Pakistan Muslim League (Functional) (PML-F) lawmaker Nusrat Sahar Abbasi on Monday ‘forgave’ Pakistan Peoples Party MPA Imdad Pitafi after he draped a chador over her as a symbol of his ‘respect’ for her.
Holding a bottle of petrol in her hand, Abbasi had threatened self-immolation in the Sindh Assembly earlier today if Pitafi was not sacked for his misogynistic remarks against her during Friday’s proceedings in the Sindh Assembly.
Pitafi, the minister for works and services, caused a furore in the Sindh Assembly on Friday when, in response to a question asked by Abbasi, he invited her to his chamber for what he called a “satisfactory reply”.
PML-F lawmaker Nusrat Abbasi threatens self-immolation outside the Sindh Assembly.
Addressing a press conference today, Abbasi warned that she would “set an example” in the Sindh Assembly by setting herself on fire.
The PML-F lawmaker said that she had “been dishonoured before the world” because of the “way I was abused.” She told the media she was facing pressure to forgive Imdad Pitafi for his insulting behaviour.
“Should I forgive a man who said such sentences to me?” Nusrat Abbasi had asked.
She requested all women in the province and the country to stand up with her against “shameless men”.
“This is not a personal issue, this is a problem in every household,” she asserted.
“All those women who go to their work places and are abused in this manner and dishonoured, and they are stopped from doing their work, from doing their jobs as politicians… I am being stopped from doing my job as a politician,” she argued.
However, after Pitafi apologised to Abbasi and offered her a chador as a ‘sign of respect’, she accepted his apology and retracted her call for his sacking.
“I would never have forgiven him,” she told the assembly, “But he came and draped a chador over me and gave me the respect of a sister.”
“It is a tradition in Sindh to drape a chador over someone and give them respect,” she added. “I was given respect and the status of a sister, so I retreated from my stance,” she said.
“I have requested Bilawal to give assurance that this sort of environment will no longer exist, that this never happens with any other woman,” she added.
She thanked other women and civil society for siding with her in the incident.
Clarifying her actions at a press conference held after the session, Abbasi said she had only accepted the gesture because of the meaning it holds in Sindhi culture and underlined the repercussions of rejecting such an act as another reason behind reconsideration of her stance.
“This is a Sindhi tradition… If it didn’t exist, maybe this matter would have gotten out of hand.”
“I am holding onto the honour this chador gives me, nothing else. If I had rejected it, then perhaps no other woman would have been given this respect again.”
“It is a lesson to the PPP and for women who work… Regard women with respect, otherwise women like me who take a stand will take the matter right to the end.”
courtesy : dawn news