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Aurat March protestors lambast authorities over Bushra Bibi's Iddat verdict

07:19 PM | 8 Feb, 2024
Imran Khan Bushra Bibi

This week, activists and human rights defenders gathered outside the National Press Club in Islamabad to protest against the infamous unlawful marriage case against former Pakistani PM, Imran Khan, and his wife, Bushra Bibi. The conviction was issued on February 3, annulling their marriage during the latter’s Iddat period.

“They have written their black verdict with our red blood. You [the courts] have attacked our dignity, our privacy, our bodily autonomy. This is neither the first time nor the last,” an official statement read. She vowed that women will come out and protest the infringement on their rights.

“This is such a shameful judgment. Courts have nothing to do with women’s personal lives, with their menstruation, when they bleed, when they don’t bleed, and how long they bleed. This is very shameful,” Uzma Yaqoob told Images.

“It’s a woman’s body and only she can tell you what happened with her, when she was on her period, when she was pregnant. This is why we keep saying ‘mera jism, meri marzi’,” activist Farzana Bari told the protesters on sight. 

Bari suggested that the verdict is condemnable, patriarchal, anti-women and even anti-human in nature and added that family laws need to be “gender-just.”

“We have to ensure that our family laws are gender-just and a woman’s testimony should be considered conclusive,” she said.

Activist Tahira Abdullah lamented how women have been objectified since the time of General Ziaul Haq, and asked, “How will we continue encouraging adversity towards women?” 

Farhatullah Babar, the former senator and a member of the PPP, also joined the protest. He remarked that he is a political opponent of Imran Khan, yet he is participating in the protest based on the potential threats it may pose in the future. “This is a warning to all future PMs that they won’t just face convictions but also will be publicly humiliated,” he warned.

In their official statement, Aurat March Islamabad urged the higher courts to overturn these decisions, “as failure to do so will establish a precedent that could be exploited by a judiciary itself that is historically inclined towards anti-women rulings.”

The statement added that the rallying "Mera Jism, Meri Marzi" asserts the “fundamental right of women to make decisions about their bodies and lives, free from coercion or interference.”

Earlier, in a statement on platform X, Aurat March Islamabad called the verdict “a manifestation of unequal marriage laws that establish men’s superiority and control in marital relationships and reinforce patriarchal control over women’s bodies.”

Women’s Action Forum- Lahore also expressed discontentment on the verdict in a post that read, “verdict is an assault on women’s autonomy over their bodies, dignity & privacy, setting dangerous precedent for the state’s intrusion into the private lives of citizens.” 

Protesters made speeches and chanted slogans to condemn the Iddat case verdict and displayed placards inscribed with slogans such as “Meri Shadi Meri Marzi”, Aurat Ka Jism Siyasi Hareefun Ka Maidan Nahi”, “Iddat case decision is an attack on women rights”, and “Iddat case fuels Islamophobes.”

The writer is a staff member.

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Pakistani rupee exchange rate to US Dollar, Euro, Pound, Dirham, and Riyal - 27 Feb 2024

Pakistani currency remains largely stable against US dollar in the open market on February 27, 2024 (Tuesday).

US Dollar rate in Pakistan

In the open market, the US dollar was being quoted at 279.4 for buying and 282.3 for selling.

Euro currently stands at 303 for buying and 306 for selling while British Pound rate stands at 351.5 for buying, and 355 for selling.

UAE Dirham AED hovers at 76 whereas the Saudi Riyal saw slight increase, with new rates at 76.7.

Today’s currency exchange rates in Pakistan - 27 Feb 2024

Source: Forex Association of Pakistan. (last update 09:00 AM)
Currency Symbol Buying Selling
US Dollar USD 279.4 282.3
Euro EUR 303 306
UK Pound Sterling GBP 351.5 355
U.A.E Dirham AED 76 76.7
Saudi Riyal SAR 74.2 75
Australian Dollar AUD 181 183
Bahrain Dinar BHD 742.91 750.91
Canadian Dollar CAD 207 209
China Yuan CNY 38.82 39.22
Danish Krone DKK 40.56 40.96
Hong Kong Dollar HKD 35.7 36.05
Indian Rupee INR 3.37 3.48
Japanese Yen JPY 2.10 2.18
Kuwaiti Dinar KWD 905.46 914.46
Malaysian Ringgit MYR 58.49 59.09
New Zealand Dollar NZD 173.05 175.05
Norwegians Krone NOK 26.36
 
26.66
Omani Riyal OMR 725.54 733.54
Qatari Riyal QAR 76.74 77.44
Singapore Dollar SGD 207 209
Swedish Korona SEK 27.04 27.34
Swiss Franc CHF 317 319.5
Thai Bhat THB 7.76 7.91

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