Women’s cricket match stopped in Swat over ‘security concerns’

SWAT: A women’s cricket match in Swat’s Charbagh area was stopped on Sunday after officials cited “security concerns” and opposition from locals who believed women playing in open spaces “goes against cultural traditions”.

The match being played between women’s teams of Kanju and Gulkada was stopped after the local population objected to women’s sports activity.

Meanwhile, Tehsil Nazim Ehsanullah clarified that the decision was not against women’s sports, rather, it was made to ensure safety. He suggested that women can play cricket within enclosed areas.

The organiser was criticised for not informing the relevant authorities about the women’s cricket match, Assistant Commissioner (AC) Mohammad Yar said.

Officials expressed security concerns and demanded the rescheduling of the match to ensure the safety of the players, officials and others.

Following discussions, the organiser agreed to reschedule the women’s cricket match, taking into consideration the security issues, as per Assistant Commissioner Charbagh.

The deputy commissioner has also assured that women’s matches will be organised in a better way in the future, AC Yar said.

He also confirmed that the cricket match will be held again in the upcoming weeks.

Madrassa Administrator Mufti Rafiullah cited reports of armed groups in the area and threats to the police as reasons for taking action to stop women’s cricket matches.

Mufti Rafiullah explained that the decision to stop the match was made to prevent any law and order situation that might have arisen otherwise. “After discussions with the management and the organiser, the decision to stop the match was made with mutual understanding.” 

He added: “Women are an integral part of society, and I support granting them full rights.”

The cleric further clarified that women are allowed to play sports within the boundaries of Islamic law, emphasising that their participation should adhere to these guidelines.

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