ISLAMABAD: Minister of State for Climate Change Zartaj Gul on Tuesday said the `liberally corrupt goons` should not dare to be the leader and representatives of Pakistani women.
She said the `liberal brigade` had made repeated attempts to distort Prime Minister Imran Khan`s strong efforts towards projecting a positive and progressing image of the country.
Flanked by Barrister Maleeka Ali Bukhari, the parliamentary secretary for law and justice, and Kanwal Shauzab, the parliamentary secretary for planning, development and reforms, the state minister at a joint press conference rendered aclarification to the opposition parties and so-called social media outcry over Mr Khan`s interview to a foreign journalist.
The minister rejected the allegations levelled by the purported critics that the prime minister had tainted the image of the victims bearing sexual violence.
`Mr Khan is the genuinesymbol of women empowerment, as for the first time five women parliamentarians have been made cabinet members. Besides, 12 parliamentary secretaries arewomen, including Maleeka Bukhari, Kanwal Shauzab and Aliya Hamza Malik, who represent their ministries in the parliament,` she explained.
Ms Gul said women like her were proud to be Pakistani, observing that their religion and culture gave them respect. She said they believe in the women rights that are enshrined in the teaching of Islam. `Islam gives me freedom and liberty and I am proud to have it,` she asserted.
The Pakistan Tehreek-iInsaf (PTI) government believed that without women empowerment, any legislation and its implementation was futile, she added.
Giving examples of how women were respected and honoured in Pakistani culture, the minister said that in long queues, men out of respect got aside so that women could be served before them. She said MrKhan was seriously concerned about women and girls and wanted to ensure all possible facilities and protection from facing sexual violence.
Af ter PakistanMovement, the ruling PTI was the only party that mobilised women across the country, she said, adding that the only precedent was that of the towering figure of Mohtarma Fatima Jinnah accompanied by Quaid-i-Azam Mohammad Ali Jinnah.
`I am a clear example in this regard where from a feudal tribal society I was elected as a parliamentarian and became the cabinet member, which has been possible only due to strong political support and backing of Prime Minister Imran Khan,` Ms Gul remarked.
Maleeka Bukhari said the prime minister`s first directive to the Ministry of Law and Justice was to enactlaws aimed at reducing discrimi-nation against women and sexual violence. `You [civil society and opposition parties] cannot decide the prime minister`s priorities for women by just interpreting any of his statements out of context,` she said.