Succumbing to media pressure and criticism, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) government has withdrawn its earlier notification that mandated Abaya for school and college girls in the province.
A notification circulated in Haripur district made it compulsory for female students of government institutions to cover themselves up adequately while going to schools or colleges.
Adviser to Chief Minister on Elementary and Secondary Education Ziaullah Bangash said that the decision was taken after observing “some situations in various parts of the province.”
He defended it by saying that it was in line with tribal values and the traditions of Islam. Bangash went on to say that it was to remove doubts from parents’ minds regarding their children’s safety.
As expected, the decision attracted massive backlash on both mainstream and social media where people openly criticized the government’s ‘forced’ move to ‘impose Shariah.’
Succumbing to public backlash, the senior KP minister Shaukat Yousafzai announced that the notification had been retracted.
KP Government doesn’t believe in compulsion, and citizens are free to decide what’s best for them. The notification circulating regarding compulsion of Abaya for the girls is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect.
PTI’s official Twitter handle also shared the news.
KP Government doesn’t believe in compulsion, and citizens are free to decide what’s best for them. The notification circulating regarding compulsion of Abaya for the girls is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect#KPKUpdates pic.twitter.com/1LhhwEX33V
— PTI (@PTIofficial) September 16, 2019
The federal minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari welcomed the decision.
In a Twitter post, she said that girls should not be ‘punished’ for boys’ misdemeanors. She likened the notification to dictator Zia’s regime.