Pakistan

Security Fears Force Closure of Three Islamabad Universities

Three major universities in the federal capital have suspended their academic activities for an indefinite period due to security concerns, sources in the university administrations stated.

The sources said that the decision to close Bahria University, Air University, and National Defence University was taken after security agencies conducted a search operation in the outskirts of Islamabad on Sunday night and found evidence of possible terrorist activities.

The sources added that the students were notified about the closure at the last minute and their final exams were also postponed. The students expressed frustration and anxiety over the situation and demanded that the authorities ensure their safety and education.

Meanwhile, the security situation in Islamabad has been tense due to the upcoming elections and the ongoing sit-in by Baloch activists at the press club. The protesters have been demanding the recovery of their missing relatives, who they allege have been subjected to enforced disappearances by the state agencies.

On Sunday, Balochistan Caretaker Information Minister Jan Achakzai held a press conference in Quetta and accused the Baloch protesters of having ulterior motives and links with terrorist groups. He claimed that those who were being labelled as missing persons were actually terrorists who had been killed in Iran by Pakistan’s military strikes.

He said that the Baloch sit-in could create law and order problems in Islamabad and provide an opportunity for terrorist attacks. He warned that some of the protesters wearing masks could be members of banned outfits and urged the federal government to take action against them.

The Baloch protesters, however, rejected the minister’s allegations and said that they were peaceful and democratic citizens who wanted justice for their loved ones. They said that they had no connection with any terrorist group and that they had evidence of their relatives being abducted by the state agencies.

They also said that they would not end their sit-in until their demands were met and their relatives were released or produced in courts. They appealed to the international community and human rights organizations to take notice of their plight and pressure the Pakistani government to stop the enforced disappearances.

According to a report by the Centre for Research and Security Studies (CRSS), Pakistan witnessed a record high level of violence-related fatalities and injuries in 2023, with 1,524 deaths and 1,463 injuries from 789 terror attacks and counter-terror operations. The report said that the fatalities included nearly 1,000 civilians and security forces personnel and that the country saw a surge in violence for the third consecutive year since 2021.

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