Aurat March Writes Letter To President, Condemns Decision To Award Ali Zafar With Pride Of Performance

A letter was written to the prime minister and the president of Pakistan by feminists from across Pakistan, urging them to defer the decision of nominating popstar Ali Zafar, who stands accused of multiple harassment charges, for the Pride of Performance Award.

The letter was signed by prominent feminist groups, such as Aurat March's Lahore, Multan and Karachi chapters, Women's Action Forum, Tehreek-e-Niswan, and Aurat Azadi March.

The letter addressed to the PM and the president reads: We write to you today, as concerned feminists from across Pakistan. As we work towards a more equitable Pakistani society -- providing justice for women facing sexual harassment and violence at the place must be a top priority. We believe that the current government working on a mandate to incorporate equity, justice and insaaf within all political institutions and machinery, has a special duty towards the protection of Pakistani women, transwomen, and other marginalised communities."

Expressing concerns over nomination of Ali Zafar, they said the 'decision by the office of President of Pakistan to confer the pride of performance to Ali Zafar has deeply concerned us, as Mr Zafar stands accused of multiple charges of harassment in ongoing cases'.

It said: "Given the distinct accolade the award entails, we don't wish to see its legacy tarnished. While each person is innocent until proven guilty, with an appeal on harassment pending in the harassment case in the Supreme Court and defamation case pending before the Additional District Court, Lahore, the timing of such conferment is deeply troubling and highly incentives."

It urged the government to 'reconsider this year's selection and defer the decision to a time when all legal pertaining to allegations against the nominee have ceased'.