On one end of the spectrum there are people like Younus Qambrani of the Pak Shaheen Boxing Club, who has been teaching Lyari’s youth how to box since 1994 and started to train girls in the sport last year. One the other end there are people like Mr Khurrum Sher Zaman, one of the three Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) lawmakers in the Sindh Assembly, who objected to the alleged inclusion of dance classes in some private schools and wrote to the provincial education minister to take “appropriate action.” Civil society was quick to point out the irony of his objections, since dance and music are a regular feature in PTI rallies.

A young girl named Razia Abdul Aziz and her mother are making Lyari proud as they train seven days a week for an hour or more at the Shaheen Boxing Club.

Razia, 19, says that her dream was to become a professional boxer and represent Pakistan at the Olympics. Women need to be encouraged to make their own choices about who they want to be, for the same reason that men are. A woman representing Pakistan in the Olympics makes Pakistan as proud as a man. Her gender must not be a reason for pulling her down and cutting her to size. People can express themselves through dance as an art form, and dance, music, and poetry are also a core part of our culture. This war against women, against choice and against the arts must stop if Pakistanis are to breathe and live happy lives.

Culture is what we make of it and those like Mr Zaman, with selective criteria for what constitutes Pakistani culture need to keep their myopic opinions to themselves. Neither an artist, nor a dancer, nor a teacher, he has no depth or expertise to impose his moral values on his constituency. Mr Zaman has thumped his chest over the indignation he has suffered from something that does not affect him or cause him harm, but takes away skills and livelihoods from dancers and teachers.