ISLAMABAD - The Pakistan Bar Council (PBC) on Tuesday strongly condemned the reported threats being made against organisers and participants of the Aurat March, 2020 which would be held on the International Women’s Day. In this regard, the PBC Secretary issued a statement stating that the uncalled threats are contrary to the fundamental rights of citizens and constitute hate speech against women’s rights activities across the country. The Council endorsed the demands made by the Aurat March that being in line with fundamental rights enshrined in the Constitution. The Aurat March Charter of Demands highlights issues of violence and economic deprivation against women and all their demands are legitimate and within the bounds of the Constitution and the laws of Pakistan. They said that it is the fundamental right of every citizen to assemble in public places and mark their peaceful protest. The International Women’s Day is being observed in Pakistan for decades and there have been no instances of violence or unconstitutional activity at the march. Infact, the visibility and participation of women in public spaces is a sign of functioning democracy. Therefore, the PBC called upon the relevant government institutions to provide security and safety to the Aurat March organiser and the participants to ensure that they exercise their Constitutional right to March and protest in a peaceful and safe manner.

 The PBC also condemned the decision of the Indian government to extend the period of detention of Mian Abdul Qayoom, President and Ashraf Butt, General Secretary, Jammu and Kashmir High Court Bar Association and other political leaders of Indian Occupied Jammu and Kashmir, under the draconian Public Safety Act.

Mian Qayoom an old aged lawyers leader who remained President of High Court Bar Association for 21 times, suffering from multiple ailments also having undergone heart surgery; currently lodged in the Tihar Jail, New Delhi, is being punished for his undeterred stance on Kashmir issue.

The PBC said that he was arrested alongwith 24 other activists following the unilateral abrogation of Article 370 of Constitution by Indian government on August 5, last year.

The fascist Modi government which is continuously committing atrocities on innocent Kashmiris, has shamelessly denied even medical facilities to the old ailing Mian Qayoom.