LAHORE           -         Punjab Governor Chaudhry Mohammad Sarwar said yesterday that government was mulling over allowing student union activities in educational institutions but it did not want to take a decision in haste.

In an interview with APP, he hinted at the need of debate involving all stakeholders including public and the media, adding that the issue was currently being discussed within the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) folds while the recommendations would be submitted to the party leadership.

To a question, Governor Sarwar said the government would devise a mechanism in which no political interference in working of student unions would be ensured. He said students unions would be bound to work under their given mandate of student welfare as per international practices.

“I am determined to purge all universities of all kind of political interference in all matters relating to teachers and students; raise academic standards and ensure discipline,” Sarwar expressed his resolve as chancellor of universities in the province.

To a query, he said the PTI government was committed to strengthen institutions in the country, adding that doctors-lawyers fiasco was regrettable and it had brought a bad name to the professions and the country. However, he said the culprits of the Punjab Institute of Cardiology (PIC) attack would be brought to book by all means.

About his Europe visit to pave the way for extension in GSP Plus status to Pakistan, the Punjab Governor said he had met 36 members of European Parliament, including Vice-president European Parliament Fabio Massimo, Chairman of Committee on Foreign Affairs David Macallister, Chairperson Committee on Human Right besides other members to press for the grant of extension in GSP Plus status to Pakistan. “I briefed the members of European Parliament about Pakistan’s progress on various fronts including strengthening democracy, improved internal security, economic reforms, minority and human rights protection and efforts for regional peace,” he added.

About good of GSP Plus status to Pakistan, he said the GSP Plus status had helped Islamabad to strengthen democracy, create jobs for women in the textile sector and partial implementation of labour laws.

To a query, he said Indian lobbyists had launched an aggressive mud-slinging campaign against Pakistan in the European Parliament, adding that he had defended Pakistan’s case successfully how India was committing human rights violations in the Indian-Occupied Kashmir (IOK) and posed constant threat to regional peace through its war-mongering in the region.

He said the members of European Parliament were also reminded how Pakistan had suffered due to war in Afghanistan, adding more than 50,000 Pakistanis lost their lives, ‘Kalashnikov culture’ and drugs were a result of Afghan war while 8 million Afghan refugees were still in Pakistan.

To another query, Sarwar said the European Parliament members were told that Pakistan opened Kartarpur Corridor as a good-will gesture to minorities in the country despite Indian human rights violations in held Kashmir against the hapless Kashmiri Muslims, adding that ‘Founder of Pakistan Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah’s vision provided freedom to minorities in Pakistan and the PTI government was implementing all those golden principles of rights to minorities’.

About economic challenges to the PTI government, he said the country’s economy was improving with every passing day and Pakistan’s ranking among economic watchdogs had improved considerably, adding that the common man was not aware of the facts that the current account deficit had decreased to 1.5 billion dollars from 18 billion dollars.

On the election of 15 Pakistani-British nationals to the House of Commons in UK general elections, Ch Sarwar hailed the success, but regretted the fact that the Labour Party lost badly in Scottlnad due to intrinsic weaknesses, adding Labour won 45 of 59 seats in Scottland during his days in UK politics. Governor Punjab Sarwar expressed the hope their presence in the UK parliament will help highlight the sorry plight of Muslims in Kashmir and Palestine.