A Pakistani university has asked male and female students to maintain a distance of six inches when together, causing an uproar in social media against the varsity’s notification.
The Islamabad-based Bahria University last week issued the notification to students at all three of its campuses – in Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, Dawn newspaper reported.
A copy of the notification outlining dress code received major backlash after it went viral on social media, it said.
“All the heads of departments and security are to ensure that male and female students sit/stand at least six inches away from each other,” the notification said.
It also “strictly forbids” ‘touching’ of male and female students and warned of disciplinary action against the violators.
The Federation of All Pakistan Universities Academic Staff Association (FAPUASA) has demanded the Bahria University withdraw the notification, the report said.
FAPUASA President Dr Kaleemullah Barech said that the notification was ridiculous and created confusion among students.
Meanwhile, Bahria University spokesperson Mehwish Kamran defended the notification, which she claimed was issued to maintain discipline among students.
“There is nothing wrong with it,” she said, and described the directive to maintain a 6-inch distance as a generic term and said a 6-inch distance is considered personal space.
Last year, the International Islamic University Islamabad came under fire for issuing a dress code that prohibit women from wearing deep necks, sleeveless, skinny jeans, tights, capri pants, makeup, heavy jewellery and high heels.
Tahir Malik, a lecturer at the National University of Modern Languages said such notifications were worthless, and universities should instead focus on character building.
“Maintaining a 6-inch distance is beyond my understanding; how will the university measure a 6-inch distance,” he asked, adding that the academic environment needed to be improved on university campuses.