Activists of rights organisations, political and religious parties and other civil society organisations on Sunday arranged parallel events in different cities to mark International Women’s Day in an unprecedented show of strength though also exposing the prevailing divergence of views in society on women’s rights issues. One of which was the Aurat March, a march known for demanding women rights.

The major events, including rallies and marches, were held in Islamabad, Karachi, Lahore, Multan, Peshawar, Quetta and Sukkur amid tight security in the wake of threats by some religious groups to prevent the Aurat Azadi marches terming them “vulgar and against the religion”. The federal capital witnessed an incident of violence when the opponents of the Aurat Azadi march after exchanging some heated arguments with the marchers pelted them with stones outside the National Press Club, inflicting minor injuries on some people.

The Islamabad administration later decided to register a case against those who pelted the marchers, mostly women, with stones as they had not fulfilled the promise of leaving the place near the press club before the start of the Azadi March there at 3pm.

Why was the march not protected?

Many would argue that the police was provided for the security of the march, and there’s no doubt in that. The security was there indeed but the real question is why was the Haya March allowed to be held? The organisers of Haya Match has made very clear they were going to sabotage the Aurat March so why was it allowed a NoC?

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