April 6, 2023 Special Dispatch No. 10556

Official Notification In Pakistan-Controlled 'Azad Jammu & Kashmir' Orders Enforcement Of Hijab For Girls And Female Teachers In Schools; Minister Of Education Diwan Ali Khan Chughtai: 'We Have Taken These Steps According To The Teachings Of Allah And His Messenger'

April 6, 2023
Pakistan | Special Dispatch No. 10556

On March 6, 2023, Pakistani television channel Samaa TV reported that the government in Pakistan-controlled state of Azad Jammu & Kashmir has ordered that the hijab is now mandatory for female students and teachers in educational institutions.[1]

The state of Jammu & Kashmir has since 1947 been divided between Pakistan and India. The Pakistani portion of the former princely state is known as Azad Jammu & Kashmir.

The Dawn News report

On February 24, 2023, the directorate general of primary and secondary education of the state of Azad Jammu & Kashmir issued an official notification announcing that the hijab was now compulsory for female students and teachers, according to a report by Urdu-language Dawn News.[2] Copies of the official notification were sent to officers of the education department in all ten districts, who forwarded them to heads of all educational institutions during March 2-4, 2023.

The enforcement of the hijab in Azad Jammu & Kashmir comes as the Taliban government in neighboring Afghanistan has ordered total ban on the education of girls and women in schools, colleges, and universities. The Taliban officials have also made it mandatory that women wear the hijab when they leave their homes.

The Dawn News report quoted Diwan Ali Khan Chughtai, the minister of education of Azad Jammu & Kashmir state, as saying: "We have taken these steps according to the teachings of Allah and his Messenger [Muhammad] peace be upon him. Women have been ordered [Allah and Muhammad] to wear hijab and men to keep their eyes downward."[3]

The official notification is signed by the deputy secretary of the directorate. The text of the notification reads, as translated from Urdu:

"It has been noticed that in the institutions where a system of mixed education is prevalent, there female students and teachers are not obligated to wear the hijab.

"Therefore, according to the published guidelines, female students and teachers should be required forcibly to wear hijab in the institutions where system of mixed education is prevalent.

"In case of violation, disciplinary action will be taken against the head of the institution.

"The matter should be considered of utmost importance."

The government notification:[4]


[1], March 6, 2023.

[2], March 7, 2023.

[3], March 7, 2023.

[4], March 5, 2023.

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