Pak withdraws controversial diktat to ban Holi celebrations

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Islamabad, 22 June: Pakistan has withdrawn the earlier order banning the Holi festival celebrations in universities and educational institutions. The order issued by the Higher Education Commission was withdrawn following criticism from all quarters. The Commission has also apologised for issuing the controversial order.

The Executive Director of the Higher Education Commission Shaista Sohel had directed the Vice-Chancellors of heads of higher education institutions to ban Holi celebrations as the celebrations activities were against the socio-cultural values of Pakistan and against the teachings of Islam.

People raised their voices against the order and said that Holi and Diwali are festivals of the Sindhi community and that the Pakistani government did not accept either Sindhi or honour Hindu festivals.

The order was withdrawn following strong criticism. Salman Sufi, Chief of Reformation in the Government?s Diplomatic Policies demanded the withdrawal of the impugned order. The Higher Education Commission not only withdrew the order but also apologised for issuing it.