Karachi: Mutthaida-e-Qaumi Movement (MQM), a
key coalition partner in the PPP-led government, on Sunday
lamented that women are "treated worse than animals" in
Pakistan as the party held a massive rally in southern Sindh`s
provincial capital to highlight the need to empower them.
Thousands of women and girls in colourful dresses and
waving the MQM flags thronged to the Bagh-e-Quaid Azam near
the mausoleum of Pakistan`s founding leader MA Jinnah.
Addressing the rally from London over phone, MQM chief
Altaf Hussain, who has been in self exile in the UK, demanded
more rights for Pakistani women.
"The world over women are considered equals in every
sense. Unfortunately and sadly in Pakistan they continue to be
treated worse than animals," Hussain said.
"Women in Pakistan are subjected to treatment meted out
to second-or-third-class citizens. Worse, they are treated
like animals. Crimes like honour killing, wani and marriage to
the Quran are rampant under the veil of tradition," he
He mentioned honour killing, Karo Kari, acid crimes
and domestic violence and even brought up topics like dowry
and gender discrimination which are considered the social
"The perpetrators of Karo Kari and acid crime should
be hanged," Hussain said.
According to analysts, the rally in a country where women
continue to be marginalised politically, was an attempt to
attract women from the middle and lower classes in the country
to the party fold.
He challenged the political and religious parties "to try
to organize a rally of this magnitude". "Those talking about
revolution should come and see this revolution of women," he
said at the rally with the theme, `Empowerment to women -- a
The MQM supremo paid tributes to the women cadres, saying they
had carried the party flag and run its affairs smoothly
whenever the MQM men had to go underground or were in jail.
The MQM, Hussain said, wanted to create a Pakistan which
was free from discrimination and where women had the freedom
to make their own decisions.
The massive rally at the Bagh-e-Mazar Quaid Azam comes
after the December rally of Imran Khan which showcased the
rising political graph of the crickter-turned politician in