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HYDERABAD, April 4 A large number of activists of more than 10 civil society organisations held a march and a demonstration outside the press club on Saturday to condemn flogging of a young girl in Swat.

Kashif Bajir, Mustafa Baloch, Punhal Sario, Ms Nasreen Shakeel Pathan, Ms Shahina Ramzan, Ms Sehar Rizvi of Sparc, SPO, Women Action Forum, Child Rights Committee, Actionaid, Sindh Development Society, Bhandar Hari Sangat, Sindh Hari Porhiyat Council and other organisations led the march, condemning the girl's flogging.

They termed it a barbaric act and demanded that the government should take action against the perpetrators of this heinous crime who had tainted liberal image of the country by imposing un-Islamic laws on the majority.

They raised slogans against Talibanisation of Pakistan and claimed that Taliban were the creation of the state and they were being provided oxygen to keep alive.

They also criticised constitution of Qazi courts.

Activists of SUP and STP Nari Tehrik held separate demonstrations to condemn the barbaric incident.

Leaders of the South Asia Lawyers Forum Riazuddin Qureshi, Syed Abbas Ali Jafri and Mohammad Aijaz Bawani said in a joint statement that nobody had the right to impose his personal beliefs on anyone, especially women.

They said that the perpetrators of the crime were defaming Islam and Muslims. They praised the suo motu notice of the incident by the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Mohammad Choudhry and said that it proved the judiciary was now independent.

They demanded that the president and prime minister award deterrent punishment to the perpetrators of the heinous crime.

The Pakistan Human Rights Development Organisation leaders Rizwan Ahmed Siddiqui, Mumtaz Ahmed Shaikh and others criticised the girl's flogging and said that the incident was reminiscent of dark ages.

They demanded that the government award deterrent punishment to the accused.

Our Mithi correspondent adds Activists of Awami Tehrik and Child Rights Committee held a procession here on Saturday to voice protest against flogging of a young girl in Swat purportedly by Taliban militants.

Carrying placards and raising slogans, the participants of the procession marched on main roads of the town before reaching the press club.

Local party leaders said that whipping of the young girl in the presence of scores of men by the Taliban was an stark violation of human rights and a highly condemnable act. They demanded inquiry into the incident and exemplary punishment to the people involved in the barbaric crime.