of those getting affected is condemnable.

This indiscriminate hike in fee resonates the ideology of occupying Pakistan, which wants to deprive the inhabitants of POGB from education so that they remain dependent on it, and it can continue the illegal occupation of the territory. However, the students of POGB seems to be in no mood to give away with their demands so easily.  

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