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A Woman's Request from Peshawar
By xxx

We want to draw your attention towards a recent untoward incident in which the local leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami resorted to threats to stop the holding of an election-related program of the Aurat Foundation in Timergarah area of Dir district, NWFP.

The Aurat Foundation had arranged a networking meeting on April 07, 2005 in collaboration with the local social organizations as part of the campaign for women representation in the expected Local Government election. Social and political figures had been invited to the program. Prior permission had been obtained from the District Government, and the Timergarah Rest house booked for that. But the District Police Officer phoned up an Aurat Foundation staff member and got information about the meeting, adding the local leaders of the Jamaat-e-Islami had threatened to stop holding of the meeting by force as they believed that a large number of women had been invited to the meeting. It was explained to the DPO that neither woman had been invited, nor would any attend the moot. The police officer was also informed that keeping in view the social norms and religious situation of the area, a separate meeting had been convened for the women in a nearby village.
After getting this assurance, the DPO talked to the Jamaat leaders. He again contacted the AF staff members to tell that he had spoken to the JI local leaders and cleared their reservations. However, he suggested that the AF women staff members should keep away from the meeting to avoid any unpleasant situation. . The AF entertained the request accordingly.

Despite all that, the Timergarah Tehsil nazim went to the Rest house and let loose angry outbursts. He asked the organizers to remove the chairs and tents from the venue, saying AF would not be allowed to hold the meeting. He got the rest house locked by force. To forestall any untoward incident, the AF shifted the meeting venue as people had already been invited and postponement was not possible at this stage.

On the morning of April 07, 2020 a local leader of the Jamaat , Mr Aizazul Mulk Afqari reached the new venue for the meeting along with his companions in two cars. Mr Afqari entered the Hujra. The AF staff members and their local partners assured them the AF staff members and their local partners were peaceful citizens and had no differences with any political party. He was told that the AF had always worked in collaboration with all the political parties, including the Jamaat-e-Islami, and even JI local and provincial leaders had participated in the AF seminars and programs. He was convinced, albeit with difficulty. The meeting was held, which was attended not only by provincial and district leadership of the ANP, PPPP, JUI, PML (N) and PML (Q), but also former contenders for the provincial and national assembly seats.

We have brought the above incident to the notice of the Jamaat-e-Islami chief Qazi Hussain Ahmad so that such an embarrassing situation does not arise in future.

We hope you will also support us by prevailing on the Jamaat-i-Islami national and provincial leadership to stop creating hurdles in way of those working for the women participation in the Local Government polls. Your letters, faxes, emails and phone calls to the Jamaat leaders will definitely strengthen the hands of all those who want women represented in the local governance.

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