List of student federations of Pakistan
The Student Federations of Pakistan have been growing in popularity and significance over the past few years. This has been attributed to the increasing social disparity between the younger and older generation of the country. 66% of population of Pakistan is currently under the age of 30, and approximately only 5% of the population is over the age of 65. Researchers have noted the significance of political youth organizations in social environments such as these, and have project that the youth organizations in Pakistan will help define the future of the nation over the next few years. Reporters have noted that Pakistan’s political climate is in a current state of divisive unrest. Political actions taken within the country have simultaneously sparked public celebrations and large scale riots. Due to the demographics of the country, the population under the age of 30 has been very involved in these public actions, and the youth and student organizations within the country have been prominent in the formation of some of these actions.
- 1 Background
- 2 Current issues
- 3 Student Islamic groups
- 4 Progressive and Marxist groups
- 5 Liberal democratic and politically unaligned groups
- 6 List of student federations, political alliances, and affiliations
- 7 Sources
The first student political group in Pakistan was the Muslim Students Federation. Started in 1947, as a student wing of the Muslim League, the Muslim Students Federation held prominence in Pakistan until the Muslim League splinted shortly after coming to power. The 1950s saw the rise of two kinds of political student parties; Left leaning Marxist parties like the Democratic Students Federation, and religious right wing parties like the Islami Jamiat-e-Taleba. The leftist groups were not treated kindly by the ruling powers at the time, and in 1953 during a protest led by the Democratic Student Federation, the police shot into the crowd killing six students. The next year the same group was banned from the country for its possible ties to the Communist party of Pakistan, followed shortly thereafter by a ban of its successor group the All Pakistan Students Organization. These groups were succeeded by yet another leftist group, the National Students Federation, which continues on to this day.
The student unions in the 1960s were characterized primarily as a struggle for power between the Maoist-Soviet leaning left and the religious right, with the leftist National Students Federation and the National Students Organization coming out on top. The 1970s brought with it a rise in student political action as the 1974 Student Union Ordinance was passed. This Ordinance actually encouraged student activity on campus, and several prominent new student organizations came into existence and grew during this time. Meanwhile the struggle between the Marxist and religious student associations grew, with both sides creating their own respective alliances, though both groups suffered from political infighting and splintering.
Through the late 1970s and into the 1980s the student groups began to clash violently with each other and the government. All its happened due to Zia Ul Haq, who victimised progressive, liberal and democratic students. Doors of the colleges and universities were closed for the students of PSF, but in spite of all hardles in MAO College Lahore a group of students like Sahar Dabir, Jamshed Butt, Main Ayub And Tanveer Khan continued his struggle. jamshed but was an excellent speaker and an out standing political brain. He was the mastermind of all political games which were playing in those days among the librial students while sahar dubir sunny and tanver khan were his fighting tigers. Jamshed wrote and spoke against Zia throughout his ruling days. While Sunny and Tanver were involved in different criminal cases.
There are currently three major issues driving the political activist groups in Pakistan. These issues are a lack of educational opportunities, jobs, and ideological differences.
The public education system has three major problems facing it right now. First, there is a shortage of teachers and schools within the country. Approximately 33% of the children in Pakistan are not attending school, and even the ones who are may not have an actual teacher in the class room. Second, the public education system is outdated by over 30 years. The textbooks used in the majority of public schools were written in the 1980s and they tend to lead students to be more susceptible to adaptation into radical forms of Islam. Third is the stark difference between the private and public education systems. The top ten percent of the country send their children to private schools that speak English, instead of Urdu, and most children coming out of the private education system tend to be dismissive of their Urdu-speaking counterparts. This is creating a strong communication and familial rift between the educated population of Pakistan.
Several political youth organizations in Pakistan have recognized these problems and are trying to address them. For example the Pakistan Youth Movement has been trying to get more teachers to come to Pakistan, and the Anjuman-e-Talaba-e-Islam states as part of its mission to help create equality amongst Muslim students. JAFFRIA STUDENTS ORGNIZATION PAKISTAN a students orgnization in Pakistan for improve education of shia students more and more shia learn and serve the nation
The job market in Pakistan is not promising for students coming out of the education system. The unemployment rate in 2008 was estimated at 24.67%. This was attributed to a large part of the student population getting educated for technical jobs that are not in high demand in the country. Approximately 85% of Pakistanis only make $4 per day, which is not an appealing prospect to college graduates in Pakistan. This disparity of expectations is mobilizing factor behind a significant number of student federations.
The student federations of Pakistan have been known to engage in fights over political, religious, ethnic, nationalist, and sectarian differences. Several students die each year in the physical confrontations that frequently break out between groups during protests.
A Short history of major student organisations
Democratic Student Federation (DSF) This is the oldest student movement for left and far-left students in Pakistan since 1948 but it was always aligned with the communist party of Pakistan which had Pro-Russian line after the Ayab Khan Dictatorship came to power it was banned and most of its students put in jails esp. after a so-called military conspiracy was discovered in the fifties.
National Student Federation (DSF) This is the legendary student federation for many leftist and centre-left students in Pakistan since the early 1970s and it was founded by the pro-US government elements when the banned DSF (which was aligned with the communist party of Pakistan, CPP) by the Ayab Khan Dictatorship that had come to power and it was thought a pro-American student body could be controlled by the regime but the left-wing students from the old DSF managed to take over the newly formed NSF and turn it into a progressive and best organised student movement of all times.
Pepoples Student Federation (PSF) and Liberal Student Federation (LSF)
When ZA Bhutto betrayed the National student federation (NSF) during a famous strike action he needed a pro- peoples party-led rubber-stamp student body so he decided to formed the Peoples student federation (PSF) which had some support because of the Pro-PPP elements encouraged students to join it but it never was able to overtake the old NSF in the universities of the country.
After 1973 the Bhutto regime tried to slip the NSF again and with its indirect support help form the liberal student federation or LSF which also never really managed to overtake the NSF. For the NSF still ruled supreme but it was the religious right esp. the PJI led student group called the IJT that posed a major threat to its university/college mass support and the NSF never really accepted the pro-Sindhi-feudal led PSF or the small LSF as a true and proper successor student federation.
Insaaf Student Federation (ISF) This is the true and proper successor to the legendary student federation NSF for many centrist and centre-left students in Pakistan since the 2000s and it was founded by the PTI chairman khan who an anti-US political national leader when he was banned by the pro-mush IJT (which is aligned with the religious party in Pakistan) by the pro-American Dictorship that had come to power after the overthrow of Nawaz Sharif government. The ISF has simple majority from the centre-left and centrist student bodies esp. the LSF and NSF and also the ISF openly states that the social model that it will follow is similar to the old NSF student body and it is now the largest, best-organised and dominant student movement in the country nowadays.
Student Islamic groups
Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba (IJT) is an independent student wing, but share its ideological basses with Jamaat-e-Islam party in Pakistan. It is currently the only students organization which has its routes in whole Pakistan. The IJT's stated mission is to, “eliminate the non-Islamic factors and the secularism from the curriculum and teachings of the educational institutions of Pakistan.” The IJT was known in the 1980s for its militant nature and was one of the student unions temporarily banned in 1984. Today the group is active and continues to be a source of recruits for the Jamiat-e-Islam Party, though many of its members, after completing their tenure, have also joined other political parties, including Javed Hashmi, Ejaz Chaudhary, Asad Qiasar, Khawaja Saad Rafique, Ahsan Iqbal and Dr. Arif Alvi.
Anjuman Talaba-e-Islam (ATI) was founded in 1968 to help create equality amongst Muslim students. The ATI has been known to hold demonstrations for Islamic and Pakistani causes. On February 7, 2013 they held a protest for Kashmir Solidarity Day and burned an Indian flag. The ATI has also protested the existence of books that are not in line with their religious beliefs.
Pakistan Islamic Students Federation
It is unclear when the Pakistan Islamic Students Federation (PISF or APISF) was founded, though its internet presence was established on February 24, 2012. PISF is an Islamic group in Pakistan best known for its protests of Danish Prime Minister Anders Fogh Rasmussen and the Danish cartoons depicting Muhammad, where they called for the public hanging of the Danish cartoonists.
Imamia Students Organization
Imamia Students Organisation is a Shi'a Muslim students organisation in Pakistan. It was founded by Dr. Mohammad Ali Naqvi on 22 May 1972 at University of Engineering and Technology, Lahore. In 2012 it had "around 1200 units in Pakistan," covering all the five provinces of Pakistan, Tribal areas, Azad Jamu, Kashmir and Gilgit Baltistan.
The Goal of this Organization is to set the lives of the young generation in accordance with the teachings of Quran and Mohammad-o-Aal-e-Mohammad (as), so that they may become good Human beings and Momins, and may defend the Highness of the Holy Religion and the geographical and ideological boundaries of Pakistan.
Muslim Student Federation
Muslim Student Federation or MSF is a conservative Pakistani political group that was started on September 1, 1937, in Calcutta, India by the old All-India Muslim League. The group has a wing in Pakistan that is led by Rana Arshad. and Rana Hassnain leading in Punjab as senior vice president along with coordinator Green Tiger Punjab with Mariam Nawaz Sharif and Atif Rauf. He belongs to south Punjab hometown is Bahawalnagar. The student federation has also been known to engage in fights previously with some of the progressive student federations and exhibit an independent mildly conservative nature.
In Pakistan MSF-N is aligned to the PML-N, which is a centre-right party (now in government) and its student wing is very liberal/conservative nowadays.
Progressive and Marxist groups
Democratic Students Federation
Democratic Students Federation (DSF) was founded in 1949, and being the oldest leftist student federation in Pakistan many other left leaning student political organizations can trace their heritage back to this group. The DSF was banned in 1956 because of its political association with the communist party, which resulted in several other student groups forming from its ashes, like the National Students Federation and the Liberal Students Federation. The DSF was allowed to reorganize in 1980, and grew in popularity because of its connection to the then powerful Soviet Union. This popularity faded after the collapse of the Soviet Union, and the group restructured itself in 2011 to adapt to more current issues. The groups stated mission is to, “bring back the balance of power to the students in universities which is formerly lost.” Nowadays, both the NSF and ISF claim common heritage from the old DSF.
National Students Federation
National Students Federation (NSF) was formed from the remnants of the Democratic Students Federation when it was banned in 1956. The group is a self-proclaimed revolutionary communist/Soclaist left and centre-left student federation whose stated goals are to:
- Struggle for a class free education system and all rights of the student community
- Struggle for free education for all
- Struggle for improvement in the conditions of all educational institutes
- Promote peace, tolerance and unity amongst students
- To link students with the international movements against capitalist, imperialist oppression.
In 2008 the group was reorganized during the Lawyers' Movement, and now primarily operates out of Punjab, though its values remain mostly the same and just like the old DSF gave birth to the powerful NSF recently in a similar way the NSF has helped give birth to the programme of the newly formed Insaf Student Federation (ISF).
Liberal Students Federation
Liberal Students Federation was formed in 1973 as a faction/group that split off from the National Students Federation.
Insaf Students Federation
Insaf Students Federation (ISF) was formed by chairman khan of Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf, (PTI) and it has the simple majority from the Center-left and Centrist Student Organisations esp. the National Student Federation and Liberal Students Federation when it became Politically Activate in the late 2000s during the "Nation-wide Lawyers Movement" and other anti-Musharraf activities and it sees itself as the "True Follower of the old NSF" and the "PSF as a fake break-away group" from the old NSF. The federation has similar to the old NSF both right and left wing factions and it is a self-proclaimed Radical/Progressive Social Democratic a federal student organisation whose stated goals are to Struggle and fight for free education, free health system and welfare state for the poor and working class Pakistani people and defending rights of the student community based on social justice and democratic ideals.
ISF leaders from (Western) Punjab Mr. Farrukh Habib, Mr. Hassan Niazi, Mr. Waqas Butt, Mr. Mohammad Usman, Mr. Saqib Sindhu.
ISF Leaders From Sindh Mr. Adil Ahmed Dayo, Mr.Usama Khan Yousufzai, Mr.Kashif Saleem Qaimkhani, Mr.Rao Taimoor Ali
ISF from KPK namely Akhundzada Hussain,
ISF AJK & Gilgit namely Dr. Ehsen Naveed,
Peoples Students Federation
Peoples Students Federation is a youth-led party organisation attempts to mobilise the youth for Peoples Party candidates for the Youth Parliament. It also has the separate Trotskyist-Marxist wing, “The Struggle”, which is internationally affiliated with International Marxist Tendency (IMT); the student wing, the Peoples Students, a student-outreach organization with the goal of training and engaging a new generation of centrist leaders pro-feudal pro-American and Pakistan Peoples Party-Zaradri members. Though the history of PSF is jam-packed with the sacrifices of young blood but during the Zia era a group of students, namely Sahar Dubir Sunny, Jamshed Butt (Kh Jamshed Imam) and Tanver Khakwani played a unique role under the hot water. Jamshed Butt (KH Jamshed Imam) but was the mastermind of political activism and Sunny and Tanveer were his wings to fly. He wrote and spoke throughout the ruling days of Zia against his bad deeds.
All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organization
All Pakistan Muhajir Students Organization (APMSO) was founded in 1978 at the University of Karachi by Altaf Hussain. Unlike other student political organizations, APMSO spawned its own national political party in 1984, the Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM). While the APMSO platform has some liberal elements to it, at its core it is the ethnic political party of the Muhajir, an Urdu speaking people who immigrated from India in 1947. This student organization has also been involved in violent clashes with other student political organization, which have resulted in over 20 deaths since the group's founding.
Liberal democratic and politically unaligned groups
Pakistani Youth Movement
Pakistani Youth Movement was started sometime in 2010 for the stated goal of harnessing the educated youth of Pakistan to make the country as a better place. The group claims to not have any ties to political or religious entities, and does not have the structured leadership normally found within a political party. The group has posted videos about their active role in giving relief to flood victim and their support of the Teach for Pakistan Movement in 2011.
Pakistan Youth Alliance
Pakistan Youth Alliance (PYA) is non-politically aligned youth driven relief and aid group. Started in November 2007, the PYA has the stated goals to, “create political and social awareness amongst the youth of Pakistan,” and, “provide a platform to the youth through which, they can raise their voices against injustice, exploitation and other social ills of our society.”
Pakistan Youth Council
Pakistan Youth Council (PYC) was started by Mian Muhammad Arfat in 2010, as a membership based democratically aligned youth organization. The group’s mission is to, “create economic, political and social awareness among youth and enable them to protect and claim their rights e.g. education, health, employment and sports.” The PYC has promoted the role of youth in politics through educational conferences and lobbying for age reduction for parliamentary candidacy.
Youth Parliament of Pakistan
Youth Parliament of Pakistan (YPP) is a democratically oriented activism group started in 2006. The group does not a political or religious affiliation, and primarily works on educating the youth of Pakistan about the ideas of democracy. In 2009, YPP started the Youth Action for Democracy in collaboration with the United Nations Democracy Fund. This project was aimed at increasing democratic education and youth participation in politics in the districts of Punjab, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtoonkha, Sindh, and Azad Jammu Kashmir.
List of student federations, political alliances, and affiliations
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- Population Division of the Department of Economic and Social Affairs of the United Nations Secretariat, World Population Prospects: The 2010 Revision
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- Islami Jamiat-e-Talaba Pakistan
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- Teach For Pakistan- Start the Movement
- Moeed Yusuf, (October 2008),ProsPects of Youth Radicalization in Pakistan: Implications for U.S. PolicyThe Brookings Project on U.S. Relations With the Islamic World
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- The Nation (February 7, 2013). Anjuman Talaba Islam condemns Indian atrocities in IHK
- Punjab Study (July 11, 2011). Anjuman Talaba Islam Call Govt To Ban Novel
- Pakistan Denmark Prophet Drawings
- Amir Rana and Waqar Gillani (November 24, 2003). Iran not funding ISO: Shirazi. DailyTimes.com. Accessed 2007-09-10.
- Imamia Students Organization. ISOPakistan.net. Accessed 2008-05-09.
- Muslim Student Federation Formation of Muslim Student Federation
- Muslim Student Federation (N)Central Leadership
- Owais Jafri (November 25, 2013).Campus violence: Three critical after students’ clashThe Express Tribune Accessed 2013-4-22
- Muslim Student Federation • Chichawatni Pakistan
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- Moonis Ahmar (October 1996).Ethnicity and State Power in Pakistan: The Karachi Crisis Asian Survey Vol. 36, No. 10
- Pakistan Youth Movement - Vision-brandsynario
- PYM's Website
- PYA's Website
- PYC's Website - Vision
- PYC's Website - Mainpage
- YPP's Website - About
- Youth Action for Democracy