Retrogressive thinking in Afghanistan is dangerous: Fawad

Ijaz kakakhel

Minister for Information and Broadcasting Fawad Chaudhry on Monday said retrogressive thinking was a “danger for Pakistan” in reference to the recent measures taken by the Taliban government in Afghanistan regarding women.

While addressing the inaugural ceremony of a photo exhibition on the life of Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah at the Pak-China centre, the minister said “Women are not allowed to travel alone in Afghanistan, and they cannot go to school as well.” The federal minister’s comments came a day after the Afghan Taliban said that women seeking to travel long distances should not be offered transport unless they are accompanied by a close male relative.

“You see that two extremist regimes have cropped up on right and left of Pakistan. On one side there is Afghanistan where the Taliban have arrived. We want to fully help the Afghan people. “But saying that women can’t travel alone or go to schools and colleges — this kind of retrogressive thinking is a danger for Pakistan,” the information minister maintained. He added that a similar Hindu extremist mindset was rising in India so the Pakistani state’s “biggest” and “most important” fight was against these “two extremist thoughts”.

“We have had failures and successes but till now Pakistan is that bright hope in this region which while remaining amid these extremes can emerge out from them.”

The information minister’s comments come after Afghanistan’s Taliban authorities said on Sunday that women seeking to travel longer distances should not be offered transport unless they are accompanied by a close male relative. The guidance, issued by the Ministry for the Promotion of Virtue and Prevention of Vice, also called on all vehicle owners to offer rides only to those women wearing hijabs.

The guidance, circulated on social media networks, came weeks after the ministry asked Afghanistan’s television channels to stop showing dramas and soap operas featuring women actors. The ministry had also called on women TV journalists to wear hijabs while presenting.


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