THE PPP Punjab and a large number of civil society activists on Monday staged a protest against the recent recommendations of the Council of Islamic Ideology on the marriage age and second marriage. The protests was led by Ms. Jahanara M Wattoo, a provincial leader of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP) and in-charge PPP social media wing Punjab
The participants also condemned these recommendations as anti-women and amounting to child abuse. The demonstration held outside the Lahore Press Club was attended by Bushra Aitzaz, Jugno Mohsin, Bailum Husnain and Faiza Malik.
The PPP Punjab social media members Junaid Qaiser, Syed Ahsan Abbas Shah, Muhammad Shahzad Shafi, Shehzadi Tauseef Cheema, Naeema Saeed, Zeeshan Baig, Ali Asghar Awan, Tariq Khatak, Sibte Hassan, Dr. Prince Ali, Qundeel Hashmi, Mian Adnan and Kanwal Zehra Zaid also attended the demonstration.
In their respective speeches, the participants stated that they would continue a campaign and resist the legislation if pushed.
Ms. Jahanara M Wattoo told the media that party had launched online petition which had already been signed by Bilawal Bhutto Zardari as the first signatory.
They also disclosed that they would be launching a campaign of securing signatures against the recommendations of the Council and they hoped that petition might bear hundred of thousands of signatures disapproving the recommendations of the Council as discriminatory and tyrannical.
The PPP Punjab leadership, office bearers and all allied wings signed the campaign.
The participants, chanting slogans against the CII, also demanded its liquidation and held the view that the body consisted of clerics who were blind of appreciating the imperatives of the modern time.
Meanwhile, PPP Punjab strongly condemned the ransacking of the temple of Hindu community in Larkana by miscreants and expressed solidarity with them by assuring the Hindus that the Sindh Government would not rest till the culprits were brought under the law.
In a statement issued on Monday, President PPP Punjab Mian Manzoor Ahmed Wattoo said the PPP considered the minorities as its constituency and therefore would not allow the emasculation of their cause for empowerment, come what may.
He said Chairman Bilawal Bhutto Zardari had already condemned the gruesome incident in the strongest terms and had also directed the provincial government to take all possible measures to bring the situation to normal as early as possible.
He added that the PPP and its government would not rest till the situation return to normal followed by rehabilitation of the community and compensation to those whose properties were set ablaze by miscreants.
He observed that those who resorted to damage the place of worship of Hindus were extremists who violated the spirit of Islam that stood for respect for the beliefs of others and their places of worship alike.
He reminded that during the PPP government minorities were treated at par with other communities as citizens of Pakistan. They were allowed to contest elections on general seats besides the reserve seats for them.
Their empowerment had been the cornerstone of the PPP policies throughout because its political philosophy was against all types of discrimination among the citizens of Pakistan, he maintained.
He recalled that during the stint of previous PPP governments the Treasury Benches were actively engaged in providing representation to the minorities on the basis of population which was in consonance with the best democratic practices.
He said that seats for the minorities in the Upper House were enhanced to rectify the injustice inflicted on them in the past.
He recalled that the religious festivals of the minorities were celebrated officially during the PPP governments in order to give them the feelings of religious freedom as enshrined in the constitution.
He further said that August 11 was declared as the Minority Day in Pakistan by the PPP government led by Syed Yusuf Raza Gilani.