Plea in Pak seeks action against ‘anti-Islamic’ slogans in ‘Aurat March’

By Hamza Ameer
Peshawar, March 25 (IANS)
Terming the ‘Aurat March’ (women’s march) taken out in Islamabad on International Women’s Day on March 8 as anti-Islamic, a lawyer in Peshawar has filed a petition in the court seeking directiions to the police to register an FIR against the organisers of the event.
The application was filed by lawyer Ibrar Hussain under Section 22-A of the Code of Criminal Procedure, which empowers the court to act as ‘Justice of Peace’ and order the registration of an FIR in case the police fail to do so.
The lawyers of the applicant have contended that the organisers of the ‘Aurat March’ had staged processions in different cities, highlighting the march held in Islamabad, where the “participants raised anti-Islamic slogans hurting the religious sentiments of a large number of people”.
“The government and the Islamabad administration have so far not taken any action against the organisers of the march,” the applicant maintained.
“A cognisable offence had taken place during the Aurat March, so it is the duty of the police to register an FIR against the event organisers,” the plea added.
Moreover, the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Bar Council had also passed at least two resolutions on March 15, demanding the government to take action against the organisers and some NGOs, which had organised the Aurat March in different cities of Pakistan.
“The participants of those marches were involved in desecrating the holy personalities of Muslims through sloganeering and provocative banners, so they deserve to be treated strictly,” read one resolution.
On the other hand, the organisers of the Aurat March have maintained that the agenda of the processions was to raise voices against the oppression of females and mark the International Women Day by staging processions and taking to the streets in a show of unity.
The Aurat March had come under serious criticism in the past also, as some banners, slogans and activities witnessed during the march offended many while questions were raised over the agenda behind the staged performances on the streets of major cities of the country.
Religious groups in Pakistan maintain that slogans ridiculing Islamic values cannot be tolerated, and have called on the government to take immediate action against the organisers of what they called an “anti-Islamic march”.

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