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Women Democratic Front Denounces ‘State Censorship’ Through Tahaffuz-e-Bunyad-e-Islam Bill

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The Women Democratic Front (WDF), a civil society organisation working for women’s rights, has expressed deep concerns over the ‘blatant attempt at increased state censorship through the Tahaffuz-e-Bunyad-e-Islam Bill’.

It said the bill was a transparent ploy to attack the already shrinking space for intellectual independence and religious freedom by threatening to monitor and censor books, magazines, pamphlets and other reading material published and imported into Pakistan in the name of protection of religion.

Through the passage of this bill, it said, the state wished to trample even further on freedom of thought and expression in the country and stifle any dissenting discourse.

The WDF called upon the Punjab governor to not ratify the bill and condemned those political parties which claimed to fight for the rights of minorities and yet voted for the bill.

“It is no secret that religious, intellectual, academic and political freedoms are under attack in Pakistan. Efforts to silence academics, journalists and political workers through force have been increasing while rightwing forces are making it harder for non-Muslim Pakistanis to practice their religion freely,” the statement said.

It called upon all progressive forces in the country to join hands in calling upon the legislators to repeal this bill with immediate effect and stand with the forces of freedom rather than against them.

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