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Pakistan cleric booked for 'provocative' speech against women, granted bail

News Agencies | Updated on: 1 May 2021, 8:45 IST
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A Pakistani cleric, who had delivered a 'provocative' speech against women education, has been granted bail in Nowshera district in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province.

After his release on Thursday, Mufti Sardar Ali Haqqani led a procession of hundreds of students and reached his madrassa in Wazirabad in Nowshera Kalaan, The News International reported.

District Police Officer Muhammad Iqbal said that Mufti Sardar Ali Haqqani had delivered a 'provocative' speech against women education and their employment in various departments, including doctors, nurses and others.

He said the cleric was arrested after a case registered against him following the video of his controversial speech went viral on social media.

The accused was produced in the court of Judicial Magistrate Sanam Khalid, who admitted his mistake of using derogatory words of the girls acquiring contemporary education and subsequently doing jobs in various institutions. The court granted bail to the cleric on two surety bonds.

Last year, Pakistan's well-known cleric Maulana Tariq Jameel passed an inflammatory remark against women in the presence of Prime Minister Imran Khan on live television, claiming that COVID-19 has been unleashed on humanity because of the 'wrongdoing of women.'

The Prime Minister did not stop him or question him for making such statements.
Jameel also condemned the media for disseminating lies but later apologised for that remarks. No such apology was made for his offensive remarks on women. Human rights groups had chided the maulana for "inexplicably" correlating women's 'modesty' to the COVID-19 pandemic.

It is not just Pakistani clerics, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan himself have also been accused of passing controversial remarks on sensitive topics.

Recently, Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan made a comment that caused the protests in the country. In April, he has blamed "fahashi" (vulgarity) for rising in rape and sexual violence instead of the deteriorating law and order situation in the country.

Khan said when he went to the UK, during the '70s to play cricket, the "sex, drugs and rock n roll" culture was taking off. He said nowadays, divorce rates "have gone up by as much as 70 per cent due to vulgarity in that society". He said the whole concept of pardah (or covering up, or modesty) in Islam has a purpose to it which is to "keep temptation in check".

His remarks sparked outrage in the country where women are subjugated and deprived of basic rights like educations.

Several human right activists and opposition lawmakers asked Imran Khan to apologise for the remarks.

Last month, US State Department issued a report on human rights conditions in Pakistan.

A prominent feature of the rights report is the plight of women in Pakistan.

The US State Department underlined a wide array of reasons for the plummeting women's rights in Pakistan and the increase in female marginalization in the country. The report said that the reasons include bureaucratic corruption, a dearth of accountability and investigation, especially when it comes to violence against women, reported Pakistan Today.

The report also highlighted human trafficking as a crime that directly impacted women in the country.


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First published: 1 May 2021, 8:40 IST