The Higher Education Commission (HEC) issued a notification withdrawing its recent order, which directed higher education institutions to distance themselves from activities that are “inappropriate” with the country’s identity and societal values. The HEC clarified in the notification that it respects all religions, faiths, and beliefs, along with the associated festivals and celebrations observed in the country. The commission stated that the intention of their message was not to hurt anyone’s sentiments. All of this started with the universities and private parties hosting events like Holi.

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The initial notification sparked criticism as it referred to a specific instance involving the celebration of Holi at a university, which had caused concern and affected the country’s image, according to the HEC. However, the commission now states that the previous order was misunderstood and taken out of context. They emphasize that their focus for higher education institutions should be on academic excellence, research quality, and fostering responsible citizens in line with the nation’s ideology.

New Notice

Acknowledging the misinterpretations caused by their communication, the HEC is pleased to withdraw the previous order. Additionally, during a session of the National Assembly, the Speaker condemned the ban and ordered its immediate withdrawal. The National Assembly cited the Objective Resolution and the Constitution of Pakistan, which recognize the rights of minorities and ensure freedom for all religious sects to practice their religious activities. The Speaker’s ruling aims to reverse the unconstitutional decision, with the Parliament actively pursuing the matter.

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