7 Feb 2024
ISLAMABAD: Activists and advocates for human rights gathered outside the National Press Club in Islamabad to condemn the February 3rd conviction of former Prime Minister Imran Khan and his wife Bushra Bibi in un-Islamic nikah case.
Protesters voiced their outrage, asserting that the court's verdict had been written with their red blood, attacking their dignity, privacy, and bodily autonomy. They emphasized that this incident marked neither the first nor the last time, vowing that women would continue to protest against such infringements on their rights.
Activist Farzana Bari echoed these sentiments, emphasizing the importance of a woman's right to control her own body, encapsulated in the phrase 'mera jism, meri marzi' (my body, my choice).
Expressing dismay at the discriminatory family laws in Pakistan, Bari highlighted the need for gender-just laws, urging that a woman's testimony should be considered conclusive. Activist Tahira Abdullah pointed out the historical politicization of women's bodies, emphasizing the need to treat women as human beings and discouraging adversity towards them.
Former Senator Farhatullah Babar, despite being a political opponent of Imran Khan, participated in the protest, warning that the verdict set a dangerous precedent. He cautioned future prime ministers that they could not only face convictions but also public humiliation.
Aurat March Islamabad, in an official statement, called on higher courts to overturn the decisions, stating that failure to do so would establish a dangerous precedent that might be exploited by a judiciary historically inclined towards anti-women rulings.