Balochistan is a victim of apathy of federal government since 1947. Balochistan suffers problems of poor health care facilities, electricity load shedding, reduced supply of Gas, lack of control on natural resources amongst other problems. One of the major problems faced by students of Balochistan, that is not often highlighted, is the way Higher Education Commission (HEC) treats students of the province.
Misbehavior and lack of attention towards students of Balochistan in HEC is not new and has been observed from a long period of time. Lame excuses, formalities, jumble of supernatural laws, strict conditions impossible to be fulfilled, strict documentations and finally making regrets regarding scholarships within and outside Pakistan are problems of daily routine for the students of Balochistan who fortunately have qualified for government scholarships.
On Condition of anonymity, a key official of HEC revealed that more than 2,000 scholarships from Aghaz-e-Haqooq-e-Balochistan project, Indigenous scholarships and 90% overseas scholarships are still available for Balochistan Quota just because of and ethnic-based behavior of Directors in HEC.
Students come in confrontations with a number of episodes within a single scholarship. Most of Indigenous and overseas scholarships holders from Balochistan blame HEC for its lolly-pop ads and delay in providing funding which commonly ends with getting nothing.
A number of students from University of Peshawar, University of Punjab, Quaid-e-Azam University, International Islamic University, University of Balochistan and foreign Universities alleged HEC for its handed-down and colored roles and regulations for the Balochistan’s students. Instead of promoting innovative ideas, progressive and artistic abilities of Balochistan’s students, HEC is playing controversial and negative formula which is, no doubt, provoking hatred and curtailment among students of Balochistan.
Two students, holding indigenous scholarships studying at University of Peshawar and International Islamic University Islamabad, explained that they have completed two semesters of M.Phil and PhD on their own expenses and have visited HEC offices more than a dozen times to avail scholarships but still their payments are pending. They blamed HEC for its one-sided and slanted policies, and appealed from Prime Minister, President and Chairman Senate to take serious action against HEC.
Dozens of other students from far-flung areas of Balochistan have moved to key public Universities to study with the help of HEC but unfavorably they are facing issues and challenges of financial problems, accommodations and other barriers just because of unavailability of funds from HEC.
Another student, Nida Mohammad khan Achakzai from Balochistan told that same is the case with him that He had gotten admission and qualified for overseas scholarship M.Phil leading to PhD in France, fully financed by HEC. Unfortunately, because of insincere and slanted behavior of HEC officials, He was declared disqualified for scholarship though He fulfilled all formalities even interview was conducted by HEC and French Ambassador. He says, even French Ambassador assured me for favorable news but after one month, HEC sent an Email regretting for scholarship.
“To be honest, HEC’s corrupt officials try to hide local and foreign scholarships of Balochistan quota, and fill them with bogus domiciles of their relatives,” he added.
In last, I do request from Prime Minister, President, Chairman Senate, Speaker National Assembly, Chief Minister Balochistan and PKMAP Chairman Mahmood Khan Achakzai and Media to please take serious actions against such controversial and partial behaviors of HEC and its officials to make sure the issues and problems of students of Balochistan are resolved.
Author is a Student of M Phil (English literature) in International Islamic University Islamabad
Published in The Balochistan Point on July 13, 2015
Disclaimer: Views expressed in this article are those of the author and The Balochistan Point not necessarily agrees with them.