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Atif Aslam calls out harassers mid-concert, tells them to respect women

Atif Aslam, Abida Parveen and Azim Azhar performed in Karachi this weekend, but what was meant to be an enjoyable night turned out to be a horrifying experience for many.

The concert, held on Saturday 14, was organised by IBA as part of their MUNIK (Model United Nations). Things took a wrong turn due to mismanagement as many gatecrashed the concert.

The crowd was out of control and many women were harassed and molested.

Here are some incidents people shared of the night on Facebook:

Things had become so problematic that during Atif’s performance, when some women in the front row were being harassed, the singer stopped his concert mid-way, asked the girl to be ‘rescued’ and then told the boy to behave and respect women, otherwise he’ll walk out.

People immediately termed his act heroic:

One girl, Laibah Iftikhar, shared: “Atif Aslam said I want to rescue her. He was amazing throughout. It was a mess initially but eventually it worked out really well.

“I think they oversold tickets. We had VIP tickets, but that didn’t make a difference because we didn’t even have a separate entrance. People just ran in without showing tickets. People were fighting, it was insane.”

She added, “It was a disaster, I ended up screaming at an aunty and I NEVER MISBEHAVE with anyone.”

Dua Rashid, another attendee, was touched by Atif’s act.

“Atif was performing after Abida left — this was around 1.15am — he was in the middle of a song when he suddenly stopped and so did the music; he bent down to talk to one of the boys in the front row, he still had the mic in his hand and we could all hear him.

He asked the boy something along the lines of, ‘Have you never seen a girl before?’ or ‘Do you have women at home?’ and then ordered security to come on stage. On his orders, two security guards immediately came on stage and were ordered by Atif to ‘rescue her [the girl],’ they pulled the girl up on stage and escorted her down the stairs.

“Atif then addressed the boy again warning him not to engage in such mannerism. He then turned to the crowd and spoke about respecting girls and added that he’d end the concert if we didn’t comply to his instructions on respecting women.”

Faisal Kapadia also witnessed the harassment at the concert.

“Yep, right in the front there was someone pushing a girl. He stopped the concert, told people to rescue her, and told the guys to behave or he will leave.”

“He was quite pissed at the people pushing.”

“In the middle of his concert, somebody was pushing some girls in the front row, He stopped the concert and he told his manager Omer, to go rescue the girl and he told the organisers to remove the guys in the front row who were pushing the girls and he told them ‘insaan kay bachay bano’, and he even asked them ‘tumhari maa behnein nahi hain’, and if you keep continuing to do this, I’m going to walk off.’ That’s why people are saying they have such respect for him.”

Shahzaib Qureshi, pressed that the issue was due to the organisers’ mismanagement.

“I was at Atif’s event last night. The timing for the concert was 8pm, and the public was there by 7pm, however the gate had not opened by 9pm, because of which the crowd outside the gate kept increasing and there was pushing and shoving.

“Then there was no one to check the passes, no one’s pass got checked. All the people who got inside, entered without a pass, everyone got pushed at the gate. There was a lot of mismanagement, and there was no check for VIP, student or regular passes, everyone was gathered together, all the (grills?) had been broken, the people ran towards the stage, even then people were pushing each other.

“Finally Atif Aslam came, the concert was happening, and then Atif stopped in the middle of his song, There was a boy misbehaving with a girl, so Atif walked towards him while on the stage and told the boy, ‘What is this rude behaviour? This woman could be your mother or your sister, this is no tareeqa, do you have no shame?’ Then Atif brought the girls on stage and had them sent to a safer place, and then resumed his concert.”

“But the mismanagement was alarming.”

Many people are now of the opinion that the harassment at the concert drives home the need for public events like the upcoming Karachi Eat to implement family- or women-only policies of admission. Organisers of the food festival were widely criticised for not permitting single men or groups of only men from entering its premises, but opponents of these policies appear to have gotten their answer on Saturday night.

Courtesy : Dawn News

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