Friday March 22, 2019

Hindu, Christian leaders appreciate Pakistan’s decision on holidays for minorities festival

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Photo: topyaps.com

Hindu and Christian religious leaders today welcomed the decision of the National Assembly of Pakistan for adopting a resolution, declaring holidays on festivals celebrated by minorities–Holi, Diwali and Easter.

Elated over declaration of holidays, Vishwa Hindu Parishad, an offshoot of RSS, welcomed the decision and dubbed it as one positive step towards ‘recognition of world’s oldest religion.”’ Holi, a festival of colors, has given a befitting opportunity to rise above prejudices and we welcome the announcement in the same spirit. It’s good that they (Pakistanis) are returning to their roots,” said Surendra Jain, VHP General Secretary.

Earlier, President of Universal Society of Hinduism, US Rajan Zed had hailed the decision of the National Assembly of Pakistan and thanked legislators for adopting the resolution.

”For the first time, the Sindh Government has declared a public holiday for Holi throughout the Sindh Province for all offices, autonomous, semi-autonomous bodies, corporations and local councils under the administrative control of Sindh Government except essential services, which is a commendable move, ‘said Mr Zed, in a statement.

”Despite theological differences, religions teach us qualities including love, sharing, respect, fairness, morality, ethics, and forgiveness, among others and dialogue helps us overcome prejudices, brings us closer and results in mutual enrichment, ‘he added.

Father John Dayal, spokesperson, United Christian Forum, too welcomed the decision. However, he said the substantive issue was to restore confidence of minorities especially Christians, Hindus by abolishing ‘world’s infamous blasphemy laws.”’ You see the bigger issue is that minorities are being victimized in many ways in Pakistan. So many people, particularly, Christians are on death row for allegedly violating blasphemy issues. Their government should also address bigger issues,” he said.

This article was first published at news.webindia123.com

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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)