ATTARI: With coronavirus pandemic showing no sign of slowing down , a large number of Indian students , majority from Union Territory Jammu and Kashmir (UTJK) , crossed over to Pakistan from Attari international border to appear in final year examinations after Pakistan government announced its decision to reopen all the educational institutions from September 15.
However, as against a list of 354 students, only 204 students went to Pakistan.
Majority of these students went half-heartedly and against the wishes of their parents who wanted the Pakistan government to defer its decision of reopening educational institutes for another month in the wake of pandemic.
While talking to TOI before crossing over to Pakistan , Sana, a final year MBBS student from UTJK said students were compelled to to resume their studies after Pakistan government ‘suddenly’ announced the decision to reopen the educational institutions.
After the imposition of coronavirus induced lockdown, almost all the Indian students, majority studying medicine, came back to India in the month of March.
She said she wasn’t happy leaving in midst of the coronavirus pandemic but she had no option but to go to Pakistan to appear in final years examinations.
UTJK resident Afshan Anjum, mother of a MBBS student in Pakistan, said several students whose names were in the list of 354 students chose to stay back in India .
“We don’t have a clear picture of the risk factor of covid 19 , whether it has eased or not “ she said, adding that the majority of the students who had gone to Pakistan on Thursday were final year students.
She said many students couldn’t travel up to Amritsar since they got information at the eleventh hour.
“It is still too early to open colleges and universities , there is still a risk of covid in the air, let this pandemic pass or at least slow down , they should at least wait for another one month “ said Afshan.
Another medical student from UTJK, Nyla, said she had come to India after Pakistan closed its educational institutions on March 13.
She said her parents didn’t want her to go but she had to appear in the exams and didn’t want to lag behind in her studies . “But I believe the Pakistan government would have placed all the Standard Operating Procedures (SOP’s) for coronavirus pandemic in place before opening the educational institutions.
Sources here informed that Pakistan immigration authorities returned 5 persons claiming that their names were not in the list.