Iddat case denounced as ‘intrusion’ into people’s private lives

Published February 16, 2024
A group of protesters outside the Karachi Press Club on Thursday.
—Fahim Siddiqi / White Star
A group of protesters outside the Karachi Press Club on Thursday. —Fahim Siddiqi / White Star

KARACHI: Hum Aurtein, the organisers of Aurat March, gathered outside the Karachi Press Club on Thursday to protest against, what they described as, the state’s intrusion into people’s private lives, the disregard afforded to women’s testimonies and unequal marriage laws as has been seen in the recent Iddat Case.

They held up banners and placards demanding that the Iddat case was reversed. They also demanded that the state and courts admit testimonies of women.

Also gathered there were members of the transgender community who wanted an end to the spreading of hate against their community.

Speaking to journalists, Zoha Alvi of Aurat March said that women all over the country were saddened and hurt by the ruling convicting the former prime minister of Pakistan and his better half Bushra Bibi.

Aurat March participants, transgender people stage protest against controversial judgement

“It means that any woman may be harassed by her former husband like this,” she said.

“Why is the state so fixated on female bodies?” She asked. “We women want freedom to live and make our own decisions regarding our bodies,” she added.

Nuzhat Shirin, chairperson, Sindh Commission on the Status of Women, asked as to how would common women fare in a society where something like this was the fate of women in elite circles?

“This ruling is also setting a precedent and I’m worried that poor women will also face the brunt of it,” she warned.

“The state should be thinking of ways to help progress the women of our country instead of harming their sanctity,” she pointed out.

Sajida Baloch of Aurat March said that women were to be believed.

“When Bushra Bibi is saying that her Iddat was over when she married Imran Khan, then she is to be believed,” she said.

“The judges who gave such a ruling should also have considered Bushra Bibi’s age. Do they think she is of childbearing age?” She asked.

Transgender activist and politician Shahzadi Rai reminded that it was due to such careless rulings by honourable courts that her community was also facing hate and harassment.

“Be it women or transgender people, the state is violating our privacy by coming inside our bedrooms. And what to say about the state, we also have our courts helping in pushing forward their agenda,” Shahzadi said.

“What a shame! Where are our ethical values?

“Even after disqualifying Imran Khan from taking part in the elections and doing politics, his personal life is also being dragged out, which is a grave injustice,” Shahzadi added.

Published in Dawn, February 16th, 2024

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