KARACHI: Former president Asif Ali Zardari on Tuesday advised the Government of Sindh to provide security and facilities to the upcoming Aurat March 2020.
“The PPP offers complete support to the Aurat March,” Zardari said, adding that the party was a guarantor of women’s rights and stood strong with the rally. “The mindset that women are weak and inferior will be defeated.”
He said the PPP remained steadfast in the philosophy of former prime ministers and party leaders, Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Benazir Bhutto, who thwarted a cruel and merciless dictatorship.
He added that Benazir was a leading role model for many women. He added that people needed to accept women’s right to equality in society. Zardari said that his daughters, Bakhtawar and Aseefa, represented women’s voice and were their power.
Earlier this week, the PPP rejected the threats against the proposed women march by women activists on March 8 on the eve of International Women Day as “unwarranted, uncalled for and totally unacceptable”.
In a statement, PPP leader and former Senator Farhatullah Babar said that the constitution guaranteed freedom of association and freedom of assembly to everyone that could not be curtailed by anyone by hurling threats.
He said that it was unfortunate that even those who claimed to uphold the supremacy of the Constitution were talking about using force to deny the right to women to peaceful assembly, peaceful protest and freedom of expression.
He said that the PPP is committed to upholding the rights of women including their right to hold peaceful demonstrations on the eve of International Women Day to voice their grievances and demand an end to discrimination against them.
He said that Pakistan is also a signatory of the Convention on Elimination of all forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) that made it obligatory to end all forms of discrimination against women. He added that women and their organisations are within their rights to demand the implementation of commitments made for ending all forms of discrimination.
He said that it was unfortunate that the Commission on the Status of Women was dysfunctional for the past almost one year and asked the government to take immediate steps to make it functional.
“It seems that the absence of the Commission has encouraged some elements to hurl threats to women demanding their legitimate rights and ending discrimination,” he said. He called upon the government to ensure that women were given all protection by it and no one was allowed to take the law into their hands.