In a supposed attempt to curb ‘moral indecency’ allegedly linked to the Aurat March, the National Assembly’s Standing Committee on Information and Broadcasting urged the Pakistan Electronic Media Regulatory Authority (PEMRA) to direct all media channels to stop telecasting slogans like “Mera Jism, Meri Marzi”.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr Firdous Ashiq Awan said Islam was the champion of women’s rights, and anything against the religion and socio-cultural values would not be allowed.
The NA body held a meeting under the chairmanship of Mian Javed Latif of the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N). The committee asked the government to check the telecast of indecent and controversial content on television channels with a special reference to the slogans related to the Aurat March annually held on International Women’s Day. The committee decided to take up the issue with PEMRA and owners of the electronic media houses.
A lawmaker, Aftab Jahangir, expressed ‘concern’ over the language used by “certain people in news channel programs” saying it was repugnant to the Islamic teachings, which no person could “watch in the presence of family members”.
Special Assistant to the Prime Minister (SAPM) on Information and Broadcasting Dr. Firdous Ashiq Awan said Islam was the champion of women’s rights, and anything against the religion and socio-cultural values would not be allowed.
The constitution gives the right of freedom of speech but being the citizens of an Islamic and democratic country “we have some responsibilities and values”. “Nobody would be allowed to ridicule the ‘Islamic way’ of life in the name of freedom of speech,” the SAPM stressed.
Dr. Firdous said it was not an issue of the government but that of the entire society. The government, however, was committed to protecting the constitutional, legal, political, social and economic rights of women.
‘NO ONE CAN STOP AURAT MARCH’:
Meanwhile, Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) chief Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari has said that “no maulana, politician or anchorperson can stop women from holding the march”.
Speaking at a women convention by PPP Punjab in Lahore on Thursday, he said Benazir Bhutto had always fought against terrorism with courage.
“The people who say that women would not march should hear loud and clear that they will march and no one can stop them. This path was shown by Benazir Bhutto. The PPP is standing shoulder to shoulder with women of this country and we demand the government provide protection to each and every march and the people threatening women be arrested and cases registered against them.”
He said women were not begging, rather they were seeking their constitutional rights. “This is Pakistan of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, Shaheed Mohtarma Benazir Bhutto, and Pakistan of every woman the country. This is not a Pakistan for the conservatives.”
The PPP, Bilawal added, was a party of prosperity for the people of Pakistan. “Women know the best about the economy of the country because they manage homes. Women will take the PPP’s message of prosperity to every nook and corner of this country.” The PPP chief further said that his party had always raised voice for women empowerment.