Call for swift action against ‘culprits’ involved in Minar-e-Pakistan incident

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Members of Shura Hamdard Karachi have unanimously called for swift action against those who were involved in a sexual assault against a woman at the Minar-e-Pakistan, Lahore.

The demand was made at a monthly meeting of Shura Hamdard held online on Wednesday titled “Rise in assaults against women, causes and prevention”. The Shura meeting was presided over by Justice (retd) Haziq-ul-Khairi.

He and Mrs. Sadia Rashid, president of ShuraHamdard, attended the meeting from Hamdard’s corporate head office.

The guest speaker, prominent social worker Nargis Wahab Rehman, said: “The sudden rise in physical assaults against women in Pakistan raises serious questions about the sanctity of our society.

These violent incidents indicate a serious problem of a patriarchal mindset that has been prevalent in the country for many years.

“Pakistan is among the lowest-scoring countries in the world in Women Development Index.

The tragedy of Minar-e-Pakistan has exposed the true sad state of affairs of our society. The police must be held accountable as to why they failed to protect that girl in time.”

ShamimKazmi said: “This is a dangerous trend that women suffer physical assaults in public now.

The criminal mindset backed by ignorance and illiteracy has made it more difficult for anyone to challenge this growing misogynistic narrative against women.

Swift justice ensures fear of law in the general population. Moreover, there should be more public debates about women’s rights for general awareness.”

Tanveer Khalid said “The honourable Supreme Court should take suo moto notice of the Minar-e-Pakistan case.

The government should introduce various initiatives to empower women on all levels. Booklets on women’s rights should be distributed to the general public to create awareness.”

She also said “Islam gives equal rights to women therefore the aggressors must face dire consequences for their assault as their actions are against the teachings of Islam.

Women played a pivotal role in the foundational years of Pakistan. Their contributions must be highlighted in the national curriculum.”

Rizwana Ansari said victim-blaming was one of the reasons for the rise of crimes against women in the country.

“Everyone talks about the dress of women but no one even remotely mentions the appalling behavior of men in public areas. This mentality is sickening and has to be addressed accordingly,” She said.

She also said “The statistics are terrible as in February 2021 alone, 2297 cases of assaults on women were reported all over Pakistan.”

Zafar Iqbal said: “The perpetrators should be severely punished. Their punishments will set forth an example for the future.

Offenders must not be spared as this is the only way to ensure rule of law in the country and avoid future incidence from happening.”

Col (r) Mukhtar Butt said: “Our judicial system needs urgent reforms. Even with eyewitnesses and videos of people committing crimes, yet the culprits somehow get bail or in worst case scenario get acquitted from the case.”

Prof. Muhammad Rafi said: “We need a concise framework to change the mindset of the general population.

Unfortunately, even in the 21st century, violence against women is common in many parts of the country.

The child who sees his mother being beaten will do the same to his wife later on. We need strict legislation on violence against women.”

Justice (r) Zia Pervez said: “We reap what we sow; Misogyny continues to be part of nation’s psyche but there is an outright denial to admit it. The role models are catalyst in improving any society.

We don’t have such role models who respect women. Our teachers do not inspire younger generations, our politicians; our heroes do not inspire our nation to adopt new ideas. As a nation, our priorities are misguided and in wrong directions.”

Anwar Siddiqui said: “We lack in planning a comprehensive policy and action plan against societal ills.

First of all, we have to introduce the women rights at primary level; followed by steps for population control. Unchecked population growth leads to various social ills.

He also said “We have to find the root cause of this misogyny and take concrete steps, including swift justice, women empowerment and strict law enforcement. The fear of law is now needed more than ever.”

Haziq-ul-Khairi while concluding the meeting showed grave concern over why the nation had become insensitive toward such incidents.

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