The Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) on Monday formally stated that it had declined an invitation from the Government College University for its "chief organiser", Maryam Nawaz, to speak to the students, citing that it did not wish to use it as a platform to further political agendas.
In a statement issued by former federal minister for information and broadcasting and a central leader of the PML-N, Marriyum Aurangzeb confirmed that the party had earlier in October received an invitation from the Government College University (GCU) in Lahore for PML-N Chief Organiser Maryam Nawaz to attend.
"Which has been respectfully declined," Aurangzeb said in the statement posted on social media site 'X' (previously Twitter).
Invitation from GC university was received by the office of the Chief Organiser on 5th October which has been respectcully declined because— Marriyum Aurangzeb (@Marriyum_A) October 16, 2023
PMLN believes that the prime focus of educational institutions must be to deliver and maintain high standards of education and impart the…
She explained that the invite was declined because the PML-N believes that the "prime focus of educational institutions must be to deliver and maintain high standards of education and impart the values of good moral and social conduct."
"They must not be exploited for personal and political ambitions."
Without taking any names or making direct references, Aurangzeb said that in the recent past, GCU had been exploited for these purposes. This was a reference to when GCU invited former prime minister Imran Khan to speak to students. He used the opportunity to deliver a speech similar to the one he does at rallies in which mud was slung at the rainbow coalition government of the Pakistan Democratic Movement (PDM), which included Aurangzeb at the time.
"PML-N does not support choosing the same erroneous path," Aurangzeb stated.
"Political dynamics, leaders and affiliations keep shifting; however, the personal interest remains confined to extensions and next jobs," she further stated in a veiled reference to the controversial vice chancellor of the varsity.
"Madam Chief Organisor will, IA, plan to visit educational institutions to specifically advance the cause of higher learning, support and enable the youth to achieve their full potential," Aurangzeb stated.
In the past, Maryam Nawaz has called for taking strict action against GCU Vice Chancellor Dr Asghar Zaidi, accusing him of organising a 'political rally' for Imran Khan at the campus and for 'Using a seat of learning for political hate-mongering is a crime that should not go unpunished."
Dr Zaidi, who made no attempts to keep his close ties with the PTI or its chairman private, visited the former prime minister at his Lahore mansion in Zaman Park after being injured in attacks in Wazirabad.
Last month, former federal information and broadcasting minister and Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) central information secretary Fawad Chaudhry had panned Dr Zaidi and its construction of the Al-Shahdili Centre on Sufism, Science and Technology at the varsity's campus in Kala Shah Kaku.
Another Example how we waste resources…. https://t.co/eAmBcm9qV2— Ch Fawad Hussain (@fawadchaudhry) September 3, 2023
Chaudhry, who had attended as minister a foundation laying ceremony for the centre where then prime minister Imran Khan had inaugurate the plaque for laying the foundation of the centre, termed the centre "another example how we waste resources..."
Sir @fawadchaudhry, you personally attended the inauguration of the Shadhili centre by your former boss, which was the brainchild of your boss's wife. https://t.co/Fei8bo2W4d pic.twitter.com/9U7bLlR6aw— Fahad Desmukh (@desmukh) September 3, 2023