Children protest for being denied education right

Blocking of CNICs of Pushtun parents

ISLAMABAD: The Pakhtunkhwa Milli Awami Party (PkMAP) yesterday staged protest by bringing the students who have been denied admission in schools as they failed to meet formalities of providing ‘Form B’.
Hundreds of students and their parents staged a demonstration outside the National Press Club Islamabad under the aegis of PkMAP protesting that blockage of identity cards of their parents have forced them out of schools.
Daud Shah, 45, father of nine-years-old Rohan Khan and student of second grade, said his son was expelled from a school in Chakwal on the grounds of not having Form B.
“Form B is provided by NADRA on the condition if a father is genuine holder of a computerized national identity card (CNIC). My card has been blocked by the authorities for the last three months. My parents settled in Chakwal in 1920,” Daud Shah told The Nation.
Though Mehmood Khan Achkazai, head of the PkMAP did not participate in the protest, his party’s lawmakers in Senate and National Assembly attended the agitation and chanted slogans against the government for blocking CNICs of tens of thousands of Pashtuns.
MNA Abdul Qahar Wadan the government has blocked CNICs of over 300,000 different Pashtun tribes mere on suspicion that they are either terrorists or are Afghan nationals. “Today, I warn the government that these children should not be wasted and they should immediately be allowed to get admissions in schools otherwise PkMAP will emerge as the staunch opposition in Senate, National Assembly and Balochistan Assembly,” the MNA, whose party is a coalition partner of PML-N in Balochistan Assembly, said.
He said the massive blockage of CNICs by NADRA has rendered the affected people totally helpless as they cannot travel abroad nor can their children get admissions in schools.
Addressing the protesters, the lawmakers went on to say that Pashtuns are driven out of Punjab in the guise of anti-terror National Action Plan (NAP) regretting that not all Pashtuns are Afghan nationals. He said Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif has already been informed about the discriminatory treatment meted out to Pashtuns in Punjab and said the PkMAP will meet Premier Sharif once more and that will be the last meeting in this regard.
The children were holding placards inscribed with slogans, ‘denying access to education is killing our futures’, we are driven out of schools’ besides chanting slogans that provision of education was the duty of state.
Senator Sardar Azam Khan Musakhel on the occasion warned the government of launching series of protest demonstration if NADRA failed to restore the blocked CNICs of affected people. “Our parents were born in Afghanistan but it does not mean we are no more Pakistanis. This is the most absurd reason for blocking CNICs of genuine Pakistani Pashtuns,” he said.
Adeel Achakzai, a student of grade 8 in Fateh Jang School, said his school administration needed Form B as a condition to appear in board examination adding his parents could not help him because their CNICs had already been blocked by the government.“If my parents failed to provide me Form B, I will say goodbye to school and will start earning livelihood,” the student said.

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