A local leader belonging to Imran Khan’s political party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), has distributed burqas among schoolgirls in a village of Rustam valley of Mardan. Union Council Palo Dheri Cheena Village Councillor Muzafar Shah and PTI leader purchased burqas worth Rs 1,00,000 and distributed the full-body veils free of cost to students of the Government Girls Middle School Cheena.
Union Council Palo Dheri Cheena Village Councillor Muzafar Shah boasting his decision said: “I had decided to purchase chadors for the female students, but after consultation with local leaders, I bought the burqas.”
According to the PTI leader, this action, inspired by a notification issued by Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa (K-P) chief minister adviser on Elementary and Secondary Education Ziaullah Bangash last month, directing girls to observe purdah, was an effort to ‘guarantee’ the safety of schoolgirls.
“I took the decision after the recent notification issued of our adviser on education to the K-P CM and the act is purely for the providing a secured education environment to the female students in the area,” he said.
The Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa government had on September 16, 2019, ordered female students to ‘cover-up’ to protect them from any “unethical incident” from taking place at government schools throughout the province.
Advisor to PTI govt in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP) on education Ziaullah Bangash said the step was taken to stop female students from being harassed on their way to school. The advisor had invoked Islamic values and cultures to justify this ludicrous decision by the Pakistani government.
Advisor to PTI govt in KP on education Zia Bangash says decision to instruct female students in schools to wear”abayas”is to ensure their safety.”I want to tell those who see the decision negatively that we have to consider Islamic values & our culture when making such decisions” pic.twitter.com/L8uDlYuHXU
— VOA DEEWA (@voadeewa) September 16, 2019
The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa government was, however, forced to withdraw this controversial order after widespread public outrage.
This move is ironic considering the pinnacle of patriarchy’s dark side has always been extensively witnessed in Pakistan. Its government has been doing very little to safeguard the rights of women in its country. The biggest disclosure to Imran Khan and his government’s hypocritical approach towards women rights in his ‘Naya Pakistan‘ are the atrocities heaped at the girls belonging to the Hindu minorities in Pakistan and their apathy towards the same.