Burqas distributed for school girls in Mardan

Burqas have reportedly been distributed in the schools of Rustam, Mardan district in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). The burqas were supposedly distributed for schoolgoing girls.

A member of the Awami National Party National Youth Organisation shared a tweet that allegedly showed burqas that had been distributed in schools of Rustam. Expressing her disagreement with the move, she stated that dress was a personal choice and the KP Education Department should focus on improving education in the province.


Another user disapprovingly stated that the girls who had been given these burqas should burn them.


As with the previous move to enforce abaya for schoolgirls in Haripur, people have been critical of the fact that dress codes are imposed for girls while boys are not disciplined in the matter. A user took to Twitter and expressed a similar opinion while calling the decision ‘creepy’.


However, it is not a new phenomenon. Back in 2007, students of a girls’ school in Mardan had started wearing burqa after their school received threatening letters from some militants.  The letters sent to the Government Girls Higher Secondary School in Par Hoti, Mardan, asked the administration to advise schoolgirls to veil themselves in accordance with the Islamic code.

Moreover, observers have frequently criticized the imposition of burqas by saying that it reminded them of the time the Taliban ruled areas in the north-west of Pakistan. Journalist Amber Rahim Shamsi took to Twitter to share the news and said that she was getting ‘Taliban feels’ from this.

Notably, the move comes weeks after the district education officer of Haripur, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, had issued a notification enforcing abaya for schoolgirls. The notification was withdrawn after a social media backlash.

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