15 December 2022
By Ahmed Saeed
ISLAMABAD: Female parliamentarians across the board rallied in support of Minister of State for Foreign Affairs Hina Rabbani Khar after a disgruntled MNA criticized the government for sending a woman to Taliban-ruled Afghanistan.
Religious party, Jamat-e-Islami’s MNA Abdul Akbar Chitrali demanded that instead of Khar – a woman – the government should have sent a delegation headed by Maulana Mehmood, son of Maulana Fazul Rehman the Chief of JUI-F.
The statement by Chitrali irked female parliamentarians from different political parties who were enraged that the qualification of their colleague b put into question based on her gender.
The female parliamentarians including PPP leader Sherry Rehman and Shazia Marri and, PML-N leader Mariyum Aurangzeb gave a befitting response. Prominent male parliamentarians including Mohsin Dawar and Khawaja Asif also came in support of their female colleagues and praised Hina Rabbani Khar for her successful visit to Kabul. Seeing an unprecedented reaction and unity from female lawmakers, MNA Chitrali further lost his temper.
Khar went to Kabul on a one-day visit on November 29, where she met with top Taliban leadership including the Afghan Foreign Minister Amir Khan Muttaqi. Besides discussing bilateral issues, Khar also spoke about the importance of women in Afghan society and discussed business opportunities for Afghan women.
Afghan women have been subjected to many restrictions including a ban on girls’ education by the Taliban government.
Internationally Pakistan has been praised for sending a female-led delegation to Kabul as it was seen as a symbolic step showcasing the importance of women’s rights and equal participation in front of the Taliban.