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Culture of intimidation unacceptable: Sherry

ISLAMABAD: The culture of “open threats and forced directions is unacceptable”, Women Development Minister Sherry Rehman said on Thursday, expressing concern over Taliban threats to girls schools in Charsadda.

“This is a democratic government and no act of intimidation against our citizens will be tolerated,” she told reporters.

The minister said she would direct the NWFP government’s attention towards the issue, adding, “We cannot allow non-state actors to hound citizens and force them to follow their edicts. The state has a mandate to act against such elements because we have a constitutional responsibility to safeguard the public interest.”

She said her ministry had contacted the Interior Ministry’s Gender Crime Centre, which would present a report on the issue in the coming days. She said the Women Development Ministry had immediately responded to a karo kari case in Khairpur.

“We are in touch with the Interior Ministry and will soon get details of the case.”

Sherry said there would be no indemnity for those seeking to trade the lives of women for the so-called ‘honour’. “We are setting up institutional structures to respond to incidents of crime against women.”

She said that only a combination of social resistance, strong legislation and strict law enforcement would help reduce atrocities against women.
Source: Daily Times
Date:9/19/2008

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