Suspended Kashmiri students reject Pak offer of admissions

'Everybody is trying to score points over our miseries'

The 67 students suspended by a university in Uttar Pradesh for celebrating victory of Pakistani cricket team over India, rejected Islamabad’s offer to seek admission in any of its universities.

The Pakistani government had on Friday welcomed the students, suspended by the Swami Vivekanand Subharti University (SVSU) in Meerut, to seek admission in any Pakistani university. “Our hearts and educational institutions are open for all Kashmiri students who were suspended and charged with sedition for celebrating Pakistan’s victory,” a Pakistani foreign office spokesperson had said.

However, the students rejected the offer and said: “We are not interested in studying in Pakistan. We want continue our studies in India. But in a university where Kashmiris aren’t called terrorists and Pakistanis.”

One of the 67 expelled students said the issue was being politicised. “We are worried about our studies, but people are playing politics over the issue. From mainstream to separatists, everybody in Kashmir has been trying to score points over our miseries.”

Saqib Manzoor, another student, said: “We are being called terrorists in that university whenever a blast happens in Pakistan. They (local students) say, ‘Look what is happening in your country’. If we are Indian citizens and Kashmir is an integral part of India, why do they call us Pakistanis?” he asked.

A suspended student, who wished not to be named, said they were victimised by the SVSU authorities for no fault of theirs. “I am not only a fan of Pakistani cricket team but I also like sporting icons in Indian team like M S Dhoni, Virat Kohli and others,” he said.

Asked whether they celebrated Pakistan’s victory on last Sunday, he said: “It’s a fact we enjoyed the game when Pakistan scored a victory over India. But we also appreciated the performance of Indian team when they were on top in the game.”
“Situation changed only when Shahid Afridi hit two sixes. Non-Kashmiri students began to abuse the Kashmiris as ‘bloody terrorists’. Thereafter, there was a scuffle, an altercation,” he said.

However, he declined that any of them raised pro-Pakistan slogans after the match. “It is just an allegation levelled by the university authorities to justify their wrong decision,” he alleged.

The suspended students were also offered scholarships to study anywhere in the world by militant organisation Jamaat-ud-Dawa, a banned outfit.  However, while outrightly rejecting the offer, they said: “We are students and not terrorists that Hafiz Sayeed will offer money to us. We want to continue our studies in an Indian university only.”

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