What ever Javed Latif said cannot and should not be defended – Period !
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Name-calling and fist fights are not uncommon when opposing politicians get together. But yesterday’s brawl between PTI lawmaker Murad Saeed and PML-N lawmaker Javed Latif underscored a disturbing trend.
During a press conference after an argument during a National Assembly session, Latif is reported to have passed distasteful remarks about Saeed’s sisters in connection with PTI Chairman Imran Khan.
His comments invited censure from all quarters, so much so that his name was soon trending on Twitter.
However, this isn’t the first time women were disrespected at National Assembly.
Here’s a list.
According to veteran journalist Nusrat Javeed, Sheikh Rasheed was one of the first politicians to be observed passing derogatory remarks to his female peers.
“Benazir Bhutto was wearing a Pakistani green shirt and white shalwar. When she walked in, he quipped ‘You look like a veritable parrot’, which did not go down well with Ms. Bhutto at all and caused a ruckus in the house,” he recalled ina conversation with Dawn.
When Begum Zahid Khaleequzaman was minister for railways, Nusrat Javeed recalls her commenting on her workload thus: ‘I have so much work that I have one foot in Karachi and the other in Rawalpindi’.
“At this, someone from the backbenches had shouted ‘The people of Rahim Yar Khan must be enjoying themselves’.”
Before he infamously referred to PTI whip Shireen Mazari as a “tractor trolley” (more on that below), Defence Minister Khwaja Asif is reported to have called PML-Q’s Begum Mehnaz Rafi a “penguin” in reference to her limp.
At a National Assembly sessionin June 2016, Khawaja Asif was giving a speech on load shedding in Ramzan when PTI led by MNA Shireen’Mazari protested against some points he made.
Incensed by the interruption, Asif launched a tirade against Mazari, saying “Someone make this tractor trolley keep quiet.”
“Make her voice more feminine,” he said, according to eyewitnesses. Another lawmaker chimed in from the government benches to say “Keep quiet, aunty.”
Talk about not being able to handle criticism.
JUI-F Senator Hafiz Hamdullah hurled threats at analyst Marvi Sirmed during a TV talk show.
Although the threats were never televised, Sirmed revealed in a Facebook post that Hamdullah had swore at her and threatened to “take off her and her mother’s shalwar”. He also tried to beat her, she said in her Facebook post:
Although there was widespread condemnation for Hamdullah’s attack, he suffered no real consequences for it — a reality that allows for such abuse to occur in the first place.
When Shireen Mazari pressed State Minister for Parliamentary Affairs Sheikh Aftab on the security standards at the Islamabad airport, he said, “In airports abroad, they also strip-search you. Is that the international standard she wants,” he responded, to peals of approving laughter from the treasury benches.
The presence of vocal women with strong opinions tends to unsettle a lot of men, and from the six instances above, it’s apparent that our male politicians are no exception. The fact that some are repeat offenders show that their misdemeanours in Parliament are going unchecked. While they are occasionally censured, they suffer no real consequences for it — a reality that allows for such abuse to occur in the first place.
Asma Jahangir, a former president of the Supreme Court Bar Association and noted human rights activist, expressed similar views. She termed the Javed Latif episode a “shameful” one and called for appropriate action against the lawmakers concerned. “Once they are penalised, no one will dare talk in that tone,” she said while talking to a private television channel.
“It’s shameful that they don’t know how to talk to a woman. Are they the elected representatives of people attending an assembly session or some g
LETTER TO EDITOR
March 15th, 2016
Is it not paradoxical that while our constitution empowers the parliament as the supreme body a few clergy men are trying to declare a bill passed its democratically elected members as unIslamic and therefore unconstitutional ?! Who are they to decide what is constitutional or not? Do the parliamentarians who have the mandate of the masses not know what is good or bad for those who have elected them to power? The case in point is enactment of the “Protection of the Women Bill” which was passed by the Punjab assembly and is applicable to the province of the Punjab only. However, a few religious leaders of KPK, Balochistan and Sindh are in the forefront for its immediate withdrawal.
Their protestations now and giving of any deadlines for its withdrawal tantamount to undemocratic measures and the government of the Punjab would do well not to yield to their such demands. There are hundreds of thousands who have appreciated passing of the bill which portends well for the future of a forward looking and progressive Pakistan.
Col. Riaz Jafri (Retd)
30 Westridge 1
Tel: (051) 5158033
Introduction of Hazrat Ayesha Siddiqa
Sayyidah Ayesha Siddiqah Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha was the third lady to enter the house of the Beloved Habeeb Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him as his wife, and she was the only virgin in the consorts of purity of the Holy Prophet’s Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him house. She was of a tender age when she was married to Allah’s Apostle Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him.
Historical records bear ample testimony to the fact that Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha was a precocious genius and was developing both in mind and body with rapidity peculiar to such rare personalities. This marriage is significant in the history of Islam in so many aspects.
Firstly, it cemented the ties between Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him and his devoted friend Sayyiduna Abu Bakr Siddique Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha who always stood by him in hour of trial and who sacrificed his all for the cause of Islam.
Secondly, by this marriage, a lady of eminent qualities came under the direct influence of the Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him at a highly impressionable age, and this provided her ample opportunities to penetrate into the innermost recesses of the sacred heart of the Beloved Habeeb Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him. She shared his company and thus was able to develop her potentialities and refine her taste perfectly in accordance with the teachings of Islam under the direct supervision of Sayyiduna Rasoolullah Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him.
This young age was in fact very opportune for marriage as it has been clearly shown in the researches of psychoanalysts that much of the emotional of a mature person and most of those seemingly unaccountable leanings, tastes and tendencies comprised in the term idiosyncrasies can be traced to the experience of his or her highly formative age of either later childhood or early adolescence.
Thirdly, all the wives of the Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him with the exception of Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha were of advanced age and thus could neither share the feelings of the younger generation nor could they properly appreciate their point of view. The difference of age always stood as a barrier between them and the ladies of the younger ages. The only lady with whom young women could frankly enter into conversation and discuss problems without any reserve could be none but Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha. Thus, the marriage of the Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him with Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha at an age when she was at the threshold of puberty was a great necessity, as it was through her that instructions could successfully be imparted to the young ladies who had newly entered the fold of Islam.
Moreover, this marriage struck at the root of a wrong notion that had firmly taken hold of the minds of the people that it was contrary to religious ethics to marry the daughter of a man whom one declared to be one’s brother. The Messenger of Allah Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him, with the help of his personal example, showed to the people that there is a great difference between a brother-in-faith and the brother in relation to blood. The marriage, which is forbidden in Islam, is with the daughter of the brother in blood and not with the daughter of the brother-in-faith.
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha lived on almost fifty years after the passing away of the Messenger of Allah Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him. She passed away in the year 58 A.H. in the month of Ramadaan and was buried in the sacred graveyard Baqi al-Garqad of Madinatul Munawwara.
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha reported that the Apostle of Allah Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him said:
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha used to play with dolls in the presence of the Messenger of Allah Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him and when her playmates came to her they left (the house) because they felt shy of the Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him whereas Allah’s Messenger Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him sent them to her. People sent their gifts when it was the turn of Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha seeking thereby the pleasure of Allah’s Messenger Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him .
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha said:
“The wives of Allah’s Apostle Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him sent his daughter Faatima Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha to him. She sought permission to get in as he had been lying with me in my mantle. He gave her permission and she said: ‘Allah’s Messenger Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him ! Verily, your wives have sent me to you in order to ask you to observe equity in case of the daughter of Abu Quhafah.’ She (Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha ) said: ‘I kept quiet’. Thereupon, Allah’s Messenger Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him said to her (Faatima Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha ):
“Faatima Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha then stood up as she heard this from her father and went to the wives of Allah’s Apostle Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him and informed them of what she had said to him and what he had said to her. Thereupon, they said to her: ‘We think that you have been of no avail to us. You may again go to Allah’s Apostle and tell him that his wives seek equity in case of the daughter of Abu Quhafah’. Faatima Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha said: ‘By Allah I will never talk to him about this matter’.
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha (further) reported:
This Hadith gives a clear glimpse of the home life of the Glorious Messenger of Allah Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him. The wives of the Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him were all eminent ladies having deep Allah-consciousness, but they, after all, belonged to the human race and thus, could not completely banish those minor human weaknesses, which are ingrained in the very nature of the fair sex. They were all deeply attached to the Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him and every one of them had, therefore, an earnest desire that she should get the maximum love and affection from the Prophet of Allah Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him. It was out of this spirit of envy, rather than jealousy, that they put forward this demand. It was a natural expression of their humanly feelings born of their love for the Beloved Habeeb Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him , and not an objection against the attitude and behavior of the “Mercy of the Worlds”. And they could not even conceive of it; and how could they, when all of them had been receiving the most beneficent treatment at his hand?
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha reported:
Sayyiduna Anas bin Maalik Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha has said:
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha is one of the four persons (the others being Sayyiduna Abu Hurayra Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha , Sayyiduna Abdullah bin Omar Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha and Sayyiduna Anas bin Maalik Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha ) who transmitted more than two thousand sayings of the Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him. The Holy Prophet Peace and Blessings Be Upon Him referring to her extensive knowledge of Islam is reported to have said:
Sayyidah Ayesha Radi ALLAHu Ta’ala Anha not only possessed great knowledge but also took an active part in education and social reform. As a teacher she had a clear and persuasive manner of speech and her power of oratory has been described in superlative terms. Men and women came from far and wide to benefit from her knowledge.
According to the Orientalist, D.S. Margoliouth, he wrote:
Pearls of Wisdom by Sayyida Ayesha as-Siddiqah
Gateway to Heaven (A Concise Manual for Muslim Sisters)
by Sayyid Shah Aal-e-Rasool Nazmi al-Husaini al-Qadiri Barakati Marehrawi
There’s another side of Pakistan that is rarely covered by the mainstream news media in the West.
The other side of Pakistan is modern, moderate, and magical.
In spring 2014, I spent months traveling through Pakistan, from the northern snow-clad mountains to the urban metro-cities. I found women who were dancing divas, decorated brides, and distinguished politicians. These women defy the Western branding that women are oppressed and obsolete. The opposite is true: the women I met are visible and vivacious. They counter the stereotype that Muslim women are second-class citizens.
As a former instructor for the U.S. military, I often used this slide to consider who is not a Muslim woman. I had a simple teaching point: Muslim women can be secular, spiritual, tribal, traditional, modern, and choose to cover or not cover with a hijab.
It comes as no surprise that many people mistakenly judge Muslim women by their attire. Her dress or what she wears is often a cultural identifiable marker and in some cases, her dress can determined her religiosity or lack thereof. For example, most women I know draped in a niqaab, an ankle-length dress that shields a woman’s body and her face, are ultra-conservative; some are tribal. Many of these women believe that covering their face is required in Islam and the greatest form of purity and modesty. Other women oppose the niqaab and the face veil altogether, arguing this so-called modest dress is reflected of cultural practice, not religious doctrine. Whatever the niqaab means, the reality is that there is no agreement among Muslim women on the rules of modesty.
A woman’s dress code should be a personal choice.
Returning to the earlier question, there are three women who are not Muslim: top center (the woman in a blue turban is Sikh); and the two images on the bottom left (the woman with the red dot or bindi on her forehead is a Hindu; the woman next to her in a white turban is Sikh).
For centuries, women in Islam have been redefining their roles and responsibilities. The same is true in Pakistan, a country on the edge of modernity. Nine months ago, I traveled through the country, meeting with women who are determined, destined, and dedicated to forging a new identity.
Women are finding new ways to empower themselves.
For some, empowerment equals a good education and/or equal opportunities in the workplace. In a patriarchal, patrilineal country like Pakistan, this hasn’t been easy. An interview with one of Pakistan’s female parliamentarian leader in the northern town of Mansehra told me, “We can get ahead if we work beside men, not against them.”
I remember the late Benazir Bhutto, Pakistan’s first female Prime Minister at the age of 35, who set a new standard for women. I met her in Washington, D.C., before she returned to Pakistan after eleven years in exile.
Bhutto was banned from Pakistan during her second term in office on allegations of corruption. Her husband, Zardari, was thrown in jail and Bhutto fled the country for Dubai with her three children.
Bhutto’s return to Pakistan to participate in elections set for winter 2007 was an emotional stepping stone.
Tragically, the barbaric Pakistani Taliban shot Benazir in the back of her head during a political rally, killing her instantly on December 27, 2007. Like many Pakistanis, I can never forget that day. I appeared on CNN with other supporters. Everyone I knew grieved her death.
Before Bhutto, a sophisticated, slender woman named Fatimah Jinnah, the sister of Pakistan’s founder, graced the new nation with her presence. She is featured prominently on billboards and in paintings and photographs, standing tall next to Muhammad Ali Jinnah, Pakistan’s British-educated and secular leader. Coined the “Mother of the Nation,” Fatimah helped women like my women take part in political activism and join the Pakistan Army, albeit briefly. In the city of Aligarh, India (before the birth of Pakistan), Jinnah said:
No nation can rise to the height of glory without its women.
Before the birth of Pakistan, Fatimah Jinnah closed her dental practice to live with her brother after his wife’s death. She went with her brother on the political campaign trail and helped him raise his only daughter. Years before Benazir Bhutto would enter the political limelight, Fatimah became a role model for women. Fatimah made it possible for hundreds of Pakistani women to participate in general elections and protest in the civil disobedience movement of the late 1940s. When Jinnah died, Fatimah continued her political activism and stood against Pakistan’s military dictator, Ayub Khan, in an unfair contest. Had the election been fair, she would have won.
The country of my birth is changing and rapidly. In the metropolitan cities of Karachi, Lahore and Islamabad, sprawling communities of elitist, educated, and empowered women are reshaping the country. Because they have access to money, power and status, these women can afford to be bold and brazen in their actions and activities.
Some are super models, fashion designers (including my own rising star cousin, Faiza Amjad with her brand, Meenakar), TV stars, savvy business women, stylish politicians (think Sherry Rehman, Pakistan’s Ambassador to the U.S.), twinkle-eyed talk show hosts, and singers.
Some appear in public cloaked in subtle colors; others prefer flirty crayon colored dresses and megaheels. No matter what their style, these women are classic beauties.
With their fashion and accessories, these women want to be visible. They demand attention. In her timeless charm, Bushra Gohar–the first female Vice President of a Pashtun (mostly male) political party called the Swami National Party–appears in public as convincing and confident.
When I met Gohar in New York, at a conference on Pakistan, we talked about her struggles as woman growing up in the tribal areas of Pakistan.
I had to work hard to get to where I am today. I chose not to marry and devote my life to improving the lives of other women in the tribal belt, she said.
Of all the women from Pakistan, I admire my mother the most. In the 1960s, Mama joined a political party founded by Benazir’s father, the late Zulfikar Ali Bhutto, a man my mother nearly worshipped. Mama rallied behind his party’s axiom Roti, Kapra aur Makanor bread, clothing and housing.
Bhutto gained enormous public support for his party by appealing to the poor and agrarian masses of Pakistan. After a decade of failed military rule, Pakistanis welcomed the new face. Mama said:
After the 1965 war ended, I joined the party and became a PPP loyalist. My other mother didn’t like it but she couldn’t stop me.
Working for the party gave Mama freedom of mobility. She didn’t need her eldest brother to accompany her because the family supported the PPP. She didn’t need a bodyguard to look after her honor or ensure her safety. During the election year of 1971, Mama acted independently.
I enjoyed that time. I was part of something larger than myself, she said.
Mama was well prepared for political activism. She had mastered public speaking by taking part in debate competitions. Once, when Mama was about twenty years old, she defeated my uncle, Tariq Mahmood, who later became Pakistan’s Minister of Interior and then Secretary of Communications, and has since retired from the Foreign Service. Mama also loved to perform. She danced to classic Indian songs. She played basketball, volleyball and enjoyed gymnastics. Mama laughed aloud when she remembered jumping through a ball of fire—a common theatrical stunt at her college.
Mama went door-to-door with her one-line slogan. Let the women vote! On the front page of a national newspaper, Mama raised her fist, her brown hair tied back in a braid. “I wanted women to vote for Bhutto because I believed he could change Pakistan. But first, women had to come out of their homes.” Mama knew men had power over women.
Everything in Pakistan begins with men. They control the country. A woman survives only because of men.
And therein lies the dark truth.
Despite what women have achieved in Pakistan, the country remains patriarchal and patrilineal.
Read More: http://farhanaqazi.com/
Pakistani female fighter pilot is ‘war ready’
Ayesha Farooq, first to pass qualifying tests for combat, says she will do “same activities” as male colleagues.
Jun 2013 10:53
Ayesha Farooq said she does not feel different from her male colleagues at Mushaf base [Reuters]
|Pakistan’s first war-ready female fighter pilot has said she is ready to defend her country, and sees no difference between herself and her male colleagues when it comes to “precision bombing”.
Ayesha Farooq, from Punjab province’s city of Bahawalpur, is one of 25 women who have become pilots in the Pakistan Air Force over the last decade.
Out of the 25, there are five other female fighter pilots who have yet to take the final tests to qualify for combat, news agencies said on Thursday. Non-fighter pilots fly slower aircraft, ferrying troops and equipment around the country.
“I don’t feel any different. We do the same activities, the same precision bombing,” the 26-year-old said of her male colleagues at Mushaf base in north Pakistan.
A growing number of women have joined Pakistan’s defence forces in recent years as attitudes towards women change.
“Because of terrorism and our geographical location it’s very important that we stay on our toes,” said Farooq, referring to Taliban fighting and a sharp rise in sectarian violence.
Deteriorating security in neighbouring Afghanistan, where US-led troops are preparing to leave by the end of next year, and an uneasy relationship with India, add to the mix.
Farooq was at loggerheads with her widowed mother seven years ago when she said she wanted to join the air force.
“In our society most girls don’t even think about doing such things as flying an aircraft,” she said.
Family pressure against the traditionally male-dominated armed forces dissuaded other women from taking the next step to become combat ready, air force officials said.
‘Less of a taboo’
“More and more ladies are joining [the force] now,” said Nasim Abbas, Wing Commander of Squadron 20, made up of 25 pilots, including Farooq, who fly Chinese-made F-7PG fighter jets.
“It’s seen as less of a taboo. There’s been a shift in the nation’s, the society’s, way of thinking,” Abbas told Reuters news agency on the base in Punjab’s Sargodha district.
There are now about 4,000 women in Pakistan’s armed forces, largely confined to desk jobs and medical work.
But over the last decade, women have become sky marshals, defending Pakistan’s commercial liners against insurgent attacks, and a select few are serving in the elite anti-terrorist force.
Like most female soldiers in the world, Pakistani women are still banned from ground combat.
Pakistan now has 316 women in the air force compared to around 100 five years ago, Abbas said.
“In Pakistan, it’s very important to defend our front lines because of terrorism and it’s very important for everyone to be part of it,” said avionics engineer Anam Hassan, 24, as she set out for work on an F-16 fighter aircraft.
“It just took a while for the air force to accept this.”