file photo: Female students staging a protest demonstration outside VCs office at SBK University: Photo taken from social media


The recent tragic accident on Quetta’s Airport Road has brought to light a critical and long-neglected issue: the overcrowded and unsafe transportation of students. The loss of Ali Asghar, a promising Electrical Engineering student from the Balochistan University of Information Technology, Engineering and Management Sciences (BUITEMS), and the injury of another student near the Chiltan Housing Scheme area, is a heartbreaking reminder of the consequences of negligence and inadequate safety measures.

Social activist Rozina Khilji has rightfully condemned the university administration and the government for their failure to provide safe transportation. “This tragedy is a direct result of the administration’s failure to ensure safe transportation for students. We demand a thorough investigation into this incident,” Khilji stated. Her words resonate deeply with the public’s growing frustration over the lack of proactive measures to safeguard student lives.

In response to the incident, Balochistan’s Education Minister, Raheela Hameed Khan Durrani, has ordered an investigation and appointed Hafiz Tahir, Secretary of Higher Education Balochistan, as the inquiry officer. Tahir is tasked with submitting a detailed report to the government. However, this step has done little to quell the anger and dissatisfaction among students and activists.

The Pashtoonkhwa Students Organization (PSO) has organized protests, demanding immediate action and substantial improvements in student transportation. One BUITEMS student, speaking anonymously, lamented, “We risk our lives daily traveling in these overcrowded buses. The administration is aware of the issue but does nothing to resolve it. How many more lives need to be lost before they take this seriously?”

Zahra Baloch, another student, expressed her frustration, saying, “The vice-chancellor and the government have shown no concern for our safety. This incident could have been prevented if they had taken necessary measures. We need real solutions, not just empty promises.”

The death of Ali Asghar should serve as a wake-up call for the university administration and the government. The overcrowded buses that students are forced to use daily are not just a logistical issue but a matter of life and death. The negligence of the authorities in addressing this problem is inexcusable.

We call for a thorough and transparent investigation into this tragic incident. The inquiry must identify those responsible for this gross negligence and hold them accountable. It is essential that the government and the university administration take immediate and concrete steps to improve the safety of student transportation. This includes increasing the number of buses, enforcing strict safety regulations, and ensuring regular maintenance checks.

Moreover, there needs to be a comprehensive review of the transportation policies to prevent such tragedies in the future. The safety of students must be prioritized above all else, and no compromises should be made.

The students of BUITEMS, and indeed all students across Balochistan, deserve safe and reliable transportation. The tragic loss of Ali Asghar should not be in vain; it should be the catalyst for change that ensures no other student faces the same fate. The government and the university administration must act now to restore trust and ensure the safety of all students

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Quetta Voice is an English Daily covering all unfolding political, economic and social issues relating to Balochistan, Pakistan's largest province in terms of area. QV's main focus is on stories related to education, promotion of quality education and publishing reports about out of school children in the province. QV has also a vigilant eye on health, climate change and other key sectors.