SANGHAR: The Pir Pagara, spiritual head of the Hurs, exhorted his disciples to educate their children, particularly girls, and give due respect to their women family members and their neighbours.

Wearing traditional robe and ‘kalangi’, he was addressing tens of thousands of his devotees in Awadh, some 20kms from Sanghar, on Sunday.

The Pir Pagaro was on a five-day spiritual tour of the district of Sanghar where a huge majority of his followers live. His address in Awadh mainly dwelt on women’s rights, especially their right to inheritance and education.

He said that in order to face contemporary challenges, education was a necessity. He encouraged them to arrange inter-caste marriages and advised them to discourage underage and forced marriages.

He said that an educated woman was a blessing for a family and urged his followers to give due right of inheritance to their female family members.

Admiring the services and sacrifices of the Pakistan Army for the defence of the country, he exhorted the mammoth congregation to stay loyal to the country. He asked them to carry out tree plantation for their own benefit and environment.

Later on, at the residence of MNA Pir Bux Junejo, the Pir Pagaro, who is also head of the Pakistan Muslim League-Functional (PML-F), told reporters that the Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) had shrunk to Sindh only. In the 2018 general election, it would lose that position also, he added. Taking exception to the behaviour of the PPP legislators in the Sindh Assembly, he said the PPP leadership should rethink that how such people who did not know to respect women reached the assemblies. He said that it was not the first time that the PPP had shown disrespect to women.

The Pir Pagaro reached Sanghar city to attend a spiritual congregation of his disciples on Monday. A huge number of his devotees, including women and children, had already reached the venue and had set up their makeshift arrangements for an overnight stay.

On the call of the PML-F local chapter, a demonstration was held at Shaheed Chowk Khipro on Sunday in protest against the behaviour of the PPP legislators against MPA Nusrat Sehr Abbasi in the Sindh Provincial Assembly.

Holding placards in their hands and raising slogans against MPAs Imdad Pitafi and Temoor Talpur, they strongly condemned the offensive language used by the PPP members for Nusrat Sehr Abbasi.

They demanded an apology in public and resignation from Imdad Pitafi both as a minister and member of the assembly.

Published in Dawn January 23rd, 2017