ISLAMABAD: Jamiat Ulema-i-Islam-Fazl’s (JUI-F) Islamabad chapter President said that the party would stop obscenity in the name of Aurat March with its ‘Dunda’ (baton) force.
He said that JUI(F) Aurat March are held across the country every year on International Women’s Day, celebrated on March 8. He warned that the party would use “baton” to stop it.
“If any attempts are made for obscenity on March 8 in Islamabad, we will condemn it,” warned Abdul Majeed Hazarvi, the chief of JUI-F’s Islamabad wing. JUI(F) leader stated this while addressing a demonstration held in the capital’s D-Chowk in connection with India’s hijab row. Hazarvi said that during Aurat March, “obscenity is spread in the name of women’s rights”.
He warned the government that if the march was allowed, “we will [use] baton to stop it”.
Aurat March, which was first held in Karachi in 2018, is now organised in numerous other cities across the country on March 8 every year to celebrate International Women’s Day and highlight the issues women face in Pakistan.
The march has been subjected to criticism earlier as well, in particular for the slogans and placards raised during it. In 2019, the march’s participants in the capital came under attack when male students from Jamia Hafsa took down their tent and hurled stones at them.
Last year, petitions where filed in the Islamabad and Lahore high courts, asking for a ban on the march. But these petitions were dismissed, with courts saying the right to assemble peacefully was guaranteed in the Constitution.
The latest tirade against the event from the JUI-F comes just a day after Religious Affairs Minister Noorul Haq Qadri wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying that anti-Islamic slogans should not be raised on International Women’s Day.
The minister had also suggested celebrating International Hijab Day instead on March 8, in an effort to express solidarity with Muslim women across the globe.
After the letter drew criticism on social media, notably from PPP Senator Sherry Rehman and Pakistan’s former ambassador to the UN, Maleeha Lodhi, Qadri issued a clarification saying that some political leaders were trying to spread negative propaganda without reading his letter.