The Lahore High Court on Monday issued notices to the federal and provincial governments on an application seeking a permanent ban on the upcoming Aurat March for being “anti-state” and “un-Islamic”.
Lahore High Court Chief Justice Mamoon Rashid Sheikh issued the directives on a petition filed by Advocate Azhar Siddique which stated, “Prima facie the Aurat March is misdirection and a failed attempt to raise grave issues commonly faced by women.”
The petitioner stated that hundreds of women will once again march with placards displaying various messages that allegedly manifest anarchy and vulgarity. Siddiqui contended that the basic purpose of Women’s Day was to recognise and appreciate women for their achievements as well as to express solidarity with women struggling all over the world against cruelty, discrimination, ignorance and domestic violence.
Siddique further claimed in his petition that, “there are various anti-state parties present who are funding this Aurat March with the sole purpose of spreading anarchy amongst the masses”.
The petition also termed the march “against the very norms of Islam” and that its hidden agenda is to spread “anarchy, vulgarity and hatred”.
The petition requested the court to effectively promulgate the Acts mentioned in the petition to “silence the advertisement of Aurat March on social media and to regulate protests such as the Aurat March”
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Last year, some of the posters and slogans raised during the Aurat March had been criticised and had become a topic of debate with certain people criticising them for being “vulgar”. The posters in question had been highlighting the issues faced by women on a daily basis.
Aurat March will be held across Pakistan on March 8 to mark International Women’s Day.