The parents were completely taken by surprise when recently a decision was made by the Aitchison college, Lahore administration to wear shalwar kameez and sherwani by all the students in school on Fridays. Like Zia-ul-Haq enforced it as the only mode of dressing in his dictatorship period. In all offices nationwide people were forced to wear shalwar kameez. The purpose and the motive behind this decision has not been explained to the parents nor the students were taken into confidence. Shalwar Kameez was introduced by Zia in offices in an effort to further purify and Islamise the country of the pure (Pakistan). But it was never explained as to why shalwar kameez was necessary to offer prayers only on Fridays. If it is taken as a national dress then it should be worn by all on all occasions. All law enforcement agencies including Pakistan army should also fight in shalwar kameez. The fact, which nobody can deny is that it is not a very comfortable working dress, requires lot of maintenance as it cannot be worn without starching and proper pressing and would crumble and look ungentlemanly only after a few hours of use. And it sometimes publically creates embarrassment for the wearer in case of windy weather. Aitchison takes particular pride that there is representation not only from Punjab, but also Balochistan, FATA, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa and Sindh. If introducing shalwar kameez is an effort by the school to harmonise the students, then it is a failed effort because the school is already following one uniform policy and even otherwise if the rest of Pakistan could be as harmonious as Aitchison despite its ethnic, sectarian and social diversity, we would be a different country. Aitchison is one of Pakistan’s largest educational institutes. An Aitchisonian exudes a well-cultivated air of confidence without appearing conceited. The education imparted is free from any biases and complexes. This is combined with unassuming intelligence and a sense of purpose. More than anything else, a good Aitchisonian is almost always gentlemanly — embodying all the values that it implies. The emphasis on wearing a dress only to introduce a wrong sense of religion would not be a very encouraging idea. I request Mr Michael Thomas, the Principle of Aitchison College, to review this decision because through this we are trying to introduce a “certain kind” of Islam to our students which is not a healthy sign. A CONCERNED PARENT Lahore Published in Daily Times, September 26th 2017.