By Our Correspondent / Muhammad ShahzadPublished: May 3, 2016
ISLAMABAD / LAHORE: Women lawmakers of the ruling Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz heaped scorn at the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) on Monday for not protecting women from routine harassment at his party’s public gatherings. The Lahore police had earlier registered a case against unnamed suspects for molesting women at the PTI’s rally held on Sunday.
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Anusha Rehman, the minister of state for information technology, addressed a news conference on Monday, calling upon the PTI leadership for sharing the action taken against the culprits after the party’s foundation day rally in Islamabad.
Flanked by PML-N lawmakers Marriyum Aurangzeb and Maiza Hameed, she asked Imran Khan to tell what had been done by the party to protect women workers.
“Imran Khan should tell us what action was taken against the culprits involved in harassing women in Islamabad’s gathering,” said Anusha. “Has any punitive action been taken against any office-bearer or worker?”
She also appreciated the Pakistan Peoples Party, Awami National Party and other political parties for respecting their women workers and asked the PTI to follow the same path.
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If this situation persists, parents will stop sending their daughters to political rallies,” the minister feared.
She said it was unfortunate the PTI chief had left the women at the mercy of “his spoiled boys”, questioning Imran Khan if he would have followed the same course if his own daughter or sister was there. “Women are playing a key role in the country’s politics and such an attitude from a party will discourage their participation in political gatherings,” she added.
Earlier, Lahore’s Civil Lines police registered a case against unidentified suspects for harassing women participants at the end of PTI’s gathering at Chairing Cross.
The police have registered the case under sections 147 (punishment for rioting), 149 (unlawful assembly), 506 (criminal intimidation) and 294 (obscene act in public place) of the Pakistan Penal Code.
Police said they would identify the suspects through video clips and arrest them.
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This is not the first time misbehaving and harassment of women has been reported at the PTI’s gathering.
On April 24 in Islamabad, male participants had broken barricades to enter the women-only portion. A similar episode was witnessed during the PTI’s election campaign rally in Multan last year.