Residents and clerics bar girls in Swat’s Charbagh from playing cricket at the tehsil’s stadium, deeming women ’s participation in sports as being “immodest” and “inappropriate” in the area.
Ayesha Ayaz, Pakistan’s youngest Taekwondo practitioner, arranged a cricket match at the Charbagh Cricket Stadium yesterday for girls from the Babuzai and Kabal tehsil of Swat. However, before the game started, several clerics from nearby mosques and a group of elders reached the stadium and created a scene, stopping the girls from playing.
“When the girls gathered at the stadium, some religious people came and angrily forbade the girls and organisers from playing cricket,” Saeed Iqbal, told Dawn.com. He further stated that the men shouted at the girls saying it was ‘immodest’ for them to play cricket in an open ground. According to reports, the clerics took the matter before the local councilor, Ihsanullah Kaki, then asked the girls to leave the stadium.
“It’s puzzling why some men have reservations about female participation in sports when it is our fundamental right,” Humaira, a cricketer, said. https://t.co/3t0u4Swcl3
— Dawn.com (@dawn_com) October 1, 2023
Talking about the incident, one of the organisers explained how girls in Swat wanted to play cricket professionally. “They reached out to us recently and asked us to organise cricket matches for them in the district. They wanted us to form district-level crickets teams as well.” He added that his daughter and other professional cricket players had initially intended to play at the stadium in Mingora, but due to ongoing construction work had then shifted to Charbagh stadium.
Naik revealed that residents, particularly religious leaders, appeared at the scene hindering the girls from playing cricket, startling both the female cricketers and the organizers.
Shortly after the incident, a group of extremists in #Kalam, Swat, issued threats against a local music show, deeming it unIslamic. Many are calling for immediate action against extremist elements in the area.
A group of extremists in #Kalam, Sawt, issued threats against a local music show, deeming it unIslamic. Follows the incident when JUI-F local leaders stopped a women’s cricket match in Charbagh. Urgent action is needed to prevent the enforcement of a Taliban-style Sharia in #Swat pic.twitter.com/3KqLmeNxrr
— Arshad Yousafzai (@Arshadyousafzay) October 2, 2023