My university, NUST, grooms to minimise differences

Published: September 27, 2013

We have a dress code to encourage discipline and uniformity.

The dress code at NUST (National University of Science & Technology) has cooked up quite a storm and as a student at the prestigious institution, this is what I have to say:

“It was an overreaction.”

The match that struck the flame was an image of a student fine notice stuck to a bulletin board at the university. This image, detailing what the students were being fined for, went viral. I admit that the grammar used in the notice was less than satisfactory including the terms ‘wearing tight’, ‘no dopata’ and so forth; but this error has been unfairly used to defame Nust and the quality of its education and graduates on social media.

If you ask any Nust student, these fine notices are a common sight. The usual notices are posted for male students who have been caught smoking on the ‘smoke-free campus’ or students who have not been wearing their student ID cards – a requirement at the institute.

Coming to the dress code furore, many people are unaware that the Nust dress code is, and has always been a part of the institute’s prospectus. This code is quite detailed and requires students to be decently dressed at all times with restrictions on wearing sheer clothing, clothes with provocative art or wording, and a requirement for females to wear three-piece shalwar kameez, that is, clothes with a shirt, pants/shalwar and a dupatta.

Nust Business School takes the dress code a step further, requiring students to wear formal attire – boys in formal pants and collared shirts; girls in non-denim decent, formal clothing. The word ‘decent’ is intended to imply culturally accepted norms of clothing.

This dress code may be considered stringent by some, downright absurd by others, but there are also those who find it entirely appropriate. Every institute has a dress code and this code usually reflects both, the mentality of the administration, as well as the nature of professional education being imparted. Hence, one might encounter female architecture students often sporting short tops with skinny jeans or female engineering students covering their hair with a dupatta. As far as the official Nust policy is concerned, there is no requirement for women to cover their heads within the H-12 campus.

The question is, whether you agree with this dress code or not, does this in any way imply that Nust is not providing a high standard of academic education for its students?

No, it certainly does not.

The university sits on four square kilometres of land, is home to over 15 state-of-the-art academic buildings, a brand-new auditorium, and hostel accommodations that are impressive for the subsidised rate at which they are provided to students. In addition, there are custom-made laboratories in the engineering departments, fully equipped with modern machinery and tools. The NUST Business School (NBS) alone has five computer labs and several million rupees are spent annually on maintaining libraries across campuses.

For those who seem to think that Nust-ians are introverted, deprived and intellectually-challenged beings, I would like to inform them that students at Nust have the opportunity to get involved in a variety of extra-curricular activities such as the Nust Media Club, Entrepreneurs Club, Adventure Club, Dramatics and Debating Club, Literary Circle, Science Society and so forth.

As far as international exposure of Nust students is concerned, perhaps you did not know that Nust brought the first international model United Nations (NIMUN 2013) to Islamabad, and students at Nust hosted the South Asian Youth Conference, discussing ideas for regional stability with participants from all SAARC countries. More recently, Nust hosted the World Engineering Congress and every year, an MUN (Model United Nations) delegation is trained to compete internationally. Just last year, the delegation won in Bangkok. The INSPIRE (Science Society) and Discover (Business School) competitions held annually encourage students to prepare and present entrepreneurship projects for national recognition.

Then, there are the national achievements of Nust students. This year five Nust students were chosen for one of the nation’s most coveted student internship programmes at Procter & Gamble. Every year, recruiting teams from top organizations like Unilever, Coca Cola, ICI, Engro and Telenor visit Nust. While it is widely considered to be the best engineering university in the country, in recent years, NBS has also made advances in catching up to the Lahore University for Management Sciences (LUMS) for its repute in business management. Students from NBS compete annually in competitions held by Nestle, P&G, Reckitt Benkiser, and Unilever. Just last year, NBS students won the RB Lip Dub competition which was voted as the best Lip Dub entry from the country.

With all these achievements, why impose such ‘strict’ rules, you ask? Simply, because of the whims of the administration?

I am afraid it is not as simple or as absurd as many have made it seem.

Nust is home to the largest and most diverse student body in the country. With over 23 institutions, and well over 50,000 applicants annually, students at Nust hail from Pishin to interior Sindh, from the far-flung areas of KPK and Gilgit Baltistan, to the big cities. Hence, students come from a variety of backgrounds and some are extremely conservative and religious while others are westernized, have lived abroad, and hold liberal views.

These are people who would have otherwise never even met each other; might never have had a chance to understand each other. However, at Nust, they are given this opportunity and in this melting pot, students are thrown together with the hope that they will be able to learn from each other and about each other. The rules at Nust enable students to bypass these differences and prevent friction, which can in turn, offend one party or another.

Perhaps, these rules can be improved, but it is important to understand that they are not meant to be oppressive. They are not intended to enforce one way of thinking over another. The ultimate aim is to help remove social, religious, philosophical and mental barriers and thus seek peaceful co-existence.

Do you think universities should have a dress code?

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Zainab Khawaja

Zainab Khawaja

Is currently studying BS Public Administration at NUST Business School and enjoys history, literature and politics. She is an avid reader and has been blogging for two years. She blogs at and tweets @zainabkhawaja92 (

The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necessarily reflect the views and policies of The Express Tribune.

  • Ali Hassan

    Yes, NUST is a great institute and will be more in the future. But as a fellow citizen, one needs to be very worried regarding the kind of people running it and the way they are handling such matters.

    They are to blame for this this “over reaction” and placing the institutes reputation in jeopardy.

    They are a great example of what authority / power can do to someone. For more details, one should read the Lucifer Effect.Recommend

  • Fahad

    Finally, someone with sense posted the truth.Recommend

  • Danish

    Blog. A much needed one.Recommend

  • Amir

    Exactly there is no doubt that NUST is a prestigious institute. BUT currently it is under the strict “RULE” of overreacting and inflexible people.There is no problem if you implement “reasonable” rules. Segregating cafes for students and asking to wear a dopatta are no way reasonable and prudent. Making rules “in the best of interest of students” is not a justified excuse.Recommend

  • nabil

    Over-reaction….get a life.
    NUST’s standard is for a reason.
    Applaud NUST policy for dress code, without discipline there no education.
    Modesty should prevail with Hijab or without Hijab, with that being said I am surprised that some of these frustrated students wearing hijab is openly opposing modest clothes….now we know the writer’s hijab is nothing else but a cultural issue.Recommend

  • Parvez

    There was a notice on the board………and then there was the resultant over reaction ( as correctly pointed out by you ).
    The instinctive response from NUST’s students was to defend the institution by extolling its many virtues and rightly so. What you fail to point out is that in a country where INTOLERANCE rules paramount, the notice on the board was seen in that light and those that reacted ( or over reacted ) to it did so with honest intent.
    If this is seen by the NUST authorities in the correct light, which I feel they have, this whole episode will have been well worth the effort.Recommend

  • Salman

    “Written in a prospectus” is not a valid argument and neither is “jin ko nae parhna wo NUST say ja saktay hain” as one of your fellow was tweeting on the twitter the other day. And if NUST is offering subsidized education it is with the tax payer’s money. Rector is not not paying it from his pocket and neither are the Generals! So everyone one those who pay tax have a right to say. (they also have a right to dress the way they think). Those 15 buildings are not a property of a Dictator lobby and neither 4hundered whatever PHDs are being paid by that lobby. it is states money, the tax payer’s money! And some of my fellows who teach at NUST have told me about the instructions they were given by the administration in recent days. They were even discouraged to comment on the issue on facebook. This is the level of freedom at your institute. You are not even allowed to have a say!Recommend

  • salman

    Do you even know what you are talking about???
    you say “NUST is not enforcing one way of thinking” and there on the notice board; fined for not having DOPATTA!!!Recommend

  • Business casual

    Quick question: will any female wearing slacks, formal shirt and coat meet your rules of NUST dress code?

    While you did a good job in doing positive PR for Nust you conveniently ignored the fact that much more conservative dress codes are imposed at nust colleges of eme, mcs etc! On the contrary army medical college even doesn’t even allow girls to cover their faces… Reminds one of turkey doesn’t it? Isn’t the conclusion simple: if u have diversity at campus do not enforce dress codes! Recommend

  • Concerned liberal Nustian

    Agreed that NUST has a dress code, but considering that all sorts of people, even people from abroad come to study here, why limit freedom of expression through clothing? Business school should have a formal business attire requirement, but having a dupatta and no tights rule seems as if the admin is playing in the hands of the conservative mindset and is trying to appease them (I wonder where we’ve seen that before) tans everyone knows that doesn’t end well. They banned concerts, issued a notification saying inter sex meetings after sunset are not allowed (I hear it is being revoked), segregation of cafes, and no joint male female sports allowed just shows how conservative the rules and regulations of NUST are, and there is way more that I could say but that would take up more space than the blog, Recommend

  • zahsho jadun

    A beautiful article that actually sums up the truth as regards to dress code at NUST in general and NBS in particular. I would further comment that those who had been the reason for this furore, may kindly make it an option to leave the prestigious institute if they have issues with its dress code. The reason is that besides co-curricular activities NUST does not only put emphasis on the academics but also has a focus on providing the suitable work environment that also includes proper dressing of the students.
    zahra sajid
    student of batch BBA 2K7Recommend

  • Hasan

    “My university, NUST, grooms to
    minimise differences”

    establishment always tries to do that. They supported a certain extremist
    religious ideology to the detriment of other moderate groups in Pakistan over
    years and look where we are now.

    should teach students to learn to respect differences not try to eliminate them
    like how all developed countries do.Recommend

  • Hasan

    “Zainab Khawaja Is
    currently studying BS Public Administration at NUST Business School”

    is she is objective on this matter? Recommend

  • Hasan

    That is the problem with these NUTS, they don’t kwon what they are talking about. Sounds like most of them are establishment children enjoying privileges on our tax money but who have no sense of sense.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    Actually you know, public bashing on such a trivial matter just goes on
    to expose how narrow minded and tired and lazy we are as a nation. The
    purpose of providing well-rounded education is to leave the decision
    upon the young adult, to allow him to make wise decisions on his own
    without having to spoonfeed or force like its done in our country. The fiasco must be
    quite fun if anything for the students actually; the majority is indifferent to it because they are affected by something more important everyday. I
    think it’s little to do with the matter in hand and more with the fact
    that we are
    misers when it comes to giving choices to our children, when it comes
    to their education, their marriage, their profession, etc. Students at
    NUST are particularly fed-up of that, trust me I know. This conservative
    nature has nothing but backfired resulting in an obviously diminishing
    interest in
    our culture and the young finding ‘the forbidden’ more lucrative.
    Religion is being dragged into it for no apparent reason. Openness and
    happiness is so frowned upon particularly in institutions such as NUST.
    Its one thing to be competitive and another to be content and to try to
    make room for competitiveness WHILE you’re happy and content. I mean who
    are we kidding? We do manage to produce the best of the best in terms
    of students but are we not a failed nation? Everything from economy to
    health to law is nowhere near to something which can point at and say that this
    is the product of some open-minded and successful individuals. Students
    aspire to go live and work abroad because they know they won’t be served
    well here. And since everybody, even the parents, agree to that fact
    then why ask them to follow the norms of this society when clearly they
    have to be living in another. I mean c’mon! YES all offices want you to
    dress properly, but I can name thousands of offices where casual is
    being increasingly encouraged. Google is a very good example. And then
    NUST says we encourage entrepreneurs. How ironic when you can’t be the
    DECIDE.THEY’D MAKE GOOD DECISION DON’T YOU WORRY. LET. THEM. GROW. Don’t be scared of losing your worldwide ranking if as a result your children end up loving you not because they gave you four years of their lives, but because they respect you for your overall system. And discipline has many forms, mind you!

    But then again,
    Pakistan is home to only those who vote in exchange for a plate of
    biryani, and those who give this plate of biryani to them. And so,
    technically only they should freely exercise our traditions, our
    culture, our mannerism. All the others are merely guests here so I can’t
    imagine what’s all the fuss about.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    Couldn’t agree more.
    “The planet does not need more successful people. The planet desperately needs more peacemakers, healers, restorers, storytellers and lovers of all kinds.
    Dumbfounded with discipline bent on creating stiff postures and reluctant souls.Recommend

  • Sabih Zafar Ullah

    Well, there’s 3500 rs. standing right there in the title photo…Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    Don’t blame the children. Children are what they live. As Dorothy Law puts it, if children do not live with acceptance, kindness and consideration, they will never learn to love, or how to respect. And I’d like to add, that they’d start being loyal to a misleading institution altogether.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    Honey, students are there to learn in a creative atmosphere, an opposite of one that dictates. It’s not a boot camp for crying out loud. Asking them to leave based on the decisions they are willing to fight for, is a poor debate so to speak. Teach them all you may, but a little acceptance will suffice. Work environment are their choices to make once they step out of the university. By putting a lid on do’s and don’ts you can only expect a factory manufacturing machines, not an educational institute giving the society meaningful kids.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    First of all, yes modesty should prevail with or without Hijaab. Perhaps
    you misunderstood what she meant by overreaction though. She is
    defending the norms of NUST and this article is a rebuttal against the
    ones thinking the norms are crap.

    Secondly, you don’t just judge a book by its cover. What the writer wears has historical significance to it, she has the choice to perceive it in a religious or non-religious manner; HER CALL! She’s trying to justify the act of the administrators of the environment she practically lives in. Your judgmental comments that she is frustrated and all, are in no way justified either:)Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    Ironic isn’t it:pRecommend

  • Zara

    the thing is if NUST has a dress code, there is no harm in it. We have bigger issues to be discussed. Many Institute of Pakistan and even the universities abroad have dress codes; their students abide by the rules and those who fail to always pay the fine, this is how it happens everywhere. Only difference is that the grammar used by the administration was really absurd and names of the students shouldn’t be exploited like that on media! There should be dress codes and followed by students!Recommend

  • Pappu

    Dopata for girls but no islamic cap for men?? This is discrimination.Recommend

  • Nadir

    Grooms to minimise differences? Is that why civilian lecturers dont get paid 3 or 4 months at a time?Recommend

  • asma

    yes yes v rite, world dont need ppl in proper dressings, the only hav to b peaceful ,naked or covered don’t matterRecommend

  • Ammar Malik

    This sounds more like an ad for NUST than an attempt to shed light on the controversy.Recommend

  • Hasan

    asma, who said they need to be naked? NUTS?

    However come to think of it naked peaceful
    people are better than burqa suicide bombers, if one has to choose between the two.Recommend

  • Ammar Malik

    She isn’t, which is why she spent 3/4th of the article to list down achievements of the university.Recommend

  • Umair Khan jadoon

    First of all – Very good read. Nicely done. Well explained. This is how all media articles should be. Such a positive attitude.

    What I have to say in response is:

    No matter what dress code restrictions an institute puts, students will always have to face diverse dress codes among different organizations so differences can not be minimized by enforcing a dress code. All kinds of clothing is being sold in market and they are worn by men and women in our corporate sector. Students should be taught to grow tolerance and respect women for the clothing they choose to wear.

    Keep in mind that NUST is not a private institute, it is built on tax money of people who wear all kinds of clothes and range from conservatives to liberals who work in all kinds of fields.

    People who have studied in military controlled institutes (like me) will understand how dictatorship is practiced in such institutes. Rules and policies of such institutes should reflect public opinions because they are powered by the tax they pay.

    When you work in corporate sector, you have to sit in mixed gatherings, see women in all kind of clothing and have to respect them and you can not enforce your opinions on others.

    However banning smoking and speed limit in campus is a positive rule. It should be applied for the safety and heath of students.Recommend

  • Raja Rizwan Sajid

    You forgot to mention Shell Eco-Marathon Europe 2009 competition,in which Team from NUST-PNEC was the first one to win a 2nd prize and also Shell Eco-Marathon Malaysia chapter.Also NUST teams are competing in Formula Car design competition in UK.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    No one said anything about being naked, love. I don’t know where I read it, but a girl in jeans can look more modest compared to a girl wearing shalwar kameez inappropriately.

    And from my experience in nust, the girls wearing jeans/ tights in nust look extremely modest and are from genuinely modest backgrounds. This is the nust which isn’t elite but aspires to be among the enlightened ones. Where preference to extremely loose clothing is given by girls not wearing a dopatta. Because they know what the definition of decent is, & that their purpose in life is not yellow journalism but to mind their own business by working towards positive things.

    Please read my detailed comment below (:Recommend

  • moz

    I have no issue with NUST imposing dress code to make its students more moral, because otherwise they will become beghairat. However, it is no prestigious school at all. It is funded by taxpayers money with army behind it. Army/retired generals run some of the administration. Another reason why it is not prestigious is because, engineers it has produced are not solving Pakistan’s major issue of energy crisis. Where are ur electrical engineers when our country faces large hours of loadshedding??Recommend

  • MAK

    Lama get a life! Stop imposing your extremist views on NUST! Zainab’s article is a true picture of NUST. There is still a 100 odd years left before you see naked beaches in Pakistan. Our society is advancing slowly and nust cant outpace it. Just chill things are perfect at NUST! Recommend

  • is.el

    That simply means she has better knowledge about the institute as she is part of it. The tribune article on NUST dress suggested that the students were oppressed and dress code was against their wishes . Well as a student she is conveying how that notion is untrue and students in NUST support the measures that administration take to provide a conducive environment !
    Don’t judge NUST if you have never been part of it !Recommend

  • Asad

    And here comes the islamist hijabi to protect the enforcement of morality. i am surprised by these repressed women, going at every length to impose on others the same repression and morality they somehow have to suffer themselves. though i expect a return as to how this is her own choiceRecommend

  • Ali

    Ah! the morality brigade. hey woman you shoul be in laal masjid not nustRecommend

  • NUST

    NUST has surely a great potential. i have learn’t alot from here — but —Remember — Dress Code is one thing — a minor thing — The big thing is that such a large public university (takes benefit of taxes— public money) is being managed by retired/serving military officers — most of whom are selected as DDs/Dy DDs e.t.c without open-merit/advertisements. Any institute that is full of unqualified managers is doomed to Fall. Its not that retired officers cant manage a university but these positions should be open to all — so that competent persons can manage the university well. Once we have competent managers such things won;t haunt. else NUST shall become a big white elephant with ivory buildings !Recommend

  • rehman1

    regressive college!down with its ranking.the medical college i went to in lahore had women wearing fishnet pyjamas!take that!they were ofcourse told to cover up with jeans ofcourse!lol.they were takin it a lil too farRecommend

  • Faraz Talat

    Naturally, the social media war has awoken the NUSTianism within us all, who flock in to defend the institution’s honor.

    “We have a brand new auditorium, wide open spaces, a bunch of sexist/oppressive/ethnocentric rules here and there, but look at how massive and well-maintained our computer lab is!”

    I’m sure NUST is a fine university; few can deny that it’s one of the best Pakistan has to offer. We’re simply combating bad policies, which I admit are implemented in many institutions other than NUST as well.Recommend

  • UzairH

    @Author, you wrote:
    “Perhaps, these rules can be improved, but it is important to understand that they are not meant to be oppressive. They are not intended to enforce one way of thinking over another. The ultimate aim is to help remove social, religious, philosophical and mental barriers and thus seek peaceful co-existence.”

    Hah! The very fact that the dress code is based on what Muslims like means it doesn’t remove religious barriers, does it?

    Also, the very title of your blog “My university, NUST, grooms to minimise differences” implies to me you don’t understand (as NUST admin surely does not either) that the whole point of a university is to have an atmosphere of openness where diversity of thought and opinion is not only allowed by encouraged and celebrated. This is the foundation of successful research universities the world over. I personally (being a dude) find men with long hair weird, but that’s my personal opinion. I don’t want to study in a place surrounded by uniformity and robots instead of diversity and real humans. Thus let’s have short hair, long hair, beards, no beards, jeans, formal suits, even shorts! Let’s welcome all sorts of people with the only criteria being everyone respects others’ right to an opinion and the only respect given to academics (students and teachers) is how rigorous they are in their research.

    But then again, coming down from the land of castles in the air, NUST is ALL about authority and authority figures. I studied in NUST 10 years ago, and a couple of years later did Masters in Sweden. I was initially shocked to see that us students would refer to extremely senior (as in Europe’s top researchers in Software Engineering) professors by their first name! The students loved most of the professors who were geniunelly interested only in research and science and not in having big egos and demanding respect. I am not saying we need to do the same in NUST, since we have our own culture, but my point is that in REAL universities respect is of a gentle nature rather than authoritarian.Recommend

  • Private Ryan

    1. “Written in prospectus” means that most of the rules have been around for many years, and subject to the scrutiny of Board of Governors (do some research to understand how diverse that is) as well as parent committees, who have come to agree to a minimum common standard on rules. Besides, should a party (parents, students or governors) seek to change the rules, there are proper ways for them to do it. A small minority of students cannot and should not be allowed to twist the varsity’s arms (by stirring a maligning campaign) into changing these rules overnight.

    2. NUST is not paying subsidizing education entirely through taxpayers’ money. Again, do some research please. There are foreign and corporate funding as well as a massive Endowment Fund to finance scholarships and assistance-ships. Government only funds for “current expenditure” pro-rata (i.e. equitably) to ALL Pakistani university. It’s preposterous to hold the current expenditure support from the government against NUST.

    3. Anyone who’s saying they were discouraged to comment on the issue on FB or anywhere are either lying or you are. The faculty, however, were just reminded of their pact to protect students’ privacy and their parents’ respect when addressing any issue. If you are so free to talk as a non-NUSTian, why don’t you identify yourself and prove that you ARE free to talk. NUST faculty members have been openly talking (within the boundaries of decency) about it when INVITED to talk.

    Probably the major cause of your disappointment and frustration is the fact that the faculty haven’t been saying the things that YOU might have wanted them to say. a) Their response was calm, collected and constructive; b) They have not condemned the students (and therefore did the right thing); b) They have only explained the real rules Vs. the misinformed/fabricated rules; c) They have focused on spending their time more productively rather than actively engaging in this useless and baseless debate.

    Seriously, does our youth, especially the non-NUSTian have nothing productive to do that we can easily afford to waste our time on such a non-issue? Hope the sanity prevails. Amen.Recommend

  • Pappu 2

    Islamic cap is not obligatory. It is a sunnat.Recommend

  • Private Ryan

    If this website has given you an opportunity to learn the truth through above blog then do not disappoint them. Read it. It is in plain English.

    Dopatta on head is not mandatory at NUST. It is only required on shoulders, when wearing summer dresses (with intention to keep the dress modest) and that too only at NUST Business School building (which houses less than 10% of NUST’s total student population (with only about half of them being girls). Grow up. Stop believing in lies.Recommend

  • Loves Rain

    The question reflects lack of research. Females wearing formal shirts and coat already meet the rules of NUST dress code. Even at NBS (of which this whole dress code thing was made an issue) females wearing formal western office dress is fine.

    MCS, EME and AMC are predominantly military colleges. They have been around AS THEY ARE for much longer than the civilian campuses. And the outlook is also to make them exclusive for military in near to medium term future, while redirecting future civilian intakes towards alternate institutes like SEECS, SCEE and the NUST Medical School under construction at H-12. Absolutely preposterous to criticise MCS or EME for their “conservative” dress code. Oh and AMC wouldn’t allow doctors to cover their faces because it is part of a doctor’s training to be seen as approachable to all kinds of patients. A veil may be a barrier in their particular job.

    A dress code to ensure neutrality amid conflicting values and to minimise intimidation IS a major way of ensuring best fruits of diversity. A teenage student leaving her home in Tando Bago for the first time to sit in a class with a Isloo-ite girl who’s just returned from a summer in Ibiza with a reinforced tan WILL REMAIN alienated unless they’re all provided with an enabling environment. A reasonable dress code helps provide such environment.Recommend

  • Salman

    “For those who seem to think that Nust-ians are introverted, deprived and intellectually-challenged beings”

    I would like to know whats wrong with being an introvert and how did she link it with being “deprived and intellectually-challenged” ?Recommend

  • Pappu

    Rather than blindly following scriptures or arabs culture why not use your brain. This is 21st century mate.Recommend

  • Pappu

    If god has given you eyes please do not disappoint him and look at the “Notice of Fine” blog by Nadir El Edroos, girls have been clearly fined for not wearing dopata.Recommend

  • Samar

    “NUST policies not an issue, but the Phobic mind-sets ” Opening statement, NUST just has certain codes like many universities and institutions have around the world, and I wish NUST would become an institution which these “western extremists” think it has become.
    As for the “overreaction” to an extremely sensibly and responsibly written stuff by Ms Zainab Khwaja, Allah is oblivious of what we commit; a transgression or an act of defiance and immodesty by way of wearing, acting, talking, writing or reflecting with such insensitivity about Islamic conjunctions and Shariah compliance. A few years back it was unimaginable; and as It is now so heinous even to think of annoying Allah (SWT), by being so overtly condemning what our Deen and the Quran has ordained us to do. Coming from Muslim homes its shocking to see our valued youth reflecting so recklessly about modest attires as our Allah (SWT)/ Deen obligates us to do, it’s pathetic. Such blurting need not ignite reprisal but is to be understood in the backdrop of the changing social and geopolitical milieu that prevails around the world, where Islam and all Shariah obligations are being treated as a threat by the western powers for their favored social lifestyle sans morality and modesty. As a humble scholar and worker from institutions and organizations across the globe I have witnessed how such forces try to oppress rather ridicule, all nations or populations or groups that even think or talk of adopting ways as ordained in Quran. Since this book of Allah is a complete “Nizame-Hayat” a very progressive “no-nonsense life’s complete manifesto” for us as Muslims, it is an obligation (Sunnat and Fard), and defying or detesting any of its principles and guidelines instigates condemnation. Such modernism is perhaps becoming obsessively trendy these days because it provides for a free society where such elements who are willing to throw away every thread of such sacred morality, modesty, grace and honor find it cool and exhilarating! Well “Allah give them Guidance” is a dua as important as their mothers wrap them in for their protection. Allah bless and protect our ideological state, The Islamic Republic of Pakistan, InshAllah to progress and develop (Ameen).Recommend

  • welldone


  • AZ

    Dupatta is a cultural piece of clothing that doesn’t necessarily have to cover the head. If you look at the picture accompanying the article the girl on the left is wearing it only on her shoulders. Also this dress code is not for every department just the buisness department. I’m not sure if the guys are allowed to wear shorts but that should be a rule(not allowing shorts). It’s silly that everyone thinks you can wear WHATEVER you want, certain dress codes are applied to ensure that the atmosphere is one of academics not a party.Recommend

  • Maeedah

    wearing a dopatta on their shoulders! not heads :/
    get your facts straight sir.Recommend

  • Maeedah

    because the blog on tribune says that NUST is not focusing on providing quality education.Recommend

  • sana

    The essence of this blog is completely wrong! no one is undermining the academic prestige of NUST. The whole issue is about the controversial rules and regulations of the university which are even in conflict with the ‘normal’ socially acceptable practices of the society.Recommend

  • Loves Rain

    You seem to know nothing about why those girls were fined. Go ask them what was the fine for. It was not at fine for no dopatta ON HEAD. It was a fine for no dopatta ON CHEST while wearing tight clothes, if perverts really want the details!

    I just wonder why it is mostly men like you who have trouble with the dress code of girls. Out of the 48 comments so far here, only 3 obviously by girls, and only 1 AGAINST the NBS dress code (which is different from NUST dress code).

    Nadir El Edroos seems to know jack about what goes on inside NUST. On the contrary, above blogger seems to have spent over 3 years there. You’d dismiss her opinion in favour of London based El Edroos’ interpretation of words “without dopatta”? Salutes to your wisdom. (That’s sarcasm, Sheldon).Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    You, sir, are no better than the nust administration.
    They confuse tolerance and flexibility with morality and you are confusing a person’s faith with repression and suffering. The point she’s trying to make is that the ‘suffering’ is more than welcome by the students because it promotes equality and history has proven how well it has worked out for the institute. The entire fuss is about the fact that this attitude of intolerance and bureaucracy has been going on for years and THATS whats got to stop; whether the students are ready to like it or notRecommend

  • Dalai Lama

    Tolerance ≠ nudity.

    Naked beaches huh? speak for yourself:D I didn’t say I didn’t agree with her. Just that what she’s fighting over was yellow journalism in the first place. Its pitiful how nust is overly concerned about having to defend or protect themselves when their system is so flawless. There’s no such thing as a perfect system and they are just not ready to admit. So very typical of them.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    I mean the minute you walk into the university as a guest or even as a student, you don’t feel welcome regardless of whatever impression they put through the mighty land and all that bullshit. Excuse the language but, I’ve been to FAST, and the ease with which you can get your documents processed or get any sort of help over there is way better than the headache that nust causes. Not to defame it or anything, but nust could really improve if they could perhaps lessen the boundaries and listen more. And that’s just one of the many things that needs changing there.
    P.S. I was a student at both the universities and I respect and love them equally.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    What seems like a waste of time to you might actually prove to be productive and life-changing for someone else. Tell me about the pointless health certificate they ask upon admission. How it needs to be stamped by some government official. Why is that so? If I belong from a poor family, kitne dhakke khane parein ge mujhey wahan pe apne bache ko parhane k liye? Trust me the jeans won’t affect my child as much as the burden of that would. And the honourable and proper ways you talk of to change the rules at nust, please tell the many examples of those futile attempts by the many families of the
    students at nust who were willing to change the policies. Communication is useless if it isn’t a two-way road. And won’t everybody just love to hear how the h12 campus got its land in the first place? The whole idea of debate is to stir it towards constructive criticism that can bring to light all the negatives that the society can slowly digest, petition against and reject at some point in time. The teachers are doing their job well but they of all the people are who should be stirring and taking part in the evolution of such debate. But of course, if they are not being paid for it then why should they. Ironical no?Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    Are you telling me that churridar pajama or tights with a long long shirt would scare off the girl from tando bago? If anything, it should encourage her to relax and feel more confident about moving around with ease.

    Similarly, a veil on the face may be a barrier but exceptions can always be made. When dealing with women she can lower her veil and while with men she can cover it again. If her male patients feel any sort of the so-called barrier, they could freely go to some other doctor!!! Then why force her to take a picture without it? Because nust didnt need something like that on their portfolio. Because nust is not willing to listen. Because nust is a military academy in the first place, and if it has taken civilians on board, it should have the diginity of redirecting the authority to civilians as well! And if not so, then at least have the audacity to entertain their modest school of thought!!Recommend

  • IBA_Chick

    Hasan dude you’re making some very valid points. I agree with everything you’ve posted here on this issue. Can you please stop with the name calling? (NUTS seriously?) Its diluting your credibility lolRecommend

  • Sarah

    Girls were fined for the violating the dress code of NUST Business School! Students have to wear a formal attire there. Similarly boys are fined for wearing jeans, T-shirts and smoking on campus too!
    Girls are not fined in Engineering schools.Recommend

  • Pappu

    ” dopatta on their shoulders! not heads” Maeedah can you provide reference to confirm your assertion.Recommend

  • Loves Rain

    You don’t seem to know a jack about NUST rules. The “churridar pajama or tights with a long long shirt” WILL NOT scare off the girl from Tando Bago. And hence the “churridar pajama or tights with a long long shirt” is NOT banned or fined at NUST.

    Dude, you are trying (and failing) to make analogies which are flawed ab initio. Most of the people commenting here need to have a cold shower, which might wash off the blurring jealousy off their eyes and give them a little clarity about how can they make the most of their time.

    The female students at AMC are being trained to serve in the harshest situations if the need be, like war zones, LOC, and during rehabilitation from natural disasters like quakes and floods. Not many doctors may be available there in first place. It is absurd that you want for them to refuse serving male patients asking them to basically.. go away?! How wise!

    These words of yours are epic (and for the slow folk let me spell it out: I am being sarcastic!): “If her male patients feel any sort of the so-called barrier, they could freely go to some other doctor!!!”. How could a sensible person say something like that?Recommend

  • Viqas

    ” The rules at Nust enable students to bypass these differences and
    prevent friction, which can in turn, offend one party or another.”….

    REALLY?!!!! So why is everyone not being g forced to conform to a Jeans and a more liberal dress code???? __ Is te story of contemporary Pakistan where the state and all its institutions are caving in to the extreme Right on all matters just so that conservatism can be mainstreamed___ and look how well it has worked for us since the Khalifas essentially took over the country___ What does the Great Captain say about this I wonder and of course Mian ji is silent (no surprises there)… This is how fascism comes in (one code at a time and ostensibly to enforce harmony via forced conformance)___ What is to next prevent a ban on wearing a Cross at NUST (assuming that Christians are still allowed at NUST) or when do you ban black in Moharram___ To the author I say, your logic does not hold….

    And this IS Oppressive, just as oppressive on the jean wearing crowd as it would have been on the beard sporting and Shalwaar wearing crowd had they been forced to wear jeans and “tights”___ Just because you have succumbed to the fallacy of conformance as an acceptable paradigm of existence, doesn’t mean that it makes it alright for the rest of us___ Whatever happened to individual liberties of Pakistanis that were guaranteed to us???… I thought we made this country so that we will not have to conform to wearing safron???? (or am I missing something)Recommend

  • Zubair

    Being an alumnus of the institute, all I can say is that NUST is where creativity goes to suffer a slow, painful death. As for this article, forcing people to wear clothes conforming to certain individuals’ idea of morality does not “remove social, religious, philosophical and mental barriers”. On the contrary, it is a symbol of the prevalent hypocrisy and religious intolerance of a country where any non conformist behaviour is punished by the self proclaimed pious. Ms. Khawaja, kindly at least have the moral courage to accept that the fines for (the lack of) dopatta or tights are purely based on the whims of the majority forcing down their religious moral concoction down everyone else’s throat.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    Veil on a woman’s face is the least of an injured person’s concern amidst a war zone or an earth quake, etc. I might not know about AMC NUST. But I sure as hell know about what it’s like in a war-zone or when your village has been flooded. And so should nust before making such petty rules.Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    And those clothes are not banned. But its the attitude towards them them
    that is being rejected, the context is being questioned, a change in
    attitude is being requested. Have you been reading the comments at all?Recommend

  • Dalai Lama

    I mean it baffles me that of all the things, nusts’ approach is to think that oh, war zone hoga tu mareez mu pe nikaq se uncomfortable na feel karey. Rather than thinking of recruiting more kids, enlarging their batches so that there can be more doctors in command at such a point. More equipment and more checkpoints that ca be of service. THAT lessens the worry of the poor and the injured. NOT the niqab on your face. Get a life.

    Similarly, the case with the nust curfew hours. It took no less than a week for the army to send mazdur to erect a boundary wall outside the four or five askaris when a road was being constructed outside each one of them. So when security issues are being raised, why don’t they just erect mighty walls surrounding the campus so that at least students can freely walk to the cafes and back rather than raising weird questions of intermingling and such and letting the media abuse them hence. Tamasha hai bas, noones interested.

    As I mentioned somewhere in the many comments under this blog, its one of the many things wrong at nust, its like opening a closet full of skeletons.Recommend

  • whoever

    Off topic but what’s the dress code like in Army Medical College?
    And removing differences? Diversity should be respected. Within decency yes. But it should be respected. We should be encouraged to accept than just eradicate whatever we think is against our ideas.Recommend

  • 007

    Thank you for writing such an insightful, balanced and logical piece. Every word makes sense and I pity the people who fail to understand the truth behind all this Hungama.Recommend

  • Please!

    Dude get over it. If you can’t sleep just because of whether they the university wanted dopatta on the head or the shoulders just go to the campus and see for yourself.Recommend

  • q

    Are you sure that health certificates are only asked by Nust?
    Or that they serve no purpose at all?
    Maybe you should check whether health certificates are asked else where in the world and what purpose they serve there.
    It would benefit you.Recommend

  • a

    True that! A random guy with no affiliation to Nust is harping about a university he has no idea about.
    Maybe he should have also enlightened us how the law reacts in london when there is an infringement of established rules there. Or for that matter besides educational institutes, aren’t dress codes observed anywhere else?
    Countless institutions and clubs for social gatherings have dress codes abroad.

  • Pappu

    What is mentioned in the dress codes book?? Dopata on the shoulder or dopata on the head?Recommend

  • afza

    blindly follow scriptures???? which scriptures ??
    just follow the Holy Quran with faith and acceptance.Recommend

  • ss

    Way to distort facts and produce a mish mash of stuff just to prove yourself right. Kudos!Recommend