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Pak univ wants girl students fully covered

September 05, 2008 15:22 IST

A leading university in Pakistan's troubled North West Frontier Province has made it mandatory for its girl students to wear chaaders or gowns on campus in the wake of threats issued by the Taliban [Images].

Officials of the University of Peshawar have said the directive is in line with Pashtun culture but the students have criticised it, saying it is discriminatory.

Girl students in all departments and colleges affiliated to the university have been warned that they will face fines if they do not wear chaaders or gowns on campus.

A letter issued by authorities of the Jinnah College for Women to parents of girl students said: 'The college administration has decided to make it compulsory for all the students to wear a chaader or gown and properly cover themselves while entering or leaving the college. The students breaking this rule will be heavily fined.'

The letter further said it was hoped that the parents would 'help and support' the authorities and 'make sure' the girls complied with the dress code.

Shireenzada, registrar of the University of Peshawar, acknowledged that traditional culture and security concerns were behind the move.

"Normally the girls also wear dupattas in their homes. Then why not in the departments where co-education exists? Therefore the university took a decision and we should not forget our Pakhtun culture," he told Dawn News channel.

The local culture was the "first priority and the second priority might be security," he said.

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