Pak religious body wants separate women educational institutes

Co-education is not compatible with Islamic principles, a constitutional religious body in Pakistan has said, asking the government to set up separate systems of education for men and women at the earliest.

The Council of Islamic Ideology (CII), formed as part of the 1973 constitution to help government in Islamisation of laws in the country, concluded a two-day meeting yesterday.

It said in a statement that co-education was neither a requirement of society nor compatible with Islamic principles.

“The government must establish two women universities (in Islamabad) as announced by the former president General Zia-ul-Haq,” it added.

Haq, the ex-military ruler, enacted several Islamic laws which are believed to have increased sectarianism and extremism in the country.

The CII reiterated its recommendation that women do not need to cover their faces, hands and feet. It welcomed a recent Supreme Court judgement that ordered the government to implement Urdu as the official language.

“While treating Urdu as the national and official language, the federal government should allow the provincial governments to adopt their languages as official languages,” it said.

The CII also recommended that students appearing for competitive examinations should be allowed to answer questions in Urdu.