International Women's Day: Pakistan police baton-charge Aurat March participants, WATCH


Islamabad: A violent clash broke out in Pakistan’s Islamabad on the occasion of International Women’s Day on Wednesday as women and transgender people from various fields gathered outside the Press Club for the ‘Aurat March’ rally, where the local police thrashed the attendees with batons and allegedly tried to stop the rally.

In videos shared by The Express Tribune, participants of the rally and the police can be seen verbally fighting with each other. The police said that large groups of women were joining the march.

However, the women participants claimed that the police “tried hard to stop the rally”.

Several videos shared on social media show a bitter exchange between the Aurat March attendees and senior police officials.

The rally is conducted every year across Pakistan by women on the occasion of International Women’s Day to voice their grievances and celebrate womanhood.

After the incident, the participants started chanting slogans against the Islamabad Police. Not just that, women and other participants of the march even faced difficulties in reaching the Islamabad Press Club as all roads leading to it were blocked with barbed wires, local media reported.

As the participants stepped up to remove the barbed wire themselves, the police tried to stop them. Later on, some women said that they too had the right to protest.

Shehbaz Sharif govt announces strict action against police

Soon after videos related to the incident went viral on social media, the Shehbaz Sharif-led government announced to take “strict action” against the police officials.

Interior Minister Rana Sanaullah promised to take strict legal action against the responsible officials.

Meanwhile, Climate Change Minister Senator Sherry Rehman demanded an inquiry into the incident. “There is no excuse for this. That too on Int’l Women’s Day. This is not what we fought for and will not tolerate it,” she wrote on Twitter.

High Court rejects petition

Earlier in the day, a petition filed by Amun Taraqqi Party (ATP) chief Muhammad Faiq Shah challenging the permission given to Aurat March organisers to hold the rally at F-9 Park was dismissed by the Islamabad High Court.

The court stated that Shah’s plea was non-maintainable.

Shah’s petition had asked the court to revoke the permission and that the organisers be instructed to not violate the “injunctions of Islam and the Islamic way of life while holding the Aurat March”.

(With inputs from agencies)

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International Women's Day: Pakistan police baton-charge Aurat March participants, WATCH
International Women's Day: Pakistan police baton-charge Aurat March participants, WATCH
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