New Delhi: Punjab Civil Secretariat in Pakistan’s Lahore has denied entry to women without a headscarf or dupatta upon ministerial orders. The diktat was given by Primary and Secondary Healthcare Minister of Punjab, Dr Yasmin Rashid.
A Twitter user, Sidra Butt, recorded her experience and shared the video on the micro-blogging site.
Sidra captioned the clip with a message, saying, “went to the Minister’s Block, Civil Secretariat lhr today coz I heard of this issue that you can’t enter without a dupatta. They refused me too. I asked for written orders and there were none. They used your name ma’am @Dr_YasminRashid . You can see. @PTIofficial #NayaPakistan”
The video, since then, has gone viral with outrage pouring in from all over.
In the clip, the guard can be heard telling Sidra that Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid passed the order after a woman came to meet her ‘inappropriately dressed’.
Sidra then argues if the gate staff has written orders, to which she is told that they were “called in and told verbally.”
The woman, who posted the video, says that she is not wearing any objectionable dress.
“Wear a dupatta and we will allow you in,” the guard tells her firmly.
After a little more commotion, Sidra questions if she needs to cover her head to get an entry into the minister’s office.
“Just wrap a cloth and be careful with how you dress.”
When Sidra says she is not carrying a dupatta, the security official asks if he can ask someone to lend her one.
Many Twitter users, including Sehar Tariq from the US Institute for Peace, condemned the new rule. In a series of tweets, she questioned the “rationale of this absurd order.”
She wrote, “Entry for women into the Punjab civil secretariat depends on if they are wearing a dupatta or not. Orders for this dress code enforcement allegedly came from a woman minister – Yasmeen Rashid. You cannot and should not police women’s bodies like this.”
went to the Minister’s Block, Civil Secretariat lhr today coz I heard of this issue that you can’t enter without a dupatta. They refused me too. I asked for written orders and there were none. They used your name ma’am @Dr_YasminRashid . You can see. @PTIofficial #NayaPakistan pic.twitter.com/HvzLThV0Lh
— sidra butt (@ButtSidra) October 19, 2018
Can someone please explain the rationale of this absurd order!? How and why should a woman’s clothes determine her ability to enter or not enter a government building!?
— Sehar Tariq (@sehartariq) October 19, 2018
Several social media users have also criticised Pakistan Prime Minister and PTI (Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf) chairman Imran Khan and questioned if this is the ‘Naya Pakistan’ he wanted to create.
However, there are some who are in support of the decision as they feel it’s a ‘moral’ step and must not go.
“It’s a good initiative, we must abide by the rules of morality… doesn’t make sense to ignore… please do it,” wrote one user.