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Abid Sher Ali affirms PML-N’s sexist identity with vulgar remarks against Shireen Mazari

Shireen Mazari
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News Analysis |

Abid Sher Ali, Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) leader and Minister of State for Power, uttered vulgar remarks against Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders Shireen Mazari and Murad Saeed during a public rally on Sunday, confirming the lowest ebb, the party has stooped to, in a bid to criticize political rivals.

Addressing the crowd, the State Minister thought to take a sarcastic jibe at Murad Saeed, Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf leader but ended up making vulgar comments. Murad Saeed had a verbal spat with the minister during the recent budget session, however, Abid Sher Ali made highly controversial remarks about PTI’s firebrand leader publically, with his supporters smiling, instead of feeling some shame.

After having targeted Murad, Ali referred to Shireen Mazari as ‘Tractor Trolley’, a term first coined by former Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif on the floor of the house, which was expunged by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

Javed Latif, another PML-N leader, had also made controversial remarks about the sisters of Murad Saeed, PTI’s Member of National Assembly, in 2017; he had to apologize.

Moreover, the PML-N leader after having explained that Mazari had warned him not to touch her, wondered whether there was something in Mazari to touch. “There is nothing to touch in her [body]” Ali said in highly controversial remarks. Abid Sher Ali, a member of National Assembly from Faisalabad has been making sexist remarks against Shireen Mazari from last two years. In a tweet that dates back to 2016, Ali had dubbed Mazari as ‘tractor trolley’.

The derogatory label was first coined by Khawaja Asif in 2016, however, he had tendered the apology, though Mazari refused to accept it. Asif also fired another tweet in 2017 mentioning ‘tractor trolley’ and ‘dumper’, referring to Shireen Mazari and Firdous Ashiq Awan respectively.

Besides Abid Sher Ali, Rana Sanaullah, Punjab’s Law Minister, also made inappropriate comments about the women who attended Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf’s power show at Minar-e-Pakistan on Sunday. Talking to newsmen outside the Punjab assembly, a day after the rally, Sana claimed that the women who turned up at PTI’s rallies were not respectable.

Read more: PPP in panic as Zardari aides remain “missing”

Taking a strong exception to the jubilance and excitement shown by the PTI workers on party jingles, Sana expressed that the identity of women was evident. Not to mention that in a 2011 interview, Rana Sanaullah had expressed that his daughter danced very well and might be the only bride to have shaken legs during her own wedding ceremony.\

After having targeted Murad, Ali referred to Shireen Mazari as ‘Tractor Trolley’, a term first coined by former Foreign Minister, Khawaja Asif on the floor of the house, which was expunged by Speaker Ayaz Sadiq.

The same remarks were also made by Nawaz Sharif, the former Prime Minister in 2017 when he compared his female party workers with those of PTI loyalists. “Did you see what women were doing in the yesterday’s gathering,” Nawaz Sharif had said in a reference to PTI rally staged in Parade Ground Islamabad.

After the remarks, social media buffs kept on urging Maryam Nawaz, former First Daughter, to clarify party position over the remarks but she kept mum, though otherwise, she advocates respect and sanctity for women.

Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz seems to be getting upset with the accountability court proceedings, bringing in women in the political debate. Even Talal Chaudhry, Minister of State for Interior, targeted Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf chief Imran Khan and eventually turned his guns towards Bushra Maneka, the third wife of PTI chairman.

Read more: Zardari condemns PML-N for not telling Pakistan’s story to the world

Talal, who is appearing before the Supreme Court regarding contempt of court proceedings, recently criticized Khan for Bushra Maneka’s veil, drawing a comparison with other workers of the party. Javed Latif, another PML-N leader, had also made controversial remarks about the sisters of Murad Saeed, PTI’s Member of National Assembly, in 2017; he had to apologize.

Although Pakistan Muslim League Nawaz has a history of directing criticism towards women, the recent commentary by leading members is worrisome.


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