GILGIT: The opposition parties in Gilgit-Baltistan have announced their support for the first-ever women sports gala — scheduled for Wednesday — with a condition that the event be held keeping in view Islamic and cultural values.

Talking to the local media recently, GB chief minister’s adviser Shams Lone had opposed the event, saying organising women sports gala was un-Islamic. He had also announced that he would play his role in getting the event cancelled.

Dawn tried to contact Mr Lone to get his opinion, but he didn’t respond.

The event is being organised by the GB government.

An official told Dawn on condition of anonymity that GB Chief Secretary Mohyuddin Ahmed Wani has taken all stakeholders, including leaders of the opposition parties, into confidence to hold the event under SOPs.

The GB cabinet members have also been persuaded to support the event, the official said.

GB opposition leader Amjad Hussein said organising a women sports event under Islamic and cultural values is not objectionable, adding that the issue was mismanaged due to negligence on the part of the PTI government.

Former GB chief minister and PML-N president Hafeezur Rehman, with talking to the media, said they have no objection to women’s physical activity, but it should be done “in veil and within the moral values”.

According to sources, the GB ministers are also negotiating with religious leaders who were opposed to the event.

The first-ever Gilgit-Baltistan Women Sports Gala 2022 will be held on Oct 5 in Gilgit’s Lalik Jan Stadium. The purpose of this event is to provide equal opportunities to women in sports. The event includes cricket, basketball, tennis, badminton, squash, table tennis and hockey tournaments.

Published in Dawn, October 4th, 2022

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