Backlash After PDM Member Says Women Won't Attend Karachi Jalsa

Backlash After PDM Member Says Women Won't Attend Karachi Jalsa
Jamiat Ulema-e-Islam (JUI-F) leader Rashid Soomro has said that women will not be present at Pakistan Democratic Party (PDM) public meeting in Karachi on Sunday (tomorrow) -- a statement that resulted in an uproar on social media, forcing Pakistan Muslim League - N (PML-N) to issue a clarification.

"It has been decided that women would not attend the jalsa tomorrow," he said, while addressing media during the PDM's pre-jalsa meeting in Karachi. He went on to say that the decision was taken in light of the law and order situation.

The JUI-F leader's statement led to a backlash on social media with a number of Pakistan People's Party (PPP) leaders condemning the announcement.

PPP Senator Sherry Rehman shard the news piece and wrote, "Is this for real? No women in PDM jalsa? As a policy"


PPP MNA Shazia Marri also released a video message condemning the announcement.

Following the outrage, PML-N leader Ataullah Tarar tweeted that women would be attending the jalsa. "Meeting is still going on but I felt obligated to tweet during the meeting. Women will attend tomorrow's jalsa," he tweeted.

It therefore remains unclear as to whether a decision about women's presence at the jalsa was taken at the meeting, as suggested by Rashid Soomro.