The Pakistan government on Tuesday faced flak after two women workers belonging to former prime minister Imran Khan’s party were brought to an anti-terrorism court in Lahore on Tuesday with their heads covered with ‘shopping bags’ for their alleged role in torching a senior military officer’s house in the city.
Police presented the two Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf workers –Ayesha Masood and her young daughter Maha — before the anti-terrorism court (ATC) in connection with the attack on Lahore Corps Commander House known as Jinnah House on May 9 following Khan’s arrest in a corruption case.
The court sent both women to jail for seven days for an identification parade, a court official said.
In a video clip, both women can be seen brought to the ATC with their heads covered with shopping bags.
As the video went viral on social media, the government and establishment faced scathing criticism for ‘humiliating women’.
“Women have been used as a weapon by this regime. The arsenal has been manifold; blackmail, harassment, threats, illegal arrests & perhaps even more. But women have also stood up against these vile tactics and shown tremendous courage,” PTI leader and former federal minister Hammad Azhar said in a tweet.
Women have been used as a weapon by this regime. The arsenal has been manifold; blackmail, harassments, threats, illegal arrests & perhaps even more. But women have also stood up against these vile tactics and shown tremendous courage. pic.twitter.com/nBJl4HlgzZ
— Hammad Azhar (@Hammad_Azhar) May 30, 2023
In his address to the nation on Tuesday Khan said: “They (PMLN-led government and military establishment) have stooped too low as the PTI workers are being threatened that women from their houses will be taken away. Nobody could have imagined stooping to this level in Pakistan’s politics”.
He claimed that his party leaders are being tortured.
The Punjab caretaker government, however, said that jails in the province have only seven women prisoners from PTI, including former provincial health minister Yasmin Rashid.
Pakistan saw unrest following the arrest of Khan, 70, by paramilitary Rangers in a corruption case on May 9. Khan was later released on bail.
Over 20 military installations and government buildings were damaged or torched during the riots. Over 100 vehicles of Punjab police and other security agencies were set on fire.
Law enforcement agencies have arrested over 10,000 workers of Khan’s party from across Pakistan, including 4,000 from Punjab.
(Except for the headline, this story has not been edited by NDTV staff and is published from a syndicated feed.)