This study aimed to explore the principal’s perceptions about, and strategies for, increasing students’ active participation in the day-to-day affairs and decision-making at a secondary school located in a rural, mountainous region of Pakistan. By exploring the principal’s leadership practices, this study aims to answer the question, ‘how can school principals promote students’ participation in school leadership and, in turn, how can such participation ultimately lead to a socially just and democratic community?’ To us ‘school leadership’ is not a set of skills or positional authority that lies in one individual – the principal – but it is a practice which is widely distributed and engaged by a range of people including students in the day-to-day affairs and business of the school. Although, students’ participation in curricular and co-curricular activities and decision-making processes in schools is widely studied elsewhere, there is hardly any study on this topic in the context of Pakistan, particularly with reference to rural schools. Therefore, an empirical investigation based on a qualitative case study method was conducted to collect data from the principal as well as from other members of the school community regarding the leadership practices that promote students’ active participation in school affairs. The findings of the study reveal a number of interesting and contextually relevant strategies used by the principal as well as the gaps between his beliefs and practices and the challenges he faces in increasing students’ participation in various activities and decisions at the school.