Police use force against student protesters in Quetta

Police in Balochistan have beaten up student protesters in Quetta who had staged a demonstration for their educational rights, Friday Times reported.

Medical students in Quetta have been staging a demonstration for over 75 days, and began a hunger strike last week.

Students are protesting against a decision made by the Pakistan Medical Council (PMC) which invalidated many of the students’ medical degrees. PMC had added a requirement for an additional test for certain medical colleges in Balochistan, which students claim was an an attempt to ‘blacklist’ medical schools in the province, the report said.

“600 students of three medical colleges of Balochistan have been protesting against PMC’s decision of special exam for the last 73 days but no one has been listening to them,” said a leader of the Baloch Student Action Committee (BSAC) at an earlier protest.

In response to the incident, Maulana Hidayat ur Rehman Baloch, who led the “Gwadar ko haq do” (Give Rights to Gwadar) sit-in late last year, condemned the violence and shared a video of the alleged clash, calling for a stop to the abuse.

In solidarity with the students, Former Chief Minister Balochistan Nawab Muhammad Aslam Raisani on Tuesday said he would join the students if the PMC did not address their grievances. He appeared at a meeting with the PMC to discuss the matter, along with Secretary Health Balochistan Noor ul Haq Baloch and the principals of medical colleges in the province, the report said.

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