The Christian Science article has the details. "Top Pakistan university to ban kissing"
To a reader of an 'open' society, this might sound ridiculous but to us conservative lot on the world map.. it does matter.
Pakistani society is conservative. Conservative does not mean that 'nothing happens here'. God damn it.. everything happens here from prostitution (worst case child prostitution), pedophilia, drugs, alcohol, dancing girls, homosexuality, rape and murder.. you name it and we have it. Nowadays we offer products that are considered niche in other societies like terrorism and religious extremism. So please do not think that we are cave dwellers. Far from it.
Majority of the Pakistanis are really simple people. Case in point my uncle, when my father told him that 'someone' does alcohol and thats the reason for 'something' that happened to him, he was surprised and asked 'Can we get liquor in Pakistan?!' OK may be my uncle is a bit far too much simple but this is a fact that ordinary Pakistanis frown upon societal deviations - no date, no alcohol, no drugs, no prostitution. The guy who who offers prayers regularly, does charity and is sincere to his family is a role model. Frankly, the guy may be a monster inside but what he portrays is important in our society.
This brings us to an important aspect - your portrayal. Looks matter. A girl in pardah (veil) is a 'nice girl', a girl who might be wearing jeans is considered 'deviant'. Similarly, a guy who has beard and says his prayers is a 'nice' guy. On a side note, a famous and notorious cinema in Peshawar which ran porn movies, had an audience that mostly consisted of bearded fellows that had prayer caps on their heads. I am not 'insulting' people with religious attire or hinting that they are perverts.. just that it does happen. Perhaps everyone is a pervert is his/ her own manner including myself.
Getting back to the topic, should an educational institute have laws and regulations regarding Public Display of Affection (PDAs) as the LUMS case or should it be 'free for all'? In my opinion, an educational institute is an 'educational institute'. You are there to learn. Ok some might say that 'kissing is learning' but I am talking about studies and curricula, the only tongue movement I am talking about might be speaking of a language. Note that I am totally against Laws and Regulations to this effect because I find them too restrictive and abusive. LUMS would be totally going the wrong direction if they 'regulated' this area. Instead, they should try to make it a 'norm' that PDAs are restricted in LUMS. They are free to do anything as long as they are not on campus.
When you do something by force or make regulations for them, it becomes counter productive. The blue shuttle burqa is a cultural item of Afghanistan but when the Taliban forced women to wear it, it became the symbol of oppression. Women in Afghanistan still wear that burqa because that is part of their culture! The dark era of pakistani society was the military dictatorship of Gen. Ziaul Haq in 1980s. He prolonged his rule by using Islam. His version of Islam was very restrictive in which there were punishments for everything; from adultery, alcohol consumption to 'not respecting the holy month of ramadan by not fasting'. Committees were to be formed that were supposed to promote congregational prayers. Of course all this regulation meant that ordinary people were exploited by those who were at the helm of affairs. A couple walking together could be questioned by Police as to their credentials. They had to show that they were married (to be walking together) and for that people kept their registered marriage deeds (nikah nama) with them!
But even if you state PDA disapproval in form of norms, the boundaries will always be tested. Does holding hands count as a disapproval? Would the lady who initially sent the 'protest email' in campus mail show her displeasure at that too? It would be better if LUMS or any academic institute would 'establish' an environment where more focus is on studies and opinion freedom rather than PDAs.
The secular conservative mind crap will keep on continuing. What matters is that they don't come to blows - thats where the it really gets messy. Remember Lal Mosque? when Gen. Musharraf's rule saw a term 'Enlightened Moderation', to some it was a separate lane from religious extremism in which others opinion was not accepted but the term is used in different sense in general public. A beauty parlour which secretly runs as brothel (they do really), it would be said that the parlour was following the path of enlightened moderation. But the thing is that one should not go crazy like a religious fanatic and start to attack people and similarly one should not be insensitive to the feeling of others when he/ she considers himself/ herself a person not bound by traditions and social codes. Preserve the beautiful traditions we have, innovate and advance in opinions and respect the opinions of others. If you can that is.
To quote the article
""I think [the debate over the kiss] signifies a conflict between different cultural identities and shows there is something unresolved there," he says."Trust me. It will always be unresolved and it'll keep figuring up in discussions in one form or the other. If its not kissing, it will be something else. Societies grow like this. Its a natural evolutionary process. It is just that you will be on either side of the divide.