LAHORE: The Tahaffuz Namoos-e-Risalat Mahaz (TNRM)has announced that they will stage a protest on Sunday against the participation of women in the Punjab Sports Festival that is being held in Lahore.
“What sort of a message does the Punjab government want to give by bringing women on roads like this? We will definitely protest recorded tomorrow, now that we have decided to stand up to them.” Muhammad Ali Naqshbandi, the General Secretary TNRM told The Express Tribune.
Naqshbandi added that, “This practice of women running is against Quran and Sunnah, women are not even allowed to walk fast around Ka’aba.”
The TNRM had staged a small protest against the marathon in front of Lahore High Court on Saturday as well. Allama Raza-e-Mustafa Naqshbandi, President TNRM will lead the Sunday protests.
Several religious parties and organisations of the Sunni school of thought subscribe to the TNRM. Naqshbandi says that the TNRM will not riot, promising that the protests will be peaceful. However, he pointed out that they would stage their protest at a location which intersects the route of the race. This location had not been finalised till the filing of this report.
A number of women are due to participate in the 3.5 kilometer Family Fun Race as part of the Punjab Sports Festival 2012. Families will run from Siddiq Trade Center to Liberty Chowk on the Main Boulevard in Gulberg.
The office of Deputy Punjab Assembly Speakier Rana Mashood, coincidently the chairman of the festival’s organising committee, said that “this is a family race being organised to perpetrate the message of peace, because people of Punjab have dealt with terrorism and this will encourage them to step out and enjoy outdoor spaces. This race should not be taken negatively.”
Another race part of the festival is the 17 kilometer Punjab Marathon Race for men. This will run a different route from the shorter family fun race.
In 2005, religious parties had protested and manhandled women participants of the marathon organised in Lahore.
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