Rallies demand strict ban on Karo-Kari
KARACHI, March 09 2005:A number of rallies,demonstrations, and seminars were organised by different governmental and non-governmental organizations, Human Rights activists, and NGOs on Tuesday to mark the International Women’s Day. The venue of the demonstration was the Karachi Press Club. Interestingly enough, there were almost half-a-dozen other demonstrations going on at the same time.
Ostensibly, they demonstrated on a first-come-first-served basis outside KPC. The All-Pakistan Minorities Alliance, led by former Sindh Assembly member Khursheed Saleem Khokar and Shehzadi Michael, co-ordinator, women’s wing, were the first to demonstrate for the rights of women. The APMA were shouting slogans like “Azadi, hum ley kar rahengey azadi” which the onlookers found somewhat baffling. This correspondent asked some of them as to what they wanted freedom from. None of the processionists had an answer Almost all the women belonged to the less fortunate segment of society, lacking education, who could not even describe as to what purpose they were brought to the KPC on board a bus for.
The workers of the APMA were carrying placards inscribed with the slogan, ” minority women should also be given representation in the assemblies”. In a unique mode of protest, the women were wearing handcuffs and bangles Another PPP rally, which started from Regal Chowk and terminated at the KPC, was led by Farzana Baloch. Addressing the rally they said that time had come that Benazir should rule the country as the present government, under the garb of enlightened moderation, was exploiting the basic rights of women, they alleged.
Amnesty International Pakistan Chapter also demonstrated outside KPC demanding of the government to ban Karo-Kari and said that feudal system should immediately be abolished which is the major cause of violence against women, they said. The Joint Action Committee also held a demonstration at the KPC.
Earlier, a seminar was held which stressed the need for reforming the judicial system, improving society’s attitude towards women and media role in safeguarding interests of local women.
Source: Business Recorder