Khyber Pakhtunkhwa recently made it compulsory for the schoolgirls to coverup according to an announcement made by Adviser to Chief Minister on Elementary and Secondary Education Ziaullah Bangash.

All the public sector schools were required to abide by the instruction to ensure that girl students wear an abaya, gown or chador “in order to protect them from any unethical incident”.

The order was first circulated in Haripur district last week.

“We came across some situations during our recent visits to tribal areas and Kohistan that prompted us to take this decision,” he told DawnNewsTV.

“We have sensitive areas in the province which require safety measures for the children,” he said, adding that the choice is “also in line with the tribal values and the traditions of Islam”.

“Our focus is on educating our girls and we should take every step to enable this,” the advisor added.

However, former KP education minister and Awami National Party MPA Sardar Hussain Babak criticized the decision, saying it will have a negative impact on education trends.

“To make the abaya or burqa mandatory through a notification will have a negative impact,” he said, adding that in KP many school-going girls already wear the burqa.

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Following extensive criticism by the public over the decision, the Khyber Pakh­tunkhwa government deci­ded to withdraw its earlier notice.

“KP Government doesn’t believe in compulsion, and citizens are free to decide what’s best for them. The notification circulating regarding compulsion of Abaya for the girls is hereby withdrawn with immediate effect,” the update read.

Twitter also reacted to the decision. Have a look:

What are your thoughts? Was taking back the notification a sensible decision?

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