SRINAGAR: Private Schools Association of Jammu and Kashmir (PSAJK) has condemned the AICTE directive asking students from Jammu and Kashmir not to take admission in educational institutes in Pakistan-administered Kashmir (PaK).
The Association in a statement said such directions negate the basic principle of SAARC cooperation, where both India and Pakistan are signatories.
“India is part of SAARC group and all educational institutes in all the countries should be treated at par. One cannot pick and choose educational institutes in a particular region. Today they are barring educational institute in PaK and tomorrow they may bar educational institutes in other countries,” said G N Var chairman PSAJK.
He said besides impacting education of hundreds of students, it will also have serious ramification in the larger run.
The SAARC group and all associated agreements have been honoured through many decades and hostile conditions including war and suddenly barring PaK educational institutes in PaK is beyond comprehension, he said.
The Association called on the government to keep education out of ambit of politics. “Education should be a neutral zone and no politics should be played on it. We have already lost a lot due to mixing of politics and education here,” Var said. “What if tomorrow for example India’s relations with Bangladesh or any other country deteriorate? At that time should central government also derecognise certificates of students studying there?”
The PSAJK said the move also tries to portray PaK as a different place, which is politically incorrect.
“Indian constitution says that Pak is an integral part of Jammu and Kashmir and India. By virtue of AICTE directions, the government is trying to play politics. If there is no problem with educational institutes in Pakistan then why educational institutes in PaK are being singled out,” Var said.
The Association said PaK has some good professional institutes and it is the choice of students to take admission wherever they like.
“One should (not) force political decisions on students. Such a direction will mar the career of hundreds of students,” Var said. “It is high time educational institutes are kept apolitical for the betterment of our future generations.”