At a time when developing countries have commenced schemes to make laptops available for students studying in government schools and colleges, the new Pakistan government has been distributing burqas to schoolgirls. The government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, ruled by Imran Khan’s Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), along with a local leader decided to distribute burqas to the female students of a model school in Cheena village of Rustam Valley. As per media reports, the authorities in the area distributed 69 burqas among students.
The burqas were distributed amongst the girls with the help of a former district council member, Muzaffar Shah from PTI. He said all the burqas were worth Pakistani Rs 1,00,000, adding that they were distributed free of cost to students of Government Girls Middle School, Cheena.
Muzaffar Shah said, "I had decided to purchase chadors for the female students, but after consultation with local leaders, I bought the burqas”.
He also said that the action was taken in connection with the recently released notification by the adviser to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Chief Minister, Ziaullah Bangash. This notification directed that the girls pursuing elementary or secondary education should observe ‘purdah’.
In mid-September, the state of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa in Pakistan made it mandatory for female students of government-run schools to cover themselves up in the province of an educational institution.
Muzaffar Shah said, "I took the decision after the recent notification issued by our adviser on education to the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and the Chief Minister. The act is purely for providing a secure educational environment for the female students in the area”.
The order released by the state government was first distributed in the Haripur district. The order first mandated that schoolgirls need to wear an abaya, gown or chador but it was later said that female students of government-run schools to cover themselves up with burqas.