Pakistan: Ban on dance classes in private schools revoked

Sindh province chief minister Murad Ali Shah revoked a ban on dance classes in private schools on 23 October 2016 that circulated two days before as a letter from the private schools director-general Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui of the province’s education department, reported The Express Tribune on 23 October 2016.

In a statement, chief minister Shah said:

The government of Sindh firmly believes in preserving and promoting culture and heritage as enshrined in the Constitution and it will not be dictated by isolated extremist elements. [We] will not allow [the government’s] progressive agenda to be hijacked at any cost. Dance and music are integral parts of a liberal society and we will continue [to] support such activities.

In his letter to the management of private schools and the directorate of inspection and registration of private schools, director-general Siddiqui, stated:

Some schools, in the name of dance, have hired teachers and started teaching vulgar dance, which cannot be tolerated. This practice must be stopped forthwith, otherwise we will have no other option but to cancel the registration of these schools.

Controversy over the ban stemmed from an incident earlier in the month when member of parliament Khurrum Sher Zaman wrote a letter to education minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar complaining about the inclusion of dance classes in school curricula.

Zaman wrote: “This [dance] is against our religion [and] principles. I request you to please look into the matter and take action against schools that offer dance in their syllabus.”

Senior leadership of Zaman’s party, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), distanced itself from Zaman’s statements and stated the letter was his own “personal initiative”.


» Hindustan Times – 25 October 2016
Ban on dance classes in schools revoked in Pakistan’s Sindh province

» ARY News – 23 October 2016
CM Sindh says action will be taken if dance, music banned in schools

» The Express Tribune – 23 October 2016
Sindh CM orders to revoke dance ban in schools

» The Express Tribune – 23 October 2016
Schools warned: Ban dance or face the music

» The Express Tribune – 15 October 2016
Protecting arts: ‘Why criticise dance instead of terrorism’

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