IHC Gives a Green Signal to Aurat March

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) on Friday reserved verdict on the maintainability on a petition seeking to stop the upcoming Aurat March.

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The hearing was presided by IHC Chief Justice Athar Minallah. The federal government and the chief commissioner of Islamabad were made respondents in the petition filed by eight citizens.

The petition says the march is contradictory to “Islamic values and the moral ethos of Pakistani culture”.

During the hearing, the chief justice questioned how the slogans are in contradiction to Islamic values.

“The slogans are asking for the rights which Islam has given them [women],” the Justice Minallah said.

“How can we interpret the meaning of these slogans ourselves when organisers have clarified.”

Justice Minallah further stressed that he completely supports women rights. “The Prophet (PBUH) had eliminated the burial of little girls alive, however, the birth of a girl is not considered ‘good’ in our society,” the judge added.

“These slogans are for rights that are not given to women. The press conference [by the organisers] stated that they want to enforce the rights given to women in Islam.”

In reply, the petitioners said they approached the court “to stop the agenda behind the Aurat March”. “The court should ban the march in accordance with the law,” the petitioners further prayed upon the court.

“If something goes against the law on March 8, then it will be dealt with legally,” Justice Minallah replied.

“It’s important that you see this march in a positive way,” the chief justice stressed.

Aurat March 2020, organised by a diverse group of women, transgendered persons and gender non-binary individuals across class, sexuality and ability, hopes to collectively raise voices and engage in political action for issues affecting them and their communities in a public rally on March 8.

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