UNITED NATIONS: The deadly terrorist attack on two mosques in New Zealand was “another grim reminder” of the Islamophobia sweeping the world, a senior Pakistani diplomat told delegates attending the UN Commission on the Status of Women – a global gathering of women activists at which Pakistan played an active role.
Ambassador Maleeha Lodhi, permanent representative of Pakistan to the UN, was speaking at a side-event on “Breaking Stereotypes: Muslim Women as agents of change”, one of the four organized by her that made an impact on what is also called the “women activists’ summit.”
The Pakistani envoy linked the attack to stereotyping, which she argued can be seriously consequential as it can lead to misperceptions, demonization and even violence.
“It’s a slippery slope when Muslims are stereotyped and mischaracterized, sometimes deliberately by those who also engage in hate speech,” Ambassador Lodhi said.
She distinguished between culture and religion in asserting that for Muslim women Islam is an enabling agent, not an impediment as is often presumed in Western narratives. The barriers are patriarchal social structures and an overall lack of education in societies.
The annual meeting of the Commission, which dates back to 1947, brought to the UN more than 9,000 representatives from civil society organizations. It will conclude on March 22.
Pakistan’s single person delegation was led by Khawar Mumtaz, who delivered her national statement on Friday.
The event on ‘Breaking Stereotypes’, a brainchild of Ambassador Lodhi, attracted a large audience with people prepared to stand throughout the hour and half event.
About her own professional journey as a Muslim woman, she said this involved facing obstacles, overcoming fears but always dreaming dreams. “My professional path”, Ambassador Lodhi said, “constantly entailed challenging, defying and overcoming stereotypes.”
“This almost becomes a lifetime occupational hazard for women, and not just in the Muslim world. “The important thing is never to allow this to distract or diminish us.
Women, she said, have two choices when confronted with attitudes shaped by stereotypes or when facing barriers: either seethe with resentment or press ahead vigorously to make a difference. Anger, she said, is not a strategy.
Other speakers from Indonesia, Turkey Qatar and Iran echoed the view that for Muslim women, faith was no barrier; indeed throughout Islamic history, women have played prominent public roles. A correct reading of religion showed that Islam was an enabling factor for women to pursue professional roles
A lively question-answer segment followed presentations by the panel of speakers. The session was ably moderated by Pakistani American Professor Ameena Zia.
Participating in the side-events were Parliamentarians who were here to attend the meeting of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) hearings. They included Munazza Hassan, MNA, Ehsanullah Tiwana, Sassui Palijo and Shahla Raza.
Pakistan’s presence during CSW’s first week was also visible in the standees that were displayed across UN HQ depicting women who had made and changed history in Pakistan. The colorful standees included Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah, Benazir Bhutto, Asma Jahangir, Sharmeen Obaid, and Malala Yusufzai among others.
Karachi University Examination
KARACHI: The University of Karachi Controller of Examination Dr. Irfan Aziz has announced today that the paper of BSc Part-II, which was scheduled on 26th March but postponed due to Senate meeting, would now be held on 29th March, examination center and paper timing would remain the same.
Ex-CM Sindh granted ten-day interim bail in fake accounts case
ISLAMABAD: The Islamabad High Court (HC) Tuesday granted a ten-day pre-arrest bail to former chief minister Sindh Syed Qaim Ali Shah in a NAB case pertaining to money laundering and fake accounts.
A divisional bench, comprising Justice Aamer Farooq and Justice Mohsin Akhter Kiyani, accepted the interim bail of ex-CM against surety bonds worth Rs one million.
The petitioner had stated in his plea that National Accountability Bureau (NAB) had served called up notices to him for March 27, for investigation related to Thatta Sugar Mill and Dadu Sugar Mill.
The department could detain him on his appearance before the investigation team, he stated.
Shah stated that he had not misused his powers being CM Sindh, adding that a criminal case against him was initiated to politically victimize him.
He stated that he wanted to join NAB’s inquiries but have fear of being arrested and humiliated.
Former CM said that he was 85 and being a senior citizen he was entitled for interim bail. The NAB had no evidence against him, he added.
He prayed the court to stop NAB from arresting him and grant pre-arrest bail.
The bench noted that the petitioner had filed a bail plea in a case related to Thatta Sugar Mills.
Justice Aamer Farooq observed that the petitioner should have filed two petitions if he was summoned in two inquiries by anti-graft body.
At this, the petitioner’s counsel said that his client would file another petition for bail in second case.
After hearing arguments at length, the bench accepted the interim bail plea of former CM Sindh province and directed him to join NAB investigation.
The petitioner had nominated Chairman NAB and DG NAB as respondents in his case.
It may be mentioned here that the former chief minister was named in a report by the joint investigation team (JIT) tasked to probe the fake accounts case. He was among 172 people named in the report whose names were to be placed on exit control list (ECL).
Shehbaz Sharif’s name removed from ECL
LAHORE: LHC has ordered removal of the name of the leader of the opposition in NA Mian Shehbaz Sharif from ECL