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ISLAMABAD: Pakistan People's Party (PPP) has expressed deep concern over the social media campaign by some elements against the organizers of the Aurat March last week and warned against employing religion based laws to stifle the voice of the women groaning under a patriarchal mindset.

Secretary General of the Pakistan Peoples' Party Parliamentarians former senator Farhatullah Babar said that the organizers have not only denied false allegations leveled at them but also exposed how the footage of the images of their protest demonstrations had been doctored to back lies and slander against them. He said that the falsification of the footage of the images including the conflation of the flag of an organizer body with that of another country have already been exposed in media talk shows.

The extent to which the detractors of the Aurat March are going against women and putting even their lives at risk is both shocking and alarming, he said.

In a statement on Saturday, he said that PPP calls upon the government and law enforcing agencies to give protection to the participants of the Aurat March against harm to which they have been exposed by malicious false propaganda against them.

He said that the rationale behind Aurat March and its open criticism of the patriarchal mindset of the society on the eve of a globally observed international day of women on March 8 every year must be understood and appreciated. It is deplorable that instead of trying to understand some elements unleashed a campaign to demonize the participants and expose them to violence through false and vile propaganda, he said.

The PPP leader said that the Aurat March should have been seen as an occasion for the patriarchal mindset to recognize the distortions in the society that perpetuate inequality and deny women their rights. It was an occasion to unlearn the numerous biases against women. It was also an occasion for the society to think whether a woman was a separate legal entity or a piece of property, he said.

It is most unfortunate that instead of seeing it as a day of somber reflection some elements thought it proper to deliberately falsify the images of Aurat March so as to chase and hound the organizers and expose them to severe harm through 'weaponised' religion based laws, he said.

Copyright Business Recorder, 2021

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