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1,000 journalists, politicians, lawyers, intellectuals stand with Aurat March organisers

By Our Correspondent
March 17, 2021

LAHORE: Over 1,000 journalists, politicians, academics, intellectuals and activists have expressed solidarity with the organisers of Aurat March and have condemned the smear campaign and concoction of facts to unjustly implicate women leaders in false cases.

A press release issued by Imtiaz Alam, Secretary General Safma, said those endorsing the condemnation include Aftab Sherpao, Nafeesa Shah, PPP, Farhatullah Babar, PPP, Pervaiz Rasheed, PML-N, Dr Malik, NP, Yousuf Masti Khan, AWP, senior lawyers including Rana Shehzad, Secretary SCB, Hamid Khan advocate, Hina Jilani, President HRCP, Latif Afridi, President SCBA, Abid Saqi, leading journalists, PFUJ President and Gen Secretary, Shahzada Zulfiqar and Nasir Zaidi, I. ARehman, Hussain Naqi, Ziauddin, Najam Sethi, Talat Aslam, Rana Jawad, Mobashir Zaidi, Talat Hussain, Ashar Rehman, Ayaz Khan, Jabbar Khattak, Mohammad Siddique and hundreds of civil society activists and leading feminists. Hundreds of women and rights activists, including Rubina Sehgal, Saleema Hashmi, Sheema Kirmani, Nighat Saeed Khan endorsed the statement.

In a joint statement they said: “Instead of protesting and fighting harassment, rape and killing of women and children, certain conservative elements have been shamelessly blaming women activists on concocted charges and doctored evidence. In fact, these are the very elements who cook up charges of blasphemy and, thus, commit blasphemy themselves.”

They called upon “all the democratic forces and conscientious elements to stand up with the feminist movement fighting against the injustices, crimes, sexual harassment and all kinds of discrimination against women."

They concluded: "We call for an end to the harassment of women activists by the authorities and extremists, and demand action against those who have launched this vicious campaign by concocting false evidence. We assure our full support to the organisers of Aurat March and endorse their position and just demands."