All this business about 'religious' extremists attacking a marathon because women were participating in it, and then presenting a bill to the National Assembly seeking to criminalise 'indecent' advertisements brings inevitable memories of the Zia years.
Last week the six-party religious alliance that constitutes one-fifth of parliament introduced a bill seeking a complete ban on women in advertising. The move follows the MMA's recent successes in stopping women from participating in outdoor sports.
MMA governs the most important province of Pakistan i.e. North West Frontier Province (NWFP) that borders Afghanistan. Its parliamentarians have presented a bill that seeks to ban dance, music and women's photography.
Women across the country commemorate February 12 as Pakistan Women's Day, in remembrance of the state's brutality against women who in 1983, protested against the Law of Evidence, which reduces the status of a woman witness to half that of a male witness.
Pakistani human rights lawyer and UN Special Rapporteur on Freedom of Religion and Belief, Asma Jehangir, during her recent visit to Dhaka, was interviewed on the state of the religious minorities, specially Ahmadiyyas vis-a-vis human rights.