Punjab University New Campus of the late sixties and early seventies was serene, clean and refreshing. It was designed by the world-renowned Greek urban designer and architectural firm, Doxidas and built under the US Aid program. Uniquely open concept set within fruit orchards. A canal separated the academic block from the residential hostels. The canal bank was full of shady trees and greenery. A single road ran alongside the canal where only a few vehicles passed. The noises that broke the silence were the chatter or laughter of the students and chirping birds. As a co-educational institution, it was a melting pot for students from different backgrounds to gather in pursuit of their educational goals. There were four boys’ hostels and two for girls separated by shops, a student-teacher centre and a sprawling main cafeteria. It was a throbbing vibrant community away from the maddening crowds. A few students had their transport; the majority would commute on University buses operating between Old and New Campuses. The campus had many sports grounds, including a vibrant boating club for members only. That did not prevent us from commandeering them for joy rides in the evenings. My dear friend Late Syed Masud Abbas (Masud Daru for friends) was a permanent fixture in Fine Arts Department. Immensely talented and gifted with a beautiful voice, he had a great choice of poetry. Contemporaries would recall him singing “Tum bholaye nag gaye” on a moonlit night sitting in a boat surrounded by friends. Late Shinwari from tribal areas was close to seven feet tall. He would join us for midnight dips in the canal. While we would be chest-deep in water, it would barely reach his waist. Ijaz “By God” and a team of buccaneers would pinch mangoes from adjoining Bucha Gardens, cool them in canal waters and make us feast on them on canal banks. US-trained black belt holder Shehryar Rashid, our Jui Jitsu coach, was a part of the crew along with Sardar Rajab Pitafi. All have departed to a better place, leaving their heartwarming memories and an irreparable sense of loss. As a co-educational institution, Punjab University was a melting pot for students from different backgrounds to gather in pursuit of their educational goals. Living in Hostel One was a joyous experience. It laid the basis for many lifelong friendships. To list them would require a book. I hope to write it one day, till then I have limits. My friend, former IG Police, Jahangir Mirza is a prime example. Since the university days and thereafter, he was always a phone call away. He would chastise me privately for my shenanigans but always stood by me through thick and thin. The same is true for my friends in civil service who retired as Federal Secretaries, including Zia Ur Rehman and Rauf Chaudhry (Rauf sahib for friends); retired IGs Shaukat Javed, Yaqub Chaudhry, Syed Asghar Reza Gardezi, Azhar Hassan Nadeem, and our lovable Late Javed Noor. Stepping away from memory lane, I reconnect to where I left off in Part 1 of this series. We had aligned with IJT politically for the forthcoming Student’s Union elections. However, many in our group had reservations. The common thread that ran amongst us was a bond of friendships, not ideology. That barrier was broken in an incident in the IER department. Hafiz Muhammad Idrees was IJT’s Presidential Candidate. A reception was organized for him by IER students. We were invited. Suddenly a group of leftists led by Rao Usman, Mukhtar Chaudry, and Hussaini (all lifelong friends) descended on the gathering. IJT supporters were no match for these tough guys. Hafiz Idrees was cornered and attacked. We intervened and separated them. Hafiz sb suffered a head injury and was bleeding profusely. He is dark complexioned; seeing bright red on his dark skin made me snap. We jumped in with full vigour driving the attackers away. From that day onwards there was no looking back. Our group wholeheartedly endorsed me to join the IJT panel for General Secretary. Many Leftist organizations jointly announced Jahangir Badar as their Presidential candidate and Jamil Akhtar as General Secretary. The elections were keenly contested. While I was an experienced speaker of English, I still recollect my first extempore speech in Urdu at Oriental College, Old Campus. I had asked Rahim Din to hold my shaking legs and Iftikhar Feroze to stand next to me to correct any booboos. Fortunately, at the end of the speech, I got a rousing response that ended my nervousness about speaking in Urdu. The elections were fiercely contested without any major incidents. Both sides were evenly poised and avoided confrontation. On election day, as the counting progressed it became evident that our panel was leading. It triggered a violent reaction from Jahangir Badar and his team. To prevent the official results from being announced, they started snatching the ballot boxes from various departmental polling stations. It came as an ugly surprise. The deed was done before we could react. It put the elections in limbo and IJT cadres were infuriated. Without taking us into confidence, IJT’s leadership went to VC Late Allama Allauddin Siddiqui’s residence to lodge a protest. Emotions overtook some participants and damage was inflicted on VC House. All this happened during an Army rule. The Establishment reacted strongly. They could not afford the breakout of violent student protests. Cases were registered against both the opponents under Martial Law. ITJ panel, including myself and their lead supporters, were carted off to Camp Jail and Badar and his team was taken to Kot Lakhpat Jail. After a few weeks of cooling off, proceedings started against us in Martial Law Courts. There was a shocked silence amongst the student community. (To Be Continued) The writer is the director of CERF, a non-profit, charitable organisation in Canada.