No, Ms Bakhtawar Zardari, a simple apology will not do
By Shakir Lakhani Published: January 23, 2017

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, Chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, and his sister Bakhtawar watch a fashion show. PHOTO: GETTY

After the harassment of Pakistan Muslim League-Functional’s (PML-F) Nusrat Sehr Abbasi in the hallowed precincts of the Sindh assembly, Ms Bakhtawar Zardari has asked her party’s parliamentarian, Imdad Pitafi to apologise to the female lawmaker for his lewd remarks about her.

Yes must apologise absolutely unacceptable behaviour & totally against ethos of our party that has been led by the strongest of women #PPP
— Bakhtawar B-Zardari (@BakhtawarBZ) January 21, 2017
We condemn vulgar and ill language of MPA #ImdadPitafi and #TaimoorTalpur against #NusratSeharAbbasi Sahiba
— Sangri (@Sangrisaeed) January 20, 2017
Likewise #Jiyalas&Pak nation urges PPPChairman @BBhuttoZardari 2tke notice of #ImdadPitafi who usd derogatry wrds agnst #NusratSeharAbbasi
— AakaSh Punhani (@AAKASHPUNHANI) January 21, 2017
This is the kind of empowerment we need.#NusratSeharAbbasi #Stopharassment
— Isbah Rais (@IsbahRais) January 21, 2017

No, Ms Bakhtawar Zardari, a simple apology, or notice from PPP, will not do. For too long now, your party’s parliamentarians have considered themselves above the law. We, the citizens of Karachi, have often escaped death by inches when members of your party and their sons break all traffic rules and drive recklessly on weekend nights. It’s time for them to realise that they should not be let off easily every time they break the law.

When lawmaker Imdad Pitafi contemptuously referred to fellow parliamentarian Nusrat Abbasi as “Madam Queen” and sneeringly asked her to come to his chamber, he was confident that no action would be taken against him. He is, after all, a member of the party which has done everything but provide good governance to the people of Sindh. He has seen that those who pilfer public funds and loot the treasury are able to get themselves elected again and again.

So, Ms Bakhtawar, please remember that what Mr Pitafi has done is something that comes naturally to him and his kind. It’s time to make such people realise that women are human beings and not slaves to be treated like animals. How would you have reacted if he had made such remarks about you or your sister Asifa? The action you take in this matter should be such that no male lawmaker would ever dare to harass another woman again.

And this can be done only when the errant parliamentarian Mr Imdad Pitafi is made to resign from the assembly and never allowed to contest elections on the Pakistan People’s Party ticket again. We are waiting Ms Bakhtawar, please be tough just this one time, we want our women to be respected and to be able to live without being considered as inferior beings with no rights of their own. Please expel Mr Pitafi from your party immediately.
This will send a clear message to others in your party not to think of themselves as being above the law. Now is the time for you to do what needs to be done, so do it, Ms Bakhtawar Zardari!

Engineer, former visiting lecturer at NED Engineering College, industrialist, associated with petroleum/chemical industries for many years. Loves writing, and (in the opinion of most of those who know him), mentally unbalanced. He tweets @shakirlakhani (