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MPs asked to protect women’s rights

July 29, 2003


LAHORE, July 28: Former Supreme Court Judge Dr Javid Iqbal has called upon the woman parliamentarians to protect women’s rights.

Inaugurating an exhibition of 130 rare pictures of the Madr-i-Millat Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, organized by the Nazaria-i-Pakistan Foundation in collaboration with the Tehreek-i-Pakistan Workers Trust in connection with the four-day celebrations of the 110th Birthday of Madr-i-Millat here on Monday, Dr Javid Iqbal said that woman legislators should take notice of the excesses being perpetrated against those like them and move bills for their protection in the assemblies.

He said that woman legislators should visit the jails to see how women were being maltreated under the provisions of the Hudood Ordinance. “No body dares speak in favour of the woman accused of violating the Hudood Ordinance provisions. Anyone doing so is accused of spreading western ideas.”

He said democracy would have been strengthened in case Fatima Jinnah had defeated Gen Muhammad Ayub Khan in the presidential election but the government got her defeated.

He said the army had developed the habit of seizing power time and again because it managed to defeat Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah when she challenged the dictatorship of Gen Ayub Khan at a time when no body could dare to do so. He said that even the politicians had failed to give a true democracy to the country for which Madr-i-Millat had struggled.

He expressed surprise over the opinion that the death of Madr-i-Millat was not natural.

He said that the opinion had been given a long time after the demise of the Madr-i-Millat. He said that he had failed to understand the motive behind the idea as such ideas were always with ulterior motives.

Announcing details of the celebrations at a press conference here, Madr-i-Millat Year Celebration Committee Secretary MNA Begum Mahnaz Rafi said that special programmes aimed at highlighting various aspects of the life and achievements of the sister of Quaid-i-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah had begun at home and abroad from Monday.

She said that the pictures put on display at the exhibition inaugurated by Justice Dr Javid Iqbal (retired) depicted different aspects of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah’s life.

She said that Prime Minister Mir Zafrullah Khan Jamali would soon launch the Madr-i-Millat Website designed by the Federal Ministry of Information and Broadcasting.

She said that Dr M A Soofi’s book on Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah was being launched on Tuesday (today), the second day of her 110th birthday celebrations programme. Former federal minister Mahmud Ali will deliver a special lecture on Madr-i-Millat and People of East Pakistan on Wednesday (tomorrow). Pakistan Peoples Party’s Sheikh Rafique Ahmed will preside.

She said that the celebrations would conclude on Thursday with presentation of colourful programmes at a reception being hosted by the Punjab government. The Pakistan government would issue a commemorative postal stamp and announce the Madr-i-Millat Civil Awards the same day. The

awards would be given away on independence day.

She said that the Pakistan Railways had decided to run a Madr-i-Millat Train which would stop at 34 places in the four provinces of the country. An exhibition of pictures and documents related to the Madr-i-Millat will be arranged in the train. Audio cassettes with voices of the Quaid-i-Azam and Madr-i-Millat would also be played. Radio and television artistes will present cultural programmes at the stations where the train would stop.