Islamabad [Pakistan], February 19 (ANI): As the annual Aurat March continues to be targeted by the upholders of the patriarchal mindset in Pakistan, the Minister for Religious Affairs and Interfaith Harmony, Noorul Haq Qadri has urged the Imran Khan government not to allow any organisation or individual to raise "anti-Islam slogans" during the march.
In fact, Qadri asked Khan to mark 'International Hijab Day' on March 8, the International Women's Day to highlight issues of religious freedom, reported The Express Tribune.
The minister wrote a letter to Prime Minister Imran Khan on February 9, asking him to mark the 'International Hijab Day' on March 8 to express solidarity with the Muslim women.
Instead of raising the genuine issues, Qadri claimed that they rather resorted to maligning Islam's golden principles of life, especially for women. He made it clear that Islam is a complete code of life and women's rights are highly protected in Islamic societies.
"But they totally disregarded the problems being faced by Muslims, as their banners, placards and slogans mismatched with the local social, political and religious norms," he lamented.
He urged the government not to give any individual or civil society free hand to "ridicule" the divine injunctions, particularly regarding hijab in the wake of 'Aurat March', reported The Express Tribune.
Reacting to the minister's statement, Pakistan Peoples Party Senator Sherry Rehman said Qadri's letter seeking "ban" on Aurat March is a matter of concern and astonishing, reported The Express Tribune.
"What will you [Qadri] achieve by banning the march of women," she questioned in a series of tweets from her official handle.
Rehman said that International Women's Day aimed at raising awareness in the society against gender stereotyping and prejudices against women. "You are conspiring to deprive women of their freedom and rights on International Women's Day," she added. (ANI)