Lahore: A Pakistani university has banned ‘one-on-one’ sittings of boys and girls on campus by terming it against Islamic ‘cultural’ norms, in a case of moral policing. The Sargodha University Lahore campus on Monday issued a circular banning the ‘one-on-one’ sittings of male and female students in classroom, cafeteria or any other place in the campus.
“In view of our cultural and religious bindings and complaints by parents, inappropriate interaction between male and female students is hereby strictly prohibited within the university premises,” the notice states. “We have imposed ban on sittings of male and female students together in ‘couple form’ on the complaints of parents. Parents have objected to the boys and girls sitting together especially in classroom,” Sargodha University Director Mian Javed said.
“He said considering the complaints of parents and some students the varsity administration and its board have unanimously decided to place a ban on ‘one-on-one’ sittings of boys and girls,” he said, adding the boys and girls can sit together in group form (three or more) for ‘academic discussions’.
Javed further said Pakistan is an Islamic state and “we have to discourage this culture (of boys and girls sitting together).”
Sargodha University is first public sector institute which has imposed this kind of ban in recent times. Ali Ahtasham, a student of Sargodha University, said that the administration has actually given in to the pressure of a student wing.
“The extremists elements on campus earlier had thrashed some boys for sitting with girls,” he said. In Punjab University, the Islami Jamiat Tulba often thrash male students for sitting with girls but the administration did not ban ‘couple’ sittings.