Wednesday, April 8, 2009

Flogging incident in Swat: 1,700 girl students stage protest rally

KARACHI: The female students of the Dawood Public School (DPS) organised a protest rally against the flogging of a girl in Swat on Tuesday.

Around 1700 girls, from pre-nursery to O-levels, gathered in the lawn of the school wearing black veils and black ribbons tied around their arms, and protested against the brutal punishment awarded to a teenage girl in Swat.

The environment was as if these schoolgirls were preparing for a long march to snatch their rights. Holding banners, they chanted slogans such as, “We want peace!” “Save Women!” and, “Stop atrocities against humanity!”

Sidra, a student of class six, told Daily Times, that she had watched the video in which women was flogged on television and said, “I feel sorry for the poor girl. I cannot imagine that people living in Pakistan could be so brutal.” Rabia, a student of class 3, was also attending the protest rally. “My teacher says that had hit a ‘baji’ very brutally in Swat,” she said, adding that the act was very brutal. “Where were the parents of the ‘baji’, who was brutally punished?” questioned the little girl.

DPS’s Chief Executive Officer Sabrina Dawood told Daily Times that the rally was organised to inject a spirit of citizenship into the personalities of the students. “We want to make them active citizens who know their rights and protest for their rights,” she said. She further went on to add, “Citizens need to cooperate with the government and that’s how a government works. My students know that responsible citizens not only know their rights but also their duties towards the community and state.”

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