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March 9, 2013

LHCBA to provide free assistance in harassment cases

 
March 9, 2013

LAHORE
THE Lahore High Court Bar Association has announced formation of a legal committee to provide free assistance to women facing sexual harassment at workplaces.
LHCBA President Abid Saqi announced this while addressing a ceremony organised by the Bar to observe the International Women’s Day on Friday. He said the committee would ensure implementation of the Sexual Harassment at Workplaces Act in letter and spirit.
Among other speakers at the ceremony titled “Protection of Women Rights through Process of Law” were Justice Ayesha A Malik, former President of Supreme Court Bar Association Asma Jahangir, rights activist Hina Jilani, Press Council Chairman Raja Shafqat Abbasi and Barrister Bushra Saqi.
As Abid Saqi started showering appreciation on late premier Benazir Bhutto, Advocate Malik Saeed Hassan interrupted him and said he must not forget applauding Asma Jahangir for her struggle for democracy and human rights.
At this, Saqi said he was talking about the history and Asma was present and alive. She must live for 200 years with them, he prayed. At this, the whole audience clapped for Asma.
Justice Ayesha A Malik said she would try to fulfill expectations of the Bar by dispensing justice. She said for women’s rights, a long struggle was needed and hoped that the struggle would continue, adding that it was important for women to change the mindset against them through their work.
Asma Jahangir said the struggle for rights of women was closely associated with the Bar. She said changes to Hudood Laws and family laws were result of women’s relentless struggle. She said previously it was a routine to paint women as cruel and criminal in petitions whenever they were implicated in fake cases but situation had changed. She said now most of the judges did not rely upon such stereotypes. She said though women lawyers had contributed to their struggle for right.
Asma said more women should be inducted in the bench but not in

violation of merit. She said present situation in the country was gruesome and but they prayed for the women who were subjected to torture or terrorism. She said they were against any kind of discrimination. She said people should not be killed for their religious belief or sect and that she was against sectarianism.
Hina Jilani said it was a victory of the women that all political parties were trying to take lead in celebrating women’s day even Jamaat-e-Islami had given women an important part in its manifesto.
Reply sought: The Lahore High Court Friday sought reply from Punjab Inspector General of Police, Capital Chief Police Officer (CCPO) and DIG Investigations on a petition seeking a joint investigation team to probe kidnap and alleged murder of a stage actress Sapna Khan.
Justice Sheikh Najamul Hassan directed the respondents to file reply till March 15.
Misal Khan, father of the missing lady, submitted that Civil Lines DSP Safdar Raza Kazmi, investigating officer of the case, was favouring the accused.