The gang-rape of a woman on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway has sparked nationwide outrage, with countless protests being organised across the country to demand justice for the victim and safe space for women in the country. Members of the Pakistani Entertainment Industry also took the initiative of organising a peaceful protest outside the Karachi Press Club to raise their voice on the matter and give it more momentum.
Among those present at the occasion was Mahira Khan, Sarah Khan, Ayesha Omar, Adnan Siddiqui, Ali Rehman Khan, Aijaz Aslam, Frieha Altaf, Bushra Ansari, Sarwat Gilani, Yasir Hussain, Asim Jofa, Anoushey Abbasi and Gul-e-Rana.
Sharing pictures from the event, Mahira said: “We demand a secure nation for all women! At home, on the streets, at work, alone, not alone, with kids, without kids, in a skirt or in a burkha. Wherever she may be, whoever she may be – we demand basic rights of safety.”
Holding a placard, which read “Real men don’t rape”, Sarah Khan said: “No mercy for rapists.”
Sarwat Gilani said that the entertainment fraternity came out to “demand justice and security for our women and children”. Sarwat also lauded Prime Minister Imran Khan’s decision to punish rapists with castration — the process of removal of testicles of a man.
We stand together as one voice,” said Ali Rehman. “One voice to demand the protection of our women, children and transgenders. One voice to demand their freedom. “We stand together.”
Aijaz Aslam held a placard which read: “Stop rape”.
Mansha Pasha said she stepped out after a long time to “join a protest and speak about the state of women’s safety in Pakistan and the fact that there is none.”
“We aren’t safe on the street, at work or even in our homes,” she added.
“Rape happens because of: 1) Rapist; 2) Failure of law enforcement agencies,” asserted Mansha.
Yasir Hussain and Adnan Siddiqui addressed the protesters gathered at the venue.
Bushra Ansari stood by her earlier stance, saying that hanging the rapist is not enough.
According to details, the protest was organised by Yasir Hussain, Frieha Altaf and Asim Jofa.
Meanwhile, some social media users are criticising the actors for holding a separate protest instead of attending the main one organised by the Aurat March.
Sarwat later clarified that a second protest was held because “a lot of celebrities were busy with work on the first protest’s date, [so] we decided to get out a day when most of us were available.”