Recent actions of the PTI are raising alarm bells in the minds of educated masses. PTI was a signatory to an agreement banning women from voting in the lower DIR district of Pakistan. News reports indicate that PTI will form a coalition with JI in the KPK province. There are also reports that JI is going to be rewarded with multiple ministries including the ministry of education. The leader of the JUI Munawar Hasan has made outrageous comments on rape and the rights of victims in a recent television interview. Meanwhile PTI draws heavy support from liberated and educated women in urban areas. Is this an oxymoron or outright hypocrisy? Time for Imran Khan to set the record on where he stands with respect to women’s rights in Pakistan. Do women in the villages of Pakistan have less rights than women in cities?
Alarm bells are going off in the minds of educated PTI voters and supporters with respect to the recent actions of the party. First came the appalling news about a pact signed by all political parties (PTI included) to ban women from voting in the lower DIR district of Pakistan. On behalf of PTI the agreement was signed by a Dr. Nazir. This was done in clear violation of the code of conduct established by the Election commission of Pakistan. The pretense was all too familiar, and has been used for centuries to censor women in all cultures; sadly in the Islamic world this infestation has yet to be fumigated. Essentially the agreement resolves that ‘in keeping with the local tradition the political parties and their signatories agree to disallow women from coming out of their homes out of concern for their safety and security’, which can also be translated as ‘Keep them uneducated, uninformed and subservient for all times to come’. For the record this decision officially barred 138,905 women from exercising their constitutional right to vote.
Copy of Voting Agreement signed by All Political Parties in Lower DIR
Imran Khan has an extremely questionable track record on issues related to women’s rights and is widely viewed as cozying up to extremely conservative religious parties with openly misogynistic views.
This agreement definitely adds fuel to that ever increasing ‘bonfire’ of such evidence.
New information has also surfaced that Imran Khan’s PTI is in talks with Munawar Hasan’s Jamat-I-Islami on forming a coalition government in the KPK province of Pakistan.
Mr. Hasan’s views on women’s rights can be summarized in a recent television interview where he insisted that women who have been raped would be best off in keeping the crime hidden and further suggested that the victims be imprisoned if they were unable to produce the requisite number of witnesses. He then further tried to justify his personally twisted and deranged ideology as part of the mainstream religion.
He is also regarded as a ringleader of a select group of vocal and visible conspiracy theorists who blame everything negative in their country on either the United States directly or on some hidden foreign hand typically hinting towards Israel or India, the big three targets of all conspiracy theorists in Pakistan.
And now news is surfacing about Mr. Munawar’s JI being offered several ministries including the Ministry of Education in KPK. It does not take a genius to imagine the fate of women and female education under a JI education ministry.
Meanwhile we continue to see educated females from urban areas of Pakistan come out in droves in support of Imran Khan and PTI.
Ms. Fauzia Kasuri, is one of the more visible PTI leaders who encourages the youth and women in particular to support Imran Khan and showers lavish tributes on him via Twitter.
All of this sounds oxymoronic if not downright hypocritical; Imran Khan and his party cohorts must stand up and clarify their positions. They talk a good talk with respect to women’s rights especially in front of international journalists but their party’s actions seem contrary to their progressive and liberating rhetoric.
Legions of their followers and the general public need to have the real Imran Khan and PTI standup and state their position?
Do women in the villages of Pakistan have less rights than women in cities?