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Pakistan: Benazir Bhutto's name missing from ad on Women's Day, miffed opposition demands probe


Islamabad, Mar 9: Former Prime Minister Benazir Bhutto's name was missing in an official advertisement highlighting the contribution of Pakistani women in diverse fields on the International Women’s Day, triggering protest by Opposition which demanded a probe into the matter.

Pakistan Peoples Party’s parliamentary leader Sherry Rehman raised the issue during a session of the Senate, regretting that the name, photograph and mention of the twice-elected prime minister of Pakistan was missing from the official advertisement, the Dawn reported.

A file photo

She said Bhutto was an identity of Pakistan and her achievements brought her worldwide fame. She said roads were being named after Banzir Bhutto in different parts of the world while international universities were creating chairs in her name. She sought an official apology over the issue and an amendment to the advertisements by the evening, before the opposition staged a walkout from the House in protest over the issue.

Senator Syed Shibli Faraz, Leader of the House in the Senate, said the government would investigate how Bhutto's name was excluded from its advertisements for International Women’s Day, the daily said. Faraz acknowledged that Bhutto gave unparalleled leadership to women and said the services of the first woman prime minister of the Islamic world for restoration of democracy were beyond any doubt.

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He attributed the missing reference of Bhutto from the advertisements to a mindset and promised a probe to find out at which level it had been done. Later, the House passed a resolution commending the role of Pakistani women in nation-building.

“The importance of women’s day should be realised and the house recommends that concrete steps should be taken for women’s empowerment,” said the resolution.

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The House also had a discussion to commemorate International Women’s Day. The latter part of the Senate’s proceedings was chaired by Krishna Kumari Kolhi, first Hindu woman senator from Thar, during which speeches were made to pay tribute to prominent Pakistani women for remarkable achievements in multiple fields despite all odds and challenges.

Kolhi expressed her gratitude for being given the chance to chair the session. “I consider myself very fortunate today to be sitting in this seat, I salute Pakistan and I salute Pakistan’s people and I am proud to be a Pakistani and only Pakistani,” she said.


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