The Punjab School Education Department (PSED) has placed a ban on dance performances by students in all private and government schools in the province, DawnNewsTV reported on Monday.

The ban extends to performances on occasions of prize distribution, parents' day, teachers' day and other events, PSED Chief Executive Officer Zahid Bashir Goraya told DawnNewsTV. He added that the education department would suspend the license of any school that allows or forces children to dance at any school event.

Goraya said that the decision was taken after the department received complaints that children were being made to dance on Pakistani and Indian songs at school events.

In light of the recent increase in the reports of sexual abuse of children, some critics are of the opinion that making kids dance leads to their sexualisation.

An attempt to ban dance performances and classes was also made in Sindh in 2016, when one of the three Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers in the 168-strong Sindh Assembly, Khurrum Sher Zaman, allegedly objected to the inclusion of dance classes in some private schools and wrote to the provincial education minister to take “appropriate action”.

However, Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah had ordered the withdrawal of any such notification, saying that the provincial government believes in preserving and promoting culture and heritage as enshrined in the Constitution of Pakistan.

"Action is being taken against any notification issued to ban dance in schools and those responsible will be taken to task," Shah had said.

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