Girls stopped from going to school after function

Karim Ullah

Parents in a village of Terich in Upper Chitral recently stopped sending their daughters to a school as a mark of protest against a function held in the school on Independence Day.

Local sources told ChitralToday that on Aug 14 a function was held at the Govt Primary School for Girls in Lonkoh in which students of primary to high schools from across Terich took part.

There was a competition of Naat and Hamd recitation among girl students. At the end of the function organized by a civil society organization, Pakistan Thinkers Forum, and the school management, awards and medals were given to the students.

Retired bureaucrat and founder of Pakistan Thinkers Forum Malik Liaquat Tabassum was the chief guest at the function.

Soon after the event, local ulema launched a campaign to stop girl students from going to the school.

Khoja Khalil, an organizer, told ChitralToday that  religious clerics started  propaganda against the organizers making the event as a pretext in order to malign them.

He said the drive by the clerics was also aimed at depriving the girl students of their right to education.

When a member of the Ulema Council Terich and former member of the village council Mufti Asad Ullah was contacted by this correspondent, he said the school which organized the function has been functioning as a co-education centre for many years.

On Aug 14 every year, the school holds a function and we never have objected to it, he added.

“We have even worked to increase enrollment due to which now there are nearly 280 girl students in the school.”

But on Aug 14 this year, he added, a person was called from Punjab who distributed awards and medals among the girl students violating our traditions and values.

This created resentment among the local people who decided not to send their daughters to schools.

“But we tried to persuade the parents not to take such an extreme step. We also asked the school management to avoid organizing such events in future,” he added.

Mufti Asad demanded that a separate school should be set up for girls in the area.

Molana Attaur Rehman, who is also a member of the Ulema Council and a former member of the district council, said the situation was very tense in the area after the August 14 function.

“We sat together and resolved the issue. As a symbolic protest, we did not send our daughters to schools only for one day to press the government to open a separate school for girls,” said Molana Rehman. 

But Khoja Khalil said the clerics were still maligning the organizers of the function and asking them to apologize. But apology for what crime? If they did not stop the anti-education drive we would seek legal action, he said. 

When Karam Elahi, the headmaster of the school, was contacted, he claimed that no one stopped any girl from coming to the school. Girl students attend school on alternative days as part of the Corona SOPs, he claimed.



8 Replies to “Girls stopped from going to school after function”

  1. This is not only sad and strange but also shameful. When girls of the same age are being handed over in the so-called marriages to multiple-times older men, none of the clerics comes to rescue the local values (don’t know what does these norms refer to). Unfortunately, this is an egregious failure on part of the State that has failed to provide/ensure basic human rights. This creates a vacuum and hence such groups exert influence. They should be given exemplary punishment so that no one dares to toy with the future of our youth.

  2. Lol this is such a mess in the name of article, manipulating an incident to show as if the girls have been banned forever, what’s wrong in this if they want a seperate school for their girls, sickminded liberals, you just want a reason to defame islam and islamic rituals.

  3. What else you would expect from these people? They are still living in stone age. They say a man from Punjab gave awards to little girls and this is against our values. But this is not against our values when we give little girls in marriage to men over 60 years of age from Punjab.
    Shame on you, shame on your mindset.

    1. when little girls are being awarded they opposed it? does it makes any sense when we say it. there may have had some reasons for it they agitated against it. why did they opposed it despite the fact that they are still in poverty, uneducated and religiously conservatives under the influence of local clerics

  4. This is what this forum is doing is all about the narrative and rhetoric is being peddled in Pakistan in the name of ideology of Pakistan. And the people of the area have done , not allowing girls to school has more deep to what suddenly they took this decision. Does it reasonable and right to take this decision by ulemas after this event celebration. There is more to unearth from this case.

  5. If this information is true, this needs to be investigated. Respecting local values is one thing but this is too much. Such freedom of choice should not be given to anyone which could deprive young girls of their universal right to education. This is a blatant violation of MDGs of the United Nations. hamush tan chita beg royan sarkar roi chicheko boi khur ka no.

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