Published On: Mon, Feb 20th, 2012

What a show! Just unbelievable

A MQM’s ‘Empowered women, strong Pakistan’ rally

By Sohail Rab Khan

KARACHI: The MQM’s rally with the slogan of ‘Empowered women, strong Pakistan’ held yesterday could without any doubt be termed as the biggest one in the history of Pakistan and it may not be untrue to term it as the largest one held on earth by any single political party on one point agenda and that too with the participation of just… and just women. The scene yesterday witnessed at Bagh-e-Jinnah was unbelievable no matter how much the audience was but it would be true to say that it must go the Guiness Book of World Record.

Addressing the mammoth rally of women titled ‘Empowered women, strong Pakistan’, Altaf Hussain said that the massive rally has proved that even the women supporters of MQM ‘are enough to compete against other politicians’. Altaf Hussain yesterday linked a strong Pakistan to empowered women.

The MQM Chief claimed that Sunday’s rally of women was the biggest not only in the history of Pakistan or the Asian continent but the entire world. He said the aim of today’s rally was to ensure women’s empowerment in the country and that those who meted out ill treatment to women should be hanged.

Altaf Hussain said that MQM had come out to challenge the antiquated customs that had been in practice to suppress women and other weak segments of society. “It was MQM that staged a million march for the rights of Baloch people and also got the bill for women empowerment passed by the Parliament.”

The MQM Chief put the number of women who turned up at Sunday’s public meeting near Mazar-e-Quaid at one million.

He regretted that even today, women in rural areas of the country were deprived of their basic rights and that is why MQM, instead of paying only lip service, took practical steps to safeguard their rights.

The MQM chief said that black tribal customs should be put aside now and Pakistani women should be given freedom and empowerment.

He called for solving the problems of womenfolk living in the rural areas and stressed for boosting female literacy.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain says party has been working for women emancipation against all odds.

He recalled a number of incidents involving subjugation of women, including Dr Shazia case in Balochistan, where the MQM stepped in to the rescue of the women.

Altaf said the MQM women workers lost their loved ones in the political struggle of the party. He said that today it has become a fashion to raise slogan of change at political rallies. He said if anyone wants to see change, one needs to see the MQM women rally which is the largest in the country.

The MQM chief says it is the time to wake up as parliaments of foreign countries are taking up resolutions on Balochistan issues. He said the people of Balochistan need to be given due rights.

MQM chief Altaf Hussain said that mother, sisters and daughters of MQM are sufficient for defeating political rivals.

Women of all religions, nationality and segment of society are present in this rally, he said. He applauded the MQM women worker for being firm in every situation and circumstances.

He said that when taking MQM’s name was impossible, women came forward and took up the movement.

Altaf said it was only the MQM that had been raising voice for gross injustices committed against the women in the country. Whether it was Shaista Almani, Dr Shazia or Dr Afia Siddiqui, the MQM always raised its voice in a forceful manner. He said that Dr Afia Siddiqui should be released on humanitarian grounds.

He said it was highly unfortunate that evil customs like ‘karo-kari’, ‘vani’ and marriage of the helpless women with the Holy Quran were not uncommon.

He said incidents of karo-kari, gang rape, and throwing of acid on the faces of the women, shaving their hairs and cutting off their body parts was highly shameful and an ugly blot on the face of the society. He said that frequently women were paraded naked in the streets which were the worst form of indignity to women.

He particularly spoke about the explosive situation in Balochistan and said that the policies of the establishment had brought the largest province of Pakistan on the brink of separation from the country. He said that he had been crying to solve the Balochistan problem, but no one paid attention. The situation has worsened to such an extent that resolutions were being passed in the parliaments of other countries for the grant of the right of self-determination for the Balochi people. He warned that it was already late and bold steps would have to be taken if Balochistan was to be kept inside Pakistan. He said that all legitimate rights of the people of Balochistan should be granted without further delay. He said that if no solution was found then Balochistan might be lost.

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