By Farooq Tariq and Raja Mehboob Hussain
Over 200 teachers were arrested by Lahore police on 29 July as they arrived for an anti-privatisation protest meeting. Hundreds of policemen had been deployed since early morning to stop the rally, and teachers were dragged to the police van when they tried to enter the college premises.
Pakistan's military government announced during the summer vacation that it planned to denationalise educational institutions and hand them back to their former owners. In response, all the teachers from the colleges and schools have united in Joint Action Committee Teachers Punjab to launch a protest movement against this denationalisation. Protest meetings have been attended by thousands of teachers across Punjab during the last week.
The government issued the notification during the summer vacations in the false hope that teachers without the help of the students would not be able to resist. But the movement of the teachers is getting stronger and stronger - hence the arrests.
On 26th July, Labor Party Pakistan organised a conference against this anti education move. Several political parties, trade unions and social organisations attended the APC and vowed to fight the privatisation. Most of the student organisations have also condemned the moves.
We are asking unions internationally to send protest letters to General Pervez Musharraf, President of Pakistan, CE Secretariat, Islamabad. Email: email@example.com or fax 92-51-9201051 or to the Federal Minister Education, Zubaida Jilala: E-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org or fax 92 51 9202851