Hundreds of students of Karakoram International University in Gilgit Baltistan boycotted classes and blocked a China-Pakistan Economic Corridor (CPEC) route on the Karakorum Highway as protests against the government's decision to hike tuition fee entered its third month.
The troubles have compounded for students with the administration not allowing them to take their university exams. The University position has only worsened the three-month-long impasse where no side is ready to budge.
Strict actions, however, have not been able to dampen student's morale and are only intensifying the movement. Anti-administration rallies and marches are being organised in every corner of Gilgit Baltistan.
A protesting student of Karakoram International University said, "We request all authorities to let us study. We are the foundation of society and have the responsibility of taking it forward. We request you to resolve our issues and not disturb us in our studies. We want to take the exams. We are already suffering due to harsh winters and this disturbance has further extended our troubles".
As per the scheme, the students of masters and M. Phil were not supposed to pay any tuition fee for their courses but the administration changed the rule overnight and asked them to pay a hefty fee as soon as they entered their second semester.
Students have two fundamental demands: The Rollback of the increment in the fee and reinstatement of the fee reimbursement scheme.
Another protester said, "I want to address this to Imran Khan: Your order was rolled back in Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATF) because there is PTI government there. It was not done here because they don't have a government here. Do you call it a change?"
"This is injustice and we urge him (Khan) to immediately roll back his decision. We are not going to give up and will continue these protests until March.
They are ruining the career of the youth. So want him to sanction us the grant and reinstate the scheme," the protester added.
Back in 2011, in order to improve the poor state of education, Pakistan's People Party (PPP) had taken the decision to make the higher education free for all students in Gilgit Baltistan and Pakistan's Federally Administered Tribal Areas (FATA).