Two students were expelled from the University of Lahore on Friday for hugging on campus and people are divided over whether this was the right decision.
According to a statement issued by the registrar of the varsity, a special disciplinary committee meeting was held on March 12 at 10:30am and the two students were called in but failed to appear. The committee then decided to expel the two students and ban them from entering any of the university's campuses.
The university says they violated Section 9 of its General Discipline Rules and Code of Conduct. These rules are not published online.
Multiple videos were uploaded online of the "incident". The videos show a young woman handing roses and cards to a young man and then bending down on one knee and holding out a bouquet of roses to him. He takes the roses and then pulls her in for a hug. A crowd of students surrounds the couple and cheers them on.
After the university expelled the couple people took to Twitter to discuss the incident.
Some thought expelling them was the right thing to do because their behaviour was inappropriate. One Twitter user suggested that the only reason they were expelled was because the proposal went viral online. Others thought there are a lot of other issues for the university to be concerned with, such as harassment.
Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir said society has issues aplenty and doesn't need to concern itself with two consenting adults expressing their love publicly.
Another user said the university hadn't taken action against teachers accused of harassment but acted against these students.
One user noted that the country asks kids to shut their eyes when two people kiss on screen, but treats a show that glorifies beheadings as a natural treasure.
The Progressive Students' Collective called it 'moral policing'.
Bakhtawar Bhutto Zardari called it ridiculous.
Singer and activist Shehzad Roy said it's okay to beat and scold a woman in public but not for her to hug someone.
Others said it's only okay for celebrities to express their love.
If it's so offensive to you, boycott all the movies that show love too, said one Twitter user.
Activist and academic Nida Kirmani said it's hard enough to find happiness in Pakistan and when someone does find it, the rest of society wants to punish them for it.
Shaniera Akram said love is the best part about being young and is what makes life worth living.
One user posted a thread on the incident and called on people to let others be happy. He suggested that the university should have sent the students a second summons instead of expelling them without hearing their point of view.
We agree that while the students may have violated the university's Code of Conduct, the incident didn't seem to merit an expulsion. It's rare that we hear of students being expelled for harassing their peers or teachers who do the same, for that matter. Why then was the harshest punishment a university can administer given to students who committed the crime of giving each other a hug?
With additional reporting by Imran Gabol