No dance parties but dars allowed, rules DHA

Published: August 12, 2012
Pakistani youth dance during an electronic music showcase in Lahore early July 17, 2011. PHOTO : AFP/FILE

Pakistani youth dance during an electronic music showcase in Lahore early July 17, 2011. PHOTO : AFP/FILE


Defence Housing Authority (DHA) has restricted its residents from hosting musical programmes and dance parties at home while allowing other events such as Quran Khwanis and dars gatherings.

Two months ago, DHA issued the new set of guidelines on its website and outside its main office listing permissible and prohibited activities.

Mehndis, nikkahs and birthday parties are allowed but musical and dance parties have been banned in what some residents see as DHA’s attempt to morally police its residents. “DHA has no legal authority to issue such a directive,” reacted Asad Kizalbash of the Association of Defence Residents. “Responding to a complaint from a neighbour about too much noise is something different. Issuing a firm directive like this means they are out to teach us morality. This is unacceptable.” The Association of Defence Residents is an umbrella group of half a dozen associations.

The largest one is Defence Society Residents Association with 3,000 members.

DHA vigilance staff has been directed to stop events held without permission.

In a meeting held with DHA Administrator Brig Aamer Raza a few weeks back, the association registered its protest. “Vigilance staff will be taking the law into their hands if they start peeking into our homes,” pointed out Kizalbash.

There are close to 50,000 tax-paying households in DHA and Cantonment Board Clifton which has its own bylaws on the use of property. Some residents suspect that DHA’s restrictions are an attempt to clamp down on people renting out houses for private events even though there are clear delineations on residential and commercial spaces.

According to resident Nasir Husain, a 1,000 sq yd house will fetch a maximum of Rs100,000 in rent. “Give it for any other purpose and you can earn Rs250,000 a month. Owners are naturally tempted to let all this happen.” He gave the example of a house off Khayaban-e-Rahat being used to record or ‘dharna’ or protest with 30 people. In his brief remarks, a DHA spokesman said residents have to seek permission before arranging any event. “This has been done to address complaints about noise pollution,” he said. DHA has thus restricted the use of loudspeakers to play music but has not said anything about religious congregations.

The DHA neighbourhoods are not close knit like others around Karachi. “When you know your neighbour, you get to learn about each other’s family background and the dislikes,” said one resident. “If loud music, drinking and dancing is an issue, you can simply talk things over. That doesn’t happen here.” The association for residents has realised this problem and is organising meetings to bring residents together.

This would help at least spread the message – which for now was only available on the website and at the DHA office. Residents Farea Khan and Amra Ghazanfar told The Express Tribune that they had no idea that there were restrictions. “Why would they do that?” added Farea.

As for one resident Mehek Ali, the news was met with skepticism: “I don’t see it lasting – no one is going to stick to the ban.” 

Published in The Express Tribune, August 12th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (87)

  • Aug 12, 2012 - 1:00AM

    hmm..Seems like moral policing has become the norm of the day in recent times.. Maya khanz , Amir liaqats and now a particular mindset wants to invade our homes too :S :S


  • Agha
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:03AM

    I would suggest hiring Maya khan for this, she has experience in finding immoral happenings in neighbourhood! :)


  • Noman Ansari
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:06AM

    Who is anyone to police anyone? How will they differentiate between kawali and dance party? One man’s kawali is another man’s ‘dance party’. ;)

    I also hate this term… ‘dance party’. :P


  • Asif
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:08AM

    Banning dance parties but allowing religious fanatics to gather in one place.What they are now allowing is a far more dangerous activity for society than dance parties could ever be.


  • Raza
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:17AM

    Yeah trust DHA to ignore real issues like water shortage and focus on moral policing eyes roll


  • wacko898
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:25AM

    hahahaha pakistan ufffff

    taliban say pyaar hai ya pakistan say?

    osama bin laden hero hai?

    tehreek-e-taliban ‘good taliban’ hain?

    answers please


  • Anonymous
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:28AM

    hahha. Brilliant. Living under the rule of brigadier (Army) for years, the defendants of democrazy finally feel the heat and protest against it.


  • Realist
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:33AM

    “Issuing a firm directive like this means they are out to teach us morality. This is unacceptable.”

    Morality is work of Satan. We must never learn it.


  • Abdullah Abdullah
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:33AM

    How can you compare Quran khawanis and dars with dance parties?

    Dance parties where sexual promiscuousness happens, free mixing happens, alcohol and women is objectified

    Visit any capital of the West to see the harms of these freedoms.


  • Ali
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:34AM

    OMG! No dance parties? This is so bad and it is a big zulm on “poor” residents.


  • Aug 12, 2012 - 1:38AM

    A Very Good Step by DHA authorities… Maybe this will help reduce all the indecencies we locals have to suffer because of some special folks who ‘know’ people.


  • Atta
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:45AM

    separate area for parties could be arranged in DHA where the noise does not disturb other residents and a permission be sought prior to organizing anything.


  • Aug 12, 2012 - 1:48AM

    DHA authority took good step


  • shadi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:49AM

    true that…DHA or any other body should constraint them selves from starting moral police…these things never go well in any country!


  • khan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:56AM

    Issues of the rich, people like me and 99 percent other Pakistanis don’t care.


  • ThisMeansWar
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:58AM

    Thank you DHA for this bold step! Finally someone taking a stand!Recommend

  • Ahmad
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:02AM

    Oh ET, what shall thou earn from this??


  • 3 talwar
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:15AM

    i have heard maya khan will be petrolling dha along with her accomplices and cameras


  • Saveed
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:31AM

    good effort…I appreciate that


  • Syed Bilal
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:33AM

    Very legitimate decision in my opinion. Though late but management has decided towards right path which certainly testimonial to the fact that we in East simply can’t accept these pubs n parties either socially or religiously.


  • ConcernedPatriot
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:45AM

    Pakistani qaum only thrives on ‘danda’s zor’ ..well done!


  • ANS
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:46AM



  • Samee
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:47AM

    Bravo first ever good step taken by DHA authorities,Please ban alcohol/music and all kinds of intoxicants in the next phase,Why? Because this is “Islamic Republic” of Pakistan,Not somebody’s Khala Jee’s house,Thanks to Zia policies and fundamentalist Islamists who’ve been holding these people back.


  • Nayyar Shafi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:20AM

    I really appreciate the decision taken by DHA Authorities, this will keep a check in Noise Pollution in the area.


  • Jawad
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:05AM

    Its common law in first world. I live in europe and its very common here, live it.


  • Yasir
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:21AM

    Liked that. Afterall, someone has to stop these immoral activities.Recommend

  • Mj
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:10AM

    “DHA has no legal authority to issue such a directive,” reacted Asad Kizalbash of the Association of Defence Residents. “Responding to a complaint from a neighbour about too much noise is something different. Issuing a firm directive like this means they are out to teach us morality. This is unacceptable.”

    Exactly. Noise complaints and ‘moral’ policing are entirely different issues.


  • Concerned
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:22AM

    It is true that loud music can be a nuisance and should be controlled, especially if it is disturbing people. But banning any non-religious gatherings and then employing ‘vigilance staff’ to monitor what residents are doing in private? This is outrageous and illegal! Stop trying to morally police everyone in this country, people will never conform, morality is arguably relative – what is viewed as moral by some is immoral according to others.


  • Dr. Ali Ahmed
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:48AM

    If you don’t like it .. leave DHA

    like Gliani said “Whos stopping you” ;)

    btw to an extent its good, there has been loads of disturbance in the neighborhood along with streets with drunks all around… Robs, Rapes, murders along with accidents happen..

    Still missing Daniyal butt, the child who was killed by drunk driver in Saba Ave, Phase 5, dha


  • @plarkin
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:06AM

    What killjoys these faceless bureaucrats. I’d sooner host a drinks party then parroting out some rubbish.


  • Sheraz
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:34AM

    Great & the brave Move. When i was a teenager all these such activities like Dance parties and Musical Hungama always use to fantasizes me. But now i realize it’s just an other way to promote vulgarity & distraction in our young generation . Really appreciate DHA’s law.


  • khalq e khuda
    Aug 12, 2012 - 9:37AM

    So endless dars, majalis, qawalis, mehndis are not noise pollution?

    If DHA wants to curb noise pollution there should be one blanket rule for all. Why should my peace of mind be disturbed because someone else is feeling religious at any given day.

    Needlessto say the children of Army Officers can have their recreational get togethers at their Creek and Golf club memberships paid from our hard earned tax payers money.


  • OK
    Aug 12, 2012 - 11:32AM

    vry brilliant job DHA!


  • Mohammad
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:05PM

    It is your house, inside your house you do whatever you likeRecommend

  • FDR
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:15PM

    I bet DHA is making its own facilities for this purpose, so it wants to create a monopoly for the activity for itself.

    It would make total sense


  • Aug 12, 2012 - 12:20PM

    Great Decision. I hope it is not rescinded.


  • Mard-e-Haq
    Aug 12, 2012 - 12:39PM

    Has the Taliban taken over the DHA?


  • Jeddy
    Aug 12, 2012 - 1:58PM

    The message is clear have your dance parties outside DHA


  • Aug 12, 2012 - 2:27PM

    I bet DHA is making its own facilities for this purpose, so it wants to create a monopoly for the activity for itself.Recommend

  • Sharick Ali
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:31PM

    @Dr. Ali Ahmed:

    Millions of families still missing their thousands of loved ones killed directly and indirectly by the intolerence and rigidity induced at religious assemblies of most tastes. Shall we not shut them down too?

    Particularly the lectures on bidah and the tabarra to counter it.


  • Waiting
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:39PM

    There was a lot more in the list than just dars’ and dance parties. For the sake of a punchy headline you have perhaps deliberately polarised the issue. Also, a shot of DHA would have been more appropriate than the pic you have used.The DHA has also banned marriages, and that would be as, if not more relevant, than dance parties. Sadly there is no mention of that at all! So yes, while its an important story, your treatment of it is sorely lacking.


  • Aug 12, 2012 - 2:48PM

    Zia’s clones still running around with unruly beards & shalwars above their ankles! Sadly we are still living in stone ages.


  • Shahrukh kazmi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 2:56PM

    please don’t even compare dance parties with dars, i guess we are being too wannabees and forgotten our own culture and our islamic norms and now adays its like a fashion to bash about our own country and our own religion please don’t say anything about those dars when you did not went in any of those.

    Dars does teach you how to be a fanatic it tells you about Islam and nobody is forcing you do what they are saying atleast be a part in one of those dars and then give your opinion, at least for me sitting 15 minutes in dars is better than a hangover.


  • Big Rizvi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:04PM

    Good morning, all. I welcome you to Saudia Pakistnia.


  • pqr
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:11PM

    How can DHA tell people whether or not they can play music inside their homes which they own…this overstepping of authority is becoming far too common in Pakistan. Anyone with any authority goes out of control in this country.


  • Anum
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:22PM

    It is a pity reading the headlines of this article; a gathering where Allah’s praise and the Prophet’s teachings are discussed is more of a headache to you than dance parties where alcohol flows freely and God knows what other vices come later?

    Now the liberals will say that the people who are commenting against what you have written are Islamists and fanatics, and what not!


  • AkhtarMehmod
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:33PM

    I asked DHA to please tell my neighbonurs down the street to turn down their speakers during taraweeh (it is noise pollution for me), but they refused.


  • Zamir
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:34PM

    Why all this fuss? Everywhere in the world you need permissions for events that cause disturbances in the neighborhood. How come we Pakistanis obey such rules when overseas but insist on breaking the same rules when in our own backyard?


  • Ayaz Hussain Channa
    Aug 12, 2012 - 3:40PM

    DHA good initiative to improve islamic life . I appreciate that step.


  • JR
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:07PM

    Very good step by DHA! Now lets hope it gets enforced! Along with this, steps should be taken to eliminate the Alcohol and Drugs culture which is also present in those parties


  • Donku
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:13PM

    This happens everywhere in the world, your freedom of doing-anything-you-want should not cost discomfort to other members of community . If 9 people protest about something 1 person should respect their stance instead of adopting sympathy act.


  • Complex
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:44PM

    as always liberals would be crying..


  • A-R-M
    Aug 12, 2012 - 4:46PM

    DHA needs to let us live!! drugs n booze is OUR CHOICE! We want to party, and party hard! We don’t have nightclubs, so we throw house parties! pump it….LOUDER!!! :D


  • TTV
    Aug 12, 2012 - 5:24PM

    Well, this is going to be a bit of an inconvenience. In most cases abroad, neighbours are allowed to file a noise complaint with the police if a party on their street is too loud. But placing a ban on dance parties seems like a bit of a stretch. Especially in an area where there isn’t much to do at night anyway.

    I think the best solution would be for DHA to lift the ban on all events and to set up a hotline for noise complaints to tackle the issue of excessively loud events, whether it’s a dance party or a dars.


  • PM
    Aug 12, 2012 - 6:21PM

    Talibanisation in process … Start with DHA & the faujis


  • observer
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:29PM

    And then Pakistan acts as if is is a victim of Taliban.


  • observer
    Aug 12, 2012 - 7:32PM

    Soon DHA will have a Police Force to ensure everyone is at Salat, 5 times a day and liong beards too.


  • choptocut
    Aug 12, 2012 - 8:46PM

    Welcome to Mullah land


  • SMHasan
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:03PM

    Dars and Quran Khwani should also be allowed only in Mosques……….

    Before DHA makes rules they should improve their track record of enforcing the rules…………… If you are a wadera, minister or military highup, you can block roads, build security camp outside you house encroaching on footpath and road.


  • Saadi
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:19PM

    Good step.


  • Liberal
    Aug 12, 2012 - 10:44PM

    Great another financed post by ET. Paid journalism.


  • khurram kaleem
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:37AM

    In pakistan lying is acceptable but not lying in hip hop on floor !


  • M_ALI
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:42AM

    Dance or do whatever you want to do but let the neighbours keep in peace and dont disturb them! Its as simple as that.


  • Nusrat Salim
    Aug 13, 2012 - 1:26AM

    @Ayaz Hussain Channa – DHA good initiative to improve islamic life . I appreciate that step.
    Are you kidding me and your definition of improvement of Islamic life? Love the monitors of Islamic life that is why the state of the union is in such a mess, we are living according to the teachings but yet corruption, sexual frustration, domestic abuse, rape, child molestation and violence is a way of life!


  • Sharabi Kababi
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:34AM

    It is unbelievably sad that people in Pakistan do not understand something so simple. It is not “OUR” religion, you cannot say that because you cannot impose that religion on anyone; YOUR own religion forbids that. You have to realize that what is so “beautiful” and “holy” and “right” for you i.e. dars, taraweeh, and melaad, might be as annoying to someone as his “immoral” activities might be in your eyes.

    And if you’re saying that YOUR values deserve to be imposed on everyone simply because YOUR values are held by the majority, then I hope all the places in the world where Muslims are a minority start whacking Muslims, raping and killing each one of them, simply because they don’t believe in what the majority believes. How would that feel?


  • S
    Aug 13, 2012 - 6:01AM

    Well done, I am glad someone is thinking, these should be banned all over Pakistan. May ALLAH changes heart of these few westernised liberals


  • Sajid
    Aug 13, 2012 - 7:09AM

    dance parties? Tobah Tobah… this doesn’t happen in Pakistan…:D


  • Moz
    Aug 13, 2012 - 9:40AM

    Thats alrite, lets do a dance party and call it a dars. Dance Parties in the name of dars.


  • Kaka
    Aug 13, 2012 - 10:35AM

    @Riaz Khan:
    Shame on u


  • Sheesha
    Aug 13, 2012 - 11:04AM

    Now we Gulshanites don’t have to go all the way to DHA for these ‘dance parties’. They now seem to be coming on this side of the bridge lol … Appreciate it !!


  • Khan
    Aug 13, 2012 - 11:57AM

    @Big Rizvi: and also welcome to Irani Pakistania….


  • psychedelic
    Aug 13, 2012 - 12:02PM

    Funny that the CJ has not taken suo moto notice as yet??
    Oh wait, he is too busy cleaning the mess of his son’s case!


  • ali
    Aug 13, 2012 - 2:39PM

    What goes on within somebody’s house is nobody’s business. People who live in Defence mostly abide by law and try to follow the DHA code. It should be left up to them whether they host dance parties or qawallis as long as they are not disrupting the peace of the neighborhood. Please grow up. We don’t want to be pushed all the way back into ZIA’s era when we are still stumbling out of it.


  • asy-ma-wail
    Aug 13, 2012 - 3:10PM

    O oo! I feel so sorry for poor wannabe’s. See how the “religious fanatics” are ruining their “peaceful” and sincere efforts of being recognized as westerns. tsuk tsuk ! awwww ! little brownnies !

    now listen whiners! you want to do crap? do it with close doors and low sound– or if you need loud music, then fly to dubai/Europe for a weekend, after all your Dads have sucked enough blood out of our veins to feed you..


  • Saad
    Aug 13, 2012 - 3:33PM

    The dance party that used to happen on new year’s night near my house used to involve loud music that could be heard till 5am throughout the block and aerial firing by guards at 12am. Not to mention a huge army of menacing security guards on hilux and land cruisers on my street. I’m sure even the liberals won’t admire such a party that disturbs and invades the space of other residents.

    However i have no issue if someone has a quiet party inside their home. I also agree that dars, milad etc should also be done in a way that it doesn’t disturb other people.

    But lets also keep in mind that the dominant culture on the street will always be what the majority wishes it to be. There can never be 100% neutral secularism in a conservative society… e.g. you can’t have a guy drinking right outside a mosque claiming it to be his right. The majority public in Pakistan wants a conservative culture in their neighbourhood where people don’t dance and drink in public… whether the liberal elite minority likes it or not, we need to respect the sentiments of the majority. Same goes for Muslims in the west,… if the majority is uncomfortable when Muslims pray in public places, better not to do it.


  • Fact
    Aug 13, 2012 - 3:38PM

    Go to other parts of this city and you’ll be amazed at what all people get upto. Just because the volume is low, it doesnt mean all those activities which take place at a so called ‘dance party’ don’t occur there either! This is one side of the story and seems to be the view of someone who isnt invited, moral policing, please!


  • V
    Aug 13, 2012 - 5:09PM

    @Saad it seems that you were not invited to your neighbors party; what were u even doing at home on a new years eve ?!

    what i do in my home is my business as long as it is not disturbing the people around me (FIRST WORLD LAW) and how many of you people commenting here actually live in defense, parties are rather difficult to break up as they have tons of security and usually have DHA sanctioned mobiles standing outside. I doubt DHA will be able to enforce this law as their vigilance mobile is a complete joke infront of personal security at most DHA residences and parties are usually held at influential personalities houses due to security concerns. So good luck with that brigadier whatever sahb, unless you send in the army i doubt a party in full swing will be broken up. Those attending the party are not forcing their “Immoral views” on you or society for that matter, so it is not your place to bring them into the light.


  • casim
    Aug 13, 2012 - 6:37PM

    for all those so called “liberals”, it has nothing to do with religion! such activities are deemed unlawful even in the west! would you like to hear loud music being played in your neighbourhood while you try to sleep at 12am?! even wedding functions are not allowed to continue past 10pm so why you liberals so huffed up at this ban? I would vote for a ban on all alcohol or drug related activities. Liberals get a life, seriously!


  • Kay
    Aug 13, 2012 - 6:55PM

    There is an easy solution for this ” open a few sound proof night clubs and dance bars” as is done in many other Islamic countries.


  • Moz
    Aug 14, 2012 - 1:59AM


    Oh so u r giving us an example of immoral west?? You know people use Islam to kill by literally acting on Islamic teachings. And you don’t rule my house. And there is no music that comes out of my house, it stays within. So Islamists get a life.


  • khurram
    Aug 14, 2012 - 5:33AM

    Wish they could ban use of loud speakers too. Every year around 12 Rabi ul Awal, we are subjected to an all night session of Naats played by the pious ones at full volume . Seems too religious for DHA vigilance to interfere for fear of fire falling from sky.


  • Ansari
    Aug 14, 2012 - 8:30AM

    Applause for DHA. They should be strict in implementation of this rule. Other societies also follow these footsteps to uproot this evil of “dance parties”. Secular extremists are the biggest threat to Pakistan and they should be nabbed.


  • Aleem (One who knows all of them in reality)
    Aug 14, 2012 - 1:02PM

    No Dance and/or Alcoholic parties/gatherings should reasonably be allowed in DHA. It is a good step and every morally peace & tranquility loving people should and would appreciate this step.


  • papoo piplia
    Aug 14, 2012 - 2:18PM

    That’s straight down interference into personal lives of people. DHA people won’t have much brains to understand this though.


  • Khurram Shamsher Lall
    Aug 18, 2012 - 5:58AM

    @Abdullah Abdullah: You are quite right. I see this every day here in the USA. I know one American man younger than I am (42; he is 29) and has five different children by five different women. He also is a fan of dance parties.


  • Donatella Rochelle Khan
    Aug 19, 2012 - 9:46AM

    @Khurram Shamsher Lall: You are quite right. I see this every day here in the Texas- USA. I know one Pakistani-American man younger than I am (43; he is 30) He is a devote Musliman prays 5 times a day has different children by different women. By day he is a devoted husband/father/Muslim leader and he changes his persona at night He is a mega fan of dance parties.


  • Yusuf Kazi
    Aug 31, 2012 - 2:11AM

    Excellent decision. Such immoral gatherings and parties contribute to increased sexual assault and rape in Pakistan.


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