New Delhi: The University of Azad Jammu and Kashmir has struck down a circular banning women students from wearing lipstick on campus, nearly a week after it ordered a ban on the use of the cosmetic.
In a circular dated 21 January, the university administration had said “female students are not allowed to put on lipstick. If seen, they will be fined at the spot for Rs 100 each time”.
On Monday, an HR official from the university was quoted by Pakistani website Samaa as saying: “The notification was restricted to the Institute of Education Department and was issued as a part of the department’s dress code policy.”
Samaa also writes that the university has rolled back its policy on wearing lipstick following flak from the online community and protests by students.
‘Institute of Education’, University of AJK bans lipstick for female students. In Nov the university had notified all female students to wear abayas. Such regressive actions by institutions that should be bastions of freedom is alarming and violate fundamental rights of students! pic.twitter.com/ycUwmYWXlx
— Aurat March – عورت مارچ (@AuratMarchKHI) January 26, 2020
This, however, isn’t the first time that the Pakistani university has been in the news for controversial orders. In November last year, it had instructed women students to wear the abaya — a robe-like dress — on campus.
No student unions
Student unions will not be reinstated in Pakistan despite a long drawn demand for their restoration. The Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan Sunday opposed the reinstatement of student unions even though a resolution for their revival was passed by the country’s upper house — the Senate — in 2017.
The HEC, however, suggested constitution of student associations for “healthy activities” like poetry, sports, music, and debate. The commission is against unions because these “would deteriorate government efforts to reform universities”, says a report.
According to an HEC document, unions with party affiliations “make anti-government alliances, gain considerable influence and strength and pose a threat to academics, research and development work on the campuses”.
Student unions were banned by the Zia-ul-Haq regime during the 1980s after students protested against his dictatorship. Since then, debates on reinstating student unions have been always been half-hearted. Even though the Imran Khan-led government promised to revive student unions, little has been done on the ground till now, local media reports suggest.
Transgender community protests outside police station
The Pakistan Police has arrested 10 transgender persons in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa’s Swat city for protesting against the release of two men who had allegedly opened fire at one of their residences last week.
A video, which has gone viral, shows members of the community protesting outside a police station, throwing bricks and chanting slogans against officers.
“We are human beings and must be treated as equal citizens,” one of the protesters can be heard saying.
WATCH: Transgender community protests outside Swat police station In the viral footage members of the marginalised community take the law into their own hands by hurling bricks inside the premises along with chanting slogans against law enforcement #Transgendercommunity #SWAT pic.twitter.com/2EfZp1bnrL
— The Express Tribune (@etribune) January 25, 2020
The police, meanwhile, has alleged that protesters simply tried to create havoc.
Queen Elizabeth’s ‘Punjabi’ takes social media by storm
A video of Queen Elizabeth’s annual Christmas broadcast, dubbed in Punjabi, went viral both in India and Pakistan last week. In the clip, the Queen can be heard complaining about Prince Harry and Meghan Markle’s decision to split from the royal family. And she does it as a quintessential Punjabi mother-in-law would.
“From the day this girl has come to our house, she has created havoc,” says the dubbed version.
Referring to Harry and Markle’s decision to move to Canada, the clip says: “He [Prince Harry] too is ready to give up his royalty status and leave everything for her. He is ready to make burgers and pizzas but being a prince is not acceptable to him.”
Pakistanis have this amazing talent of dubbing these videos. Pure Gold 🤣😂 https://t.co/jkLTbUiUuI
— Shashank (@shashank_neo) January 21, 2020
This is another epic 😂 level of Pakistani Punjabi description of megist https://t.co/pd7xSjqFsH
— Azhar (@azharjavaid) January 22, 2020
— Navta (@NavtaV) January 21, 2020