Within minutes of introducing a controversial resolution to make the hijab mandatory at colleges institutions in Pakistan’s most populous province of Punjab, a lawmaker of Imran Khan's Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf party withdrew it.
Nabila Hakim Ali, a member of the Punjab assembly, submitted the resolution demanding that the hijab be made mandatory at all public and private colleges but later withdrew it for unspecified reasons.
Earlier, a minister’s proposal to make the wearing of the hijab mandatory for students of government colleges and to offer them “extra marks” for covering themselves created an furore in the provincial assembly.
“Observance of hijab should be made mandatory for college girls,” Punjab higher education minister Syed Raza Ali Gilani said on Tuesday while addressing divisional directors of the Lahore board.
He added that hijab-wearing students, who fail to fulfil attendance requirements, would benefit from the education department’s decision as 5% grace marks would be awarded to them.
The statement created a furore in the media and the Punjab government moved quickly to reject Gilani’s assertion. Information secretary Raja Jahangir said, “No such summary has been received by the provincial cabinet from the higher education department.”