‘Offensive’ Aurat March banners irk NA panel

Committee to present bill for establishing authority to prevent misuse of religious material


Our Correspondent March 18, 2021
Citizen's protesting during the Aurat March on March 8, in Karachi.

ISLAMABAD:

National Assembly Standing Committee on Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony on Wednesday directed ministries of interior and law and justice to furnish details of the action taken against elements behind displaying the ‘objectionable’ material in the Aurat March held on March 8.       

The meeting of the committee presided over by Maulana Asad Mehmood, son of Maulana Fazlur Rehman, expressed indignation over “sacrilegious” banners, placards and slogans displayed in the women march and declared it unethical, contrary to the constitution and against the teachings of Islam.       

The panel sought details about the non-governmental organisations that participated in the march and their source of funding.

Chairman Mehmood said the impious slogans displayed in the march could not even be repeated. Shahida AKhtar Ali, a member of the committee, said the videos of various female participants of the march had already gone viral on social media.     

Shagufta Jumani, another member of the body, said she was ashamed after watching the banners of the march which were totally against the moral values.

Lamenting the absence of any authority to prevent the misquoting of religious material, the committee granted its consent to present a bill for establishing an authority to prevent the misuse of religious material.

The forum also discussed the “absence” of government authority on blasphemy and printing of non-Islamic writings or similar material.

"Is there any authority in our country to review and take action on controversial writings?” questioned the chairman.

The body adopted a resolution condemning the United Kingdom's report titled "Suffocation of the Faithful, the persecution of Ahmedi Muslims in Pakistan and the rise of International Extremism".

Observing that the report was interference in the country’s internal affairs, the resolution was presented by PTI's Jamshed Thomas, a member of the committee.

With input from APP

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