Lahore: Days after a lawyers` group banned
juices made by an Ahmadi-owned firm from court complexes in
Lahore, a "permanent ban" has been imposed on the drinks by
Punjab University, the largest varsity of Pakistan.
Shezan fruit juices have banned in Punjab University,
which has some 32,000 students. The Islami Jamiat Tulba, the
student wing of the Jamaat-e-Islami has a strong presence on
Owners of canteens in the campus have stopped serving
Shezan juices due to pressure from the students` organisation,
A Punjab University spokesman said: "We cannot force
the canteen owners to stock a particular product or not as it
is their prerogative."
Asked about the IJT`s influence in such a matter, he said
during Vice-Chancellor Mujahid Kamran`s tenure, "we have
stopped IJT from carrying out its political agenda".
Shandy Cola, a soft drink made by a firm whose owner is
considered close to the Jamaat-e-Islami, is available in all
canteens on the campus.
"IJT activists have forced us to stock Shandy Cola in
place of Shezan drinks. A group of IJT activists inspects the
canteens and hostels on a regular basis," said a canteen owner
who spoke on condition of anonymity because of fears of the
Farooq Ahmed, the owner of several canteens at the Lahore
High Court complex, said lawyers had told him that a judge had
passed an order to ban Shezan products.
"I have been told by the lawyers’ body to stop selling
Shezan products, both juices and soft drinks," he said.
Mujahid Mansoori, a columnist and former teacher of
Punjab University, said as long as there was a strong presence
of the IJT on the campus, Shezan`s products could not be sold
"The Punjab University is not the only such educational
institution in Punjab. Where ever the IJT has a stronghold,
you will see similar things happening," he said.
Mansoori said when educated communities like lawyers
could resort to such radical acts, then similar moves should
be expect from "extremist elements".
The lawyers’ "ban" on Shezan products triggered outrage
across Pakistan. In the past, lawyers’ groups had been
condemned for showing their support for Mumtaz Qadri, the
police guard who gunned down Punjab Governor Salmaan Taseer
last year for his demand for changes in Pakistan`s
controversial blasphemy law.