I’ve lived in all major cities of Pakistan, including Peshawar, and I’ve always noticed that apart from Karachi and to some extent Lahore, most men prefer to wear the national dress. But now the men of Peshawar have been told to stop wearing the shirt and trousers and wear the shalwar kurta instead. This is to prevent any crazy Taliban type from attacking those who wear Western clothes (this has happened a few times in the past).
What I don’t understand is why the shalwar kurta is considered to be an Islamic dress. The shalwar kurta is actually of Iranian origin, first worn by non-Muslims who lived In Iran before Islam was adopted by the people. If there is such a thing as an Islamic dress, it should be the robe which is worn in Saudi Arabia and other Arab countries.
When I was in my teens, some mullahs used to say that Allah doesn’t accept the prayers of those who wear the Western dress when praying. But no one objects to Muslims wearing suit and tie praying in mosques in Turkey and Saudi Arabia (as well as in Malaysia and Singapore).
Similarly in Pakistan, mullahs say that women should not wear jeans, but I have seen women wearing jeans under their abayas while walking around the Holy Kaaba. The truth is, there is no such thing as an Islamic dress (or a Hindu or Christian dress, for that matter).