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Government should not echo BJP on Pakistan: CPI-M

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New Delhi: The Narendra Modi government should “stop echoing the aggressive anti-Pakistan posture of the BJP” if it is serious about a dialogue with Islamabad, the CPI-M said on Thursday. 1280px-CPIM_election_decorations

“While recognizing that there are forces within Pakistan who would try to hamper the civilian government’s efforts to improve relations with India, what the Modi government should do is to stop echoing the aggressive anti-Pakistan posture of the BJP,” its journal “People’s Democracy” said in an editorial.

“As much as there are difficulties for a meaningful dialogue from within Pakistan, the mindset of the BJP-RSS leadership is also a hindrance to take the process forward,” the editorial said.

The Communist Party of India-Marxist mouthpiece said what was required was to pick up the threads of the bilateral discussions held earlier during the UPA-1 government’s time with regard to Kashmir and other issues.

“This must be combined with a renewed effort to make Pakistan take up concrete measures to curb the extremist-terrorist groups targeting India.”

According to the editorial, the Bharatiya Janata Party government led by Prime Minister Narendra Modi was caught between its own aggressive postures and the contradictory realities as far as Pakistan was concerned.

“This is what has emerged from the episode of the joint statement issued after the prime ministers of India and Pakistan met at Ufa in Russia on July 10 and the events thereafter.”

The Ufa meeting, it said, “was an unexpected but positive step”.

“However, the aggressive posturing of the BJP towards Pakistan is still at work.

After accusing the UPA government repeatedly of surrendering national interests by holding talks with Pakistan, the BJP government finds itself unable to come out with a clear cut approach on having a dialogue with Pakistan.

“If the composite dialogue which had been going on for long is not proving to be productive, the way can be found for other levels of engagement,” it added.

(IANS)

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Women of Pakistan Protest Against Workplace Harassment, Child Marriage

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded "the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country"

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Following this, a National Security Committee was also held to discuss Sharif's
Pakistan Flag, wikimedia commons

On the occasion of International Women’s Day, women took to the streets across Pakistan on Friday to protest against sexual harassment in the workplace, child marriage ‘honour killings, wage inequalities and limited political representation.

Organisers hope that the “aurat march” (women’s march) and “aurat azadi march” (women’s liberation march) will draw attention to the struggle for reproductive, economic, and social justice across in Pakistan, reports the Guardian.

The first “Aurat March” was held last year in Karachi; this time, the rally has been extended to more cities, including Lahore, Multan, Faisalabad, Larkana and Hyderabad.

The aim is to reach ordinary women in factories, homes and offices, says Nighat Dad, an “aurat march” organiser in Lahore.

“We want an organic movement by women demanding equal access to justice and ending discrimination of all kinds.”

Speakers at the Lahore march ranged from a woman fighting to reform marriage laws to the women who worked on the landmark Punjab Domestic Workers’ Act — a legislation that outlaws child labour in homes and provides maternity benefits to workers.

Another activist, Leena Ghani, noted that Pakistani women have a history of taking to the streets, famously during military dictator Zia ul-Haq’s martial law in the 1980s.

Krishna Kumari works in her office in Hyderabad, Pakistan, Feb. 12, 2018. VOA

While Pakistan has made major strides towards gender equality, poorer, marginalised women and transgender citizens continue to struggle, Ghani added.

Designer Shehzil Malik created a series of striking posters for the “aurat march” that counter typical representations of Pakistani women as docile and subservient.

Women are also protesting against discriminatory policies in universities, where male and female students are afforded different levels of freedom, the Guardian said.

A Pakistani university recently caused a furore on social media by banning women from wearing skinny jeans and sleeveless shirts.

Also Read- Originality is a Dichotomous Terminology, Says Megastar Amitabh Bachchan

In his message on Friday, Prime Minister Imran Khan reaffirmed his government’s commitment to providing women a safe environment so that they could contribute to the country’s development, Dawn news reported.

“We reaffirm our commitment to ensuring women a secure and enabling environment to play their rightful role in our nation’s development.”

Leader of the Opposition Shahbaz Sharif lauded “the incredible work our women are doing to strengthen their families, communities and the country”. (IANS)