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Travel Ban Imposed on Pakistan Peoples Party Leaders Continues

In response, the PPP called the development a "dictatorial decision", Dawn said

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Imran Khan. Wikimedia Commons

The government has decided to continue a travel ban imposed on top Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) leaders, including chairman Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari and co-chairman Asif Ali Zardari.

The decision was taken at a federal cabinet meeting chaired by Prime Minister Imran Khan here on Thursday, reports Dawn news.

The cabinet, at its meeting on December 27, had decided to place names of 172 suspects of the fake bank accounts and money laundering case, including top PPP leaders and Bahria Town owner Malik Riaz, on the Exit Control List (ECL).

However, the Supreme Court, which is monitoring the case, on December 31 ordered the government to review the decision.

The cabinet in its last meeting had referred the matter to a special committee of the interior ministry to review it.

Imran Khan, taliban
Travel ban to continue on Pakistan Peoples Party leaders. VOA

On Thursday, the committee presented its report to the cabinet recommending removal of 20 names from the ECL, including those of the PPP leaders.

However, Prime Minister Khan and his team rejected the recommendations and decided that the names of the top leaders of the PPP would remain on the ECL.

Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said that names of the PPP leaders would remain on the ECL until a detailed written order of the Supreme Court was received.

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In response, the PPP called the development a “dictatorial decision”, Dawn said.

“The cabinet decision has not only exposed the ‘ugly’ face of Imran Khan but the fact that dictatorship is prevailing in the country which does not even accept the decisions of the Supreme Court,” said PPP leader Nafisa Shah in a statement. (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.

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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)