Karachi—Two days after Sindh education department issued a notification warning schools against offering dance classes, Sindh Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah has said the government does not support the ban.
“The government of Sindh firmly believes in preserving and promoting culture and heritage as enshrined in the Constitution, and it will not be dictated by isolated extremist elements…will not allow its progressive agenda to be hijacked at any cost,” the chief minister said in a statement on Sunday. “Dance and music are integral parts of a liberal society and we will continue our support to such activities.”
Shah said the minister concerned categorically denied endorsing such a ban and action would be taken against those who ‘falsely’ attributed such a message to him. “Action is being initiated… those responsible will be taken to task.”
Earlier, private schools director-general Mansoob Hussain Siddiqui had issued letters to the management of private schools and directorate of inspection and registration of private school institutions.
“Some schools, in the name of dance, have hired teachers and started teaching vulgar dance, which cannot be tolerated,” he said. “This practice must be stopped forthwith, otherwise we will have no other option but to cancel the registration of these schools.” He, however, clarified that the ‘government is not against dance but cannot afford vulgarity in the name of it’.
The controversy surrounding the ban on dance classes began when Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) MPA Khurrum Sher Zaman expressed dismay over inclusion of dance classes in some schools and wrote a letter to Education Minister Jam Mehtab Hussain Dahar a few days ago regarding the issue.
Interestingly, senior leadership of the PTI had distanced itself from the content of the letter, saying it was Zaman’s personal initiative and the party has nothing to do with it. The letter demanding a ban on dance classes had also earned the ire of civil society, classical dancers and dance teachers.