ISLAMABAD: Ministry of Human Rights Parliamentary Secretary Lal Chand Malhi has asked the vice-chancellor of the University of Lahore (UoL) to restore the admission of the expelled couple.
In a letter to the University of Lahore’s vice-chancellor, the Secretary termed the varsity’s decision as moral policing and said unexpected behavior should instead be regulated through counseling, noting though, that such tunes were mostly not given by university managements.
Chand Malhi further said the university administration had expelled the students without giving them a chance to explain themselves or probing all the factors of the incident.
“Their kicking out was surely uncalled for and an evident case of violation of the human rights of the students,” Malhi deplored. “The couple did not commit such a heinous crime for which they were penalized strictly and expelled from the university,” he said.
Noting that the two had proposed to each other on March 8, International Women’s Day, he mentioned in the letter. “This type of freedom is outlined in article 16 of the Universal Declaration of Human Rights to which Pakistan is party and also under the UN Covenant on Civil and Political Rights,” read the letter.
The very same individual liberties of the right to marry and propose at will were also guaranteed by the relevant laws and Constitution of Pakistan, it added. Malhi further said the extreme action of the university had sent a critical message that it could not tolerate and accept two students proposing to each other.
The special disciplinary committee formed on the incident did not have any female in its composition when one of the students was female, the secretary also noted his concern. He stressed that the excessive penalty was in contravention of justice and would have very negative repercussions for society.
Malhi said that he would reiterate that the decision is in contradiction of basic human rights and urged the university management to think again about its decision and restore the admission of the students.
It is worth mentioning here that the students were expelled from the University of Lahore on 12 Feb for hugging on campus. According to a statement issued by the registrar of the varsity, a special disciplinary committee meeting was held on March 12 at 10:30 am and the two students were called in but failed to appear.
The committee then decided to expel the two students and ban them from entering any of the university’s campuses. The university says they violated Section 9 of its General Discipline Rules and Code of Conduct. These rules are not published online.
Meanwhile, several videos were uploaded online of the incident. Social media users suggested that the only cause they were criticized was because the proposal went viral online. Others thought there are a lot of other issues for society to be concerned with, such as harassment and vulgarity.