KARAK: A handful of clerics on Friday directed the people of Karak to not allow their women from going to the markets without being accompanied by a male family member, claiming it was ‘un-Islamic’ for females to venture out alone.
Imam of Madina Masjid Karak city Maulana Mir Zakeem, Imam of Maki Masjid Maulana Ismail, Imam of Tehsil Masjid Maulana Ziaul Islam and Imam of Kala Masjid Maulana Misbah issued the decree during Friday sermons in their respective mosques. The clerics added they have also sent an application to district government officials to consider the matter.
When contacted, Karak DPO Atiqullah Wazir confirmed a group of clerics visited his office in the morning to talk about the restriction, adding he could not meet them due to his busy schedule.
“I cannot pass such orders,” Wazir clarified, stressing no one is allowed to restrict women from shopping. He added if the clerics were concerned about the safety of women, he will deploy women police personnel in the city for their protection.
The DPO said women from other districts can also visit Karak to shop. “The police will protect you,” he said, adding though the clerics have delivered such sermons, no one can restrict women from going to bazaars.
This is not the first time a group of men have banned women from shopping alone. On July 21, 2012, DSP Sanaullah Khan, deployed at Sarai Naurang tehsil in Lakki Marwat, allegedly tried to ban women from entering local markets without male family members. A show-cause notice was later issued to the DSP after which he said he took the decision keeping in view the sanctity of Ramazan.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 20th, 2013.