ISLAMABAD -- An effort to ban hip-hop music in Pakistani schools instead turned into a lesson in tolerance in a nation where religious fundamentalism has been on the rise.
In January Pakistan's Punjab Assembly passed a resolution to end "objectionable" music concerts in schools, but the measure was widely repudiated in the media for impinging on free, creative expression.
"What's next? A resolution seeking a ban on wearing jeans in academic institutions?" one assembly member said.
A few days after it passed, the measure was overturned. The abrupt about-face highlights the sometimes tense balance in Pakistan between a youth culture raised on a diet of YouTube and conservative Pakistanis willing to curb certain freedoms for the sake of tradition and cultural integrity.
The controversy was a potential awkward moment for the U.S., which has engaged in so-called hip-hop diplomacy, using the art form in its cultural outreach efforts in Pakistan and elsewhere.