South Asia

Women participate in Aurat March in Pakistan, unidentified men pelt stone to disrupt Islamabad edition
Aurat March Islamabad Twitter page

Women participate in Aurat March in Pakistan, unidentified men pelt stone to disrupt Islamabad edition

Bangladesh Live News | @banglalivenews | 09 Mar 2020, 06:38 am
Islamabad: Women in large numbers on Sunday participated in 'Aurat March' across different cities in Pakistan to demand basic rights for women in each field of life. However, the Islamabad edition of the march was marred by a stone-pelting incident where the peaceful participants were allegedly targeted by religious hardliners.

The marches were held on a day when the world observed International Women's Day.


The march called for more accountability for violence against women, and to support women who experience violence and harassment at the hands of security forces, in public spaces, at home, and at the workplace. 


According to Geo News, more than 2,000 people had gathered to raise their voice for the economic participation of women, against transgender rape, and called on the government to take action against forced conversions and ensure the rights of minorities. 


Starting in 2018, the 2020 edition of the 'Aurat March' was held in various cities across Pakistan- Lahore, Multan, Quetta, Islamabad, and Karachi.


According to reports, the marches were attended by women, children, men, and transgender people.


Islamabad edition hit by stone-pelting incident:


However, the Islamabad edition of the march witnessed violent scenes as one person was hurt due to stone-pelting incidents.


A few participants of the march began throwing stones at the gathering in front of Islamabad Press Club, prompting people to hurriedly exit from the venue, reported Geo News.


After the Jamia Hufsa students ended their march, the male participants took down the tent and started throwing stones, injuring at least one member of the Aurat March, Dawn reported.


The police brought the situation under control.


To counter the march, hundreds of men and women from the Red Mosque brigade, consisting of several local militant groups, and a Taliban allied religious party staged a rival ‘Haya March‘ just across from the women’s march venue, district deputy commissioner Hamza Shafqaat was quoted as saying by The Wire.


Attack condemned:


Reacting to the development, the Aurat Azadi March Islamabad tweeted: "Mullahs are stoning the participants of #AuratAzadiMarch a march that was and is peaceful. Where is the security that was promised? Where was the police that was promised?"


Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari tweeted: "Strongly condemn the stoning & violence against peaceful gathering of women, men & families in #AuratMarch2020. Our religion teaches tolerance & Sabr. It does not allow throwing stones & sticks at unarmed ppl one disagrees with. Can disagree with them but violence is unacceptable."


FIR lodged:


Islamabad's Kohsar Police on Monday registered a case against 12 individuals – including local religious leaders and JUI-F's Maulana Abdul Majeed Hizravi – for trying to disrupt yesterday's Aurat March in the capital, reported Dawn News.

The first-information report (FIR) — registered in the state's name — invoked Section 147 (Punishment for rioting), 149 (Every member of unlawful assembly guilty of offence committed in prosecution of a common object), 186 (Obstructing public servant in discharge of public functions), 188 (Disobedience to order duly promulgated by public servant), 341 (Punishment for wrongful restraint), 353 (Assault or criminal force to deter public servant from discharge of his duty) of the Pakistan Penal Code, reported the newspaper.

Twelve people were named in the FIR.

They were identified as Maulana Shabir Ahmed Usmani, Maulana Hafiz Maqsood Ahmed, Maulana Rizwan Makki, Mufti Abdullah, Maulana Abdul Waheed Qasmi, Maulana Abdul Rasheed Tauheedi, Maulana Liaquat Ali Turabi, Maulana Nasir Ahmed, Maulana Asadullah Abbasi, Maulana Abdul Majeed Hizravi and Maulana Abdul Razzaq Haidri.

Deputy Commissioner of Islamabad earlier tweeted: "We are registering FIR against those who disrupted the Aurat March today. After inquiry people will be arrested. @ICT_Police worked very hard to ensure that situation stays in control but few elements broke the law and they had no NOC. Will update soon."