Mukhtaran Mai vows to continue struggle for justice
MULTAN,March 8, 2005 Mukhtaran Mai has demanded of the government not to release the five accused acquitted in the gang-rape case from jail till the filing of a writ petition in the Supreme Court, as she has been receiving threats from them.
Mukhtaran Mai, wearing dark brown Shalwar Kamiz with a sheet of cloth on her head, led a rally on Monday, which started from Allama Iqbal Park Chowk, Nawan Sher and culminated at the Multan Arts Council. Women belonging to Multan and South Punjab districts took part in the rally.
The participants demanded of the government to provide security to women. They were of the view that President Pervez Musharraf’s reforms had failed to provide them dignity. They were carrying placards and banners inscribed with slogans, “Protect women rights”, “Stop killing of women in Karo-Kari”, “Restore 33 per cent seats in the local bodies institutions”, “Not harass working women”, “We express solidarity with Mukhtaran Mai and other oppressed women”, “No to Panchayat”, “No to jungle Raj” and “Justice for Mukhtaran Mai”.
Later, Mai addressed the rally and invited all women participants to visit her hometown for encouraging women of the area to continue their struggle against oppression. Sarwar Bari, Dr Farzana Bari, Bushra Adeel, Ume Kalsoom Siyial, Ghulam Mustafa Baloch, Musarrat Cheema and Sindhiani Tehrik representatives also addressed the rally.
Agencies add: “I shall continue my struggle for the rights of women till the last breath of my life and I will not bow before tyranny, exploitation, tradition or customs,” Mai told the march. “This rally has encouraged me and now I think millions of women are with me and I am not alone,” she added.
The rally was organised by NGOs Pattan Development Organisation (PDO), Khawateen Councillors Network (KCN) and South Punjab NGOs Forum (SPNF) and political parties PDP, and PML-N (Women Wing).
Meanwhile, Canadian High Commissioner Margaret Hubor is scheduled to visit Meerwala Jatoi village to see the two schools established by gang-rape victim Mukhtaran Mai for boys and girls.
She will also deliver a cheque of Rs 2 million to the brave lady for up-gradation of the educational institutions and provision of basic amenities. “We have made necessary security arrangements for the protection of the high commissioner during her visit to Meerwala on March 8 to mark the International Women’s Day,” DPO Muzaffargarh Syed Ahsan Mehboob told PPI.
Security of Mai was also tightened after the acquittal of five convicts and the number of police constables increased to six while one cop would escort her whenever she would go, he said.
Source: The News