Monday December 04, 2023

Religious minister asks PM to ban ‘Aurat March’

By Our Correspondent
February 18, 2022
Religious minister asks PM to ban ‘Aurat March’

ISLAMABAD: Federal Minister for Religious and Minority Affairs Noorul Haq Qadri has written a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan, asking him to put a ban on the Aurat March across the country, Geo News reported on Thursday.

Last year, Aurat March sparked controversy when banners and videos of protesters surfaced on social media. Organisers, on their part, labelled the videos as fake and anti-March propaganda.

According to reports, the minister for religious affairs suggested in the letter to the prime minister that March 8 be observed as "International Hijab Day" rather than Aurat March. Qadri continued in his letter by stating that no one should be permitted to mock Islamic rituals, values, or the wearing of Hijab on Women's Day by organising Aurat March or any other event.

The federal minister proposed to the prime minister that the world's attention be drawn to the discrimination faced by Muslim women in India and occupied Kashmir due to their attire by observing "Hijab Day" in the country on March 8.

Additionally, he stated that the international community should be urged to put an end to this blatantly mocking and prejudiced treatment of Muslim women in India. Besides that, the minister forwarded a copy of the letter to President Arif Alvi. It's worth noting here that every year on March 8, the world observes "Women's Day," while women activists and other organisations in Pakistan refer to this day as Aurat March.

Meanwhile, Sherry Rehman, the Pakistan Peoples Party's parliamentary leader, tweeted an image of Noor ul Haq's Qadri’s letter, stating that the letter from the federal minister regarding ban of Aurat March is astonishing. "What will you prove by banning Aurat March?" she asked.

"Nobody has ever prohibited women from observing ‘Hijab Day’. On one hand, we condemn India’s attitude; on the other, you’re proposing to ban the Aurat March?" she asked the minister in a tweet.

Last year, in response to social media reports, the federal government launched an investigation into "objectionable activities" at the federal capital’s Aurat March event.