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Flogging of girl in Swat widely condemned

April 05, 2009

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ISLAMABAD, April 4 Legislators, political parties, civil society and people from all walks of life on Saturday condemned flogging of a young girl in public in Swat.

National Assembly Speaker Dr Fehmida Mirza in a statement here condemned the flogging of a 17-year-old girl and termed it against the principles of Islam, morality and humanity.

Deputy Speaker Faisal Karim Kundi termed it a crime against humanity, saying that such type of cruelty was never permissible in Islam and other religions.

Former Federal Minister for Information and Broadcasting Sherry Rehman also condemned the inhuman act, terming it shocking, shameful and blatant violation of human rights by non state actors.

Calling for the attention of the public representatives to the Taliban atrocities, the PPP MNA submitted an adjournment motion in the Parliament. Such brutalities by non-state actors cannot be allowed to take place.

The provincial government and all public representatives must immediately take note of the issue and devise an urgent response to counter the rights violation taking place in the Swat valley. “We cannot leave our citizens at the mercy of militants who are murdering and maiming our people in the name of Islam.

“Our religion does not allow women being treated like this, in fact it would criminalise such behaviour. Our constitution also allows no space for such public brutality, and our civilisation and culture have no tolerance for it either.

The video indicates that the Taliban are openly sending a message that it has the authority to impose its own rules in the Valley. This is unacceptable.

“And we have to be clear that this is a red line that the local militants of the area have crossed. There is certainly a need for the Accord to exclude categorically the sanction for any such action. I am confident that the ANP would never allow any such action or punishment to be encoded or sanctioned by law,” she hoped.

The former minister called for an urgent response from the provincial government, to immediately address the issue.

Ignoring such acts of violence amounts to sanctioning impunity.

The Awami Party (AP) condemned the incident.

In a statement issued here the AP leaders Ashfaq Salim Mirza, Ayub Malik, Harris Khalique, Wajiha Anwar and Dr Hassan Nasir said that allowing formation of a state within the state and establishment of a parallel judicial system would inevitably result in such ghastly crimes.

“This is a cause of great embarrassment for the entire Pakistani nation”, they said.

They also said that if the government cannot curb such heinous acts, the people and civil society must get together to fight these forces of obscurantism so that such incidents never happen again.

Moreover, the government should realise that the implementation of a parallel Qazi courts would mean giving authority to anyone to make a decision and justify it in the name of Islam.

They appealed to the people to unite against such forces.

They stressed the government to implement the decision of Supreme Court in this regard. The federal government must also immediately close the Qazi courts.

National Workers Party leaders Chaudhry Masoodul Hassan, Shiekh Aftab and others also condemned the inhuman act and sought action against the perpetrators.

Chairman Pakistan Tehrik-i-Insaf (PTI) Imran Khan said that this brutal incident has nothing to do with Islam or Shariah and appreciated Chief Justice Iftikhar Mohammed Chaudhry for taking suo motu notice of the incident.

In a statement here the PTI chief demanded investigation into the incident and action against all those who are found responsible.

Women rights organizations showed their concern over the issue demanding of the government to end such brutal acts otherwise the waves of so-called Shariah system will spread all over the country including capital territory Islamabad which will sabotage women peace and would nullify women empowerment struggle in the country.

They expressed their grave concern over the incident saying that Pakistans image will be severely damaged in the world as earlier cases like Mukhtara Mai and Dr Shazia showed women plight in Pakistan.

They regretted that it would led the world create a bleak and desolate picture of the countrys law and order situation as the elected democratic writ is weak to implement women right laws in tribal areas.

Pakistan is a signatory to UN Convention on Elimination of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) however the government failed to provide women a protected life, they lamented.

“Instead of passage of Women Protection Bill (WPB) women are not save in the country then for what the laws constituted for and what is the use of governments huge budgetary allocation in lieu of women empowerment”, they criticized.

Minister for Local Government and Rural Development (LG&RD) Justice (Retd) Abdul Razaq A. Tahim denounced the flogging in Swat and called for apprehending those involved in the heinous crime.

The minister was shocked over this act of barbarism and said that inhuman and barbaric punishment meted out to the woman had made the people shameful.

“The incident will continue to haunt people and the country even in a distant age and clime”, the minister remarked.

He said that perpetrators had done a great disservice to humanity, religion and morality. “Such barbarism is unpardonable and cannot be tolerated”.

He said the militants wanted to impose a medieval and obscurantist agenda in the name of religion through gun and bullets but they will strongly be prohibited.

Minister for Communications Arbab Alamgir Khan said that Islamic injunctions of punishment for a crime can be exercised and implemented only after fulfilment of certain pre-requisites and adopting proper procedure.

“The Ulema and religious scholars to fulfil their responsibility in this regard and come forward and play their role in curbing extremism and enlightening people about true values of Islam”, said the minister.

The minister said it was the responsibility of every Muslim to support and ensure respect and security for women, enshrined in Quran and Sunnah.

He urged the people to discourage such elements such elements in the society who are causing harm to Islam and the society.

Parliamentary Secretary for Information and Broadcasting, Azeem Daultana said the perpetrators had done a great harm to the humanity and tarnished the country's image, adding such barbarism cannot be tolerated.

He asked the people to discourage such elements in the society.

Eminent Ulema, scholars and intellectuals condemned the flogging.

In this regard, Tehrik-i-Akhuwat-i-Islami (TAI) organised a sitting in the federal capital to discuss the issue.

The meeting was attended by TAI Chairman Allama Inayat Ali Shakir, Mufti Abdul Qavi, Allama Nisar Mustafa, Allama Rai Zafar Ali, Allama Mujahid Kazmi, Ahmad Saeed Qureshi and others.

Terming flogging of a girl by fanatics in Swat an un-Islamic act, the Allama said the perpetrators of this heinous act were enemies of Islam as well as Pakistan.

Mufti Abdul Qavi said that the Holy Prophet (Peace Be Upon Him) even ensured respect and honour in the era of ignorance to women.

He also urged Ulema and the government to play an effective role to prevent the spread of Talibanization in the country.

ATTOCK The people from all walks of life condemned the flogging of a helpless teenaged girl publicly in Swat and demanded action against those involved in the “shameful and inhuman act”.

However, some of them criticized the TV channels for repeatedly showing the footage.

They also demanded the legislators particularly female members to take appropriate steps to avoid occurance of such type of inhuman and barbaric act as the action was 'an insult to women and hurt the emotions and sentiments of entire nation.