The Higher Education Commission (HEC) has banned Holi celebrations in educational institutes throughout the country, citing a deviation from the sociocultural values and Islamic identity of Pakistan. The notification regarding the ban was issued by HEC on Tuesday.

According to the notification, students are prohibited from observing the festival to uphold sociocultural values.

“While there is no denying the fact that cultural, ethnic, and religious diversity leads towards an inclusive and tolerant society, that profoundly respects all faiths and creeds; albeit it needs to be done so in a measured manner without going overboard. The students need to be apprised to be aware of the self-serving vested interests who use them for their own ends far from the altruistic critical thinking paradigm.”


The decision comes a few days after Holi celebrations were held on June 12 by students at Quaid-i-Azam University. The notification, while referring to the event, said that “it has caused concern and has disadvantageously affected the country’s image.