Punjab Minister Yasmin Rashid denied allegations on Friday that women not wearing scarves were denied entry to Punjab Secretariat upon her orders and said that a show cause notice has been issued to the guard who made the claim.
Earlier, the minister’s block of Punjab Civil Secretariat is facing backlash for reportedly denying entry to women without a headscarf or dupatta upon orders allegedly given by Punjab Primary and Secondary Healthcare Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid.
A social media user, Sidra Butt, recorded her experience with the guards at the minister’s block, corroborating the account of another woman who had found herself in the same predicament a few days earlier.
“I went to the Minister’s Block of Civil Secretariat in Lahore today because I had heard of this issue that you can’t enter without a dupatta. They denied me entry too. I asked for written orders and there were none. They used Dr Yasmin Rashid’s name to do so.”
went to the Minister’s Block, Civil Secretariat lhr today coz I heard of this issue that you can’t enter without a dupatta. They refused me too. I asked for written orders and there were none. They used your name ma’am @Dr_YasminRashid . You can see. @PTIofficial #NayaPakistan pic.twitter.com/HvzLThV0Lh
— sidra butt (@ButtSidra) October 19, 2018
In the video, the guard can be heard claiming that the order was issued by Health Minister Dr Yasmin Rashid after a woman from Mayo Hospital came to meet her “inappropriately dressed”.
“She then directed us to deny entry to any woman who did not adorn a dupatta.”
In response, Sidra can be heard asking them if they had any written orders to prove it.
“No, she called us in and directed us verbally. Then, another minister rebuked us, saying you have eyes do not let them in from the gates.”
“I mean, would you like it if every guy gawks at you in public?” he commented offhandedly.
Sidra can be further heard saying that she was not wearing “anything objectionable” and it wouldn’t be a problem even if she went to visit some religious scholar wearing the same.
“Wear a dupatta and we’ll let you in.”
“We don’t have any issue with what you’re wearing. We were allowing people irrespective of their dress or manner. However, these orders were issued a few days earlier because a woman came in wearing body-hugging jeans and shirt.”
The guard went on to relate a similar incident when a woman was denied entry on account of no dupatta.
“First, she said she didn’t have a dupatta. However, later she fished it out of her bag. Then we let her go.” he claimed.
Later, Sidra asks him if she just needs to drape it on her shoulders or cover her head in order to be granted permission to go into the minister’s block.
“Just drape a piece of fabric if you don’t want to cover your head. You have eyes, you can see. Just be careful with how you dress.”
However, when she tells him that she really didn’t have a dupatta with her, he replies: “Should I ask someone to lend a dupatta then?”
“See, that is not the issue,” she stressed.
The video ends with the guard walking off, directing someone to take her national identity card (NIC) and let her in.