Local athletes have defied religious groups and the government by participating in the Women Sports Gala in Gilgit-Baltistan.
According to sources, the Women Sports Gala is going on as planned after the participants told the local government that they will take care of the arrangements inside the stadium themselves.
Earlier, the discussions between the government and protesters had reached a successful conclusion after the former assured that outdoor games, like hockey and football, will not take place in the event.
Dilshad Bano, member of Gilgit-Baltistan Assembly, has also backed the event.
“The criticism over Sports Gala is unnecessary,” said Bano. “The women of Gilgit-Baltistan have made the country proud on national and international level in different fields and the same goes for sports as well.”
Meanwhile, Minister for Tourism, Sports, Culture and Archeology, and Youth Affairs Gilgit-Baltistan said that “women’s participation in sports as far as they adhere to religious beliefs and cultural norms is not taboo. The painful truth is, we’ve propagated, subordination and unshakable fidelity, as their chief duties. This is wrong. Let them live, let them play”.
Sports Gala converted into Meena Bazar
Earlier today, The Women Sports Gala in Gilgit-Baltistan had been converted into Meena Bazar after protests by religious parties.
The decision was taken after various religious groups had accused the government of “spreading vulgarity” by organising a sports event for women. They also termed the event “unislamic”.
A religious group had also called for shutter-down strike yesterday in Gilgit-Baltistan against the Sports Gala.
The Gilgit-Baltistan Women Sports Gala was supposed to be the first-ever event of its kind.
In a tweet by Office of the Chief Secretary, Gilgit Baltistan, the Meena Bazar will be in line with “Islamic values and local customs”.
مینا بازار میں ماحولیاتی اور آب و ہوا کی تبدیلی کے مسائل پر رہنمائی اور مشاورت شامل ہوگی۔ اس میں خواتین کی مختلف تعلیمی سرگرمیوں کو بھی پیش کیا جائے گا۔ مجموعی طور پر یہ پروگرام اسلامی اقدار اور مقامی رسم و رواج کے مطابق منعقد کیا جائے گا (2)— Office of the Chief Secretary, Gilgit Baltistan (@csgbpk) October 4, 2022
The Meena Bazar, which will be organised on the instructions of Chief Minister Gilgit-Baltistan Khalid Khurshid, will “promote education for women along with participation in business activities and mental health issues”.
During the Meena Bazar, men won’t be allowed to enter the venue, Lalak Jan Stadium, and women police will be deployed as far as security is concerned.