Islamabad [Pakistan]June 25 (ANI): The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan’s ban on all educational institutions across the country from celebrating Holi sparked outrage on the internet and was later withdrawn, but the constant fact is that tolerance and diversity in Pakistani culture is being eroded , read the editorial in International News.
According to the editorial, the fact that HEC Paris lacks the ability to issue such notifications, especially given the mismanagement of higher education in the country, also reflects the goals of the bureaucrats in charge of running these institutions.
HEC began facing backlash shortly after the news was released, releasing a clarification statement accusing the public of misinterpreting its previous notification, News International reported.
The editorial in International News wrote that the fact that minorities and disadvantaged groups find the environment in Pakistan increasingly oppressive needs no further elaboration.
People often wonder why young people in Pakistan choose to go to liberal democracies. The South Asian nation’s fundamental problem is that it doesn’t offer its citizens much opportunity for critical thinking or free speech, beyond financial concerns.
The Higher Education Commission of Pakistan specifically banned Holi celebrations in all educational institutions, claiming it had raised concerns and had a detrimental effect on the “national image”. The commission made the remarks in a June 20 letter.
Institutions of higher education have “ultimate responsibility to polish and develop vibrant young people into learned, mature and responsible citizens – ready to take charge and play a role in nation-building”, the letter states.
“Thus, public and private institutions of higher education across the country need to develop our young people into compassionate, insightful and graceful individuals who can avoid obvious pitfalls in life,” the report added.
The HEC said such activities were “completely out of touch” with the country’s sociocultural values and eroded the country’s “Islamic identity”.
However, a day later, following the controversial announcement, the Higher Education Commission (HEC) of Pakistan withdrew the letter objecting to the celebration of the Hindu festival of Holi at universities.
It follows widespread criticism across the country from HEC executive director Shaista Sohail for publishing a letter opposing celebrating the festival at a university.
Salman Sufi, head of the prime minister’s strategic reform department, clarified that Education Minister Rana Tanveer Hussain had instructed the HEC to withdraw its controversial letter. (Arnie)
(This is an unedited and auto-generated story from a syndicated news feed, the latest staff may not have modified or edited the body of content)