KP Assembly unanimously passes resolution against Aurat March, terming it 'shameful'

Published March 20, 2019
Aurat March participants holding placards on March 8. — Photo courtesy of Amnesty International
Aurat March participants holding placards on March 8. — Photo courtesy of Amnesty International

The Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly on Wednesday unanimously passed a resolution condemning the Aurat March, which was held across Pakistani cities on March 8.

The resolution, presented by Rehana Ismail of the Muttahida Majlis-i-Amal (MMA), claimed that women had taken part in the march holding placards and raising slogans that were "obscene".

A copy of the resolution passed by KP Assembly. — Photo by author
A copy of the resolution passed by KP Assembly. — Photo by author

"Some hidden forces have sped up their efforts to destroy our family system and social customs, the practical demonstration of which took place on March 8, 2019, in various big cities on Women's Day," the resolution stated.

It said the demands made at the event for women empowerment were "shameful and un-Islamic".

The document stated that although the provincial assembly supports the rights granted to women and minorities by Islam, the "obscenity" witnessed on March 8 was not acceptable to it.

It asked the KP government to request the federal government to "expose" such forces and their "conspiracies" and prepare a strategy to deal with such incidences in the future.

The resolution in its original form was opposed by MPAs of the ruling Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI), but after some redaction and negotiations, they agreed to unanimously pass the measure.

Speaking during the session, PTI MPA Ayesha Bano said they supported organisations that speak for women's rights, however, "We do not accept any demands of women which are against Islam."

Opposition leader Akram Khan Durrani, who also belongs to MMA, recalled that a banner at the Aurat March had read "Apna moza khud dhundo (find your own sock)" and said: "If I have pain in my back and my wife helps me put on a sock, what is wrong in that?"

PML-N's parliamentary leader in the KP Assembly, Sardar Muhammad Yousaf Zaman, claimed that certain NGOs were working against Islamic injunctions and the Constitution. "Shamelessness is being spread in the name of 'change'," he stated.

Women in large numbers, as well as men, had participated in the Aurat March held across the country to mark International Women’s Day on March 8. The first such march took place in Karachi in 2018; this year, the rally was extended to more cities including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.

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