Wednesday Sep 11, 2019
FEROZEWALA: Constable Faiza Nawaz on Wednesday stressed that she was speaking up for herself and that no woman stays silent when she is disrespected.
Addressing a press conference here in the city alongside leaders of the Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI), Constable Faiza also refuted the allegations that she was playing politics. She also clarified that she was not speaking on behalf of the police department.
The constable, who was violently slapped by a sexist lawyer, Ahmed Mukhtar Advocate, in public last week, said the legal practitioner had become physically abusive towards her when she told him not to park his car at the Ferozewala Courts' main entrance point.
She said Mukhtar, the lawyer, had parked his car at the main gate of the Ferozewala Courts where she was stationed on duty — around 1PM. "My fellow worker told him not to park his car there, saying, 'Kindly, sir, please move your car back, this is the entrance'.
"To which he responded 'Who are you to tell me to do anything? Don't you know I'm a lawyer? Don't you know the consequences of picking a fight with lawyers?'"
Constable Faiza said she paused to point out the manner in which he was talking, saying: "You are educated, you have a law degree."
The police officer noted that that was when Mukhtar "started hurling abuses at me and started to kick me in the shins as I was sitting on a chair.
"I stood up and said, 'Sir, talk now … What's the problem with you?' and then he slapped me across the face," she added.
The constable explained that she immediately went to the office of the district police officer (DSP) and narrated what had happened. "I have not resigned from my post," she added.
Constable Faiza further highlighted how the lawyer fraternity was angry over how she, as a petitioner, was allowed to bring Mukhtar to the court in chains. She said: "On the other hand, while I'm the petitioner, I'm also a police officer and I have the right to arrest and take him away.
"Neither am I playing politics here nor am I speaking on behalf of my department and I'm not taking anyone's side here either. This ongoing issue is about women.
"If I'm attacked while on duty — I am in the uniform — does that mean anyone can just stand up and attack my self-respect?"
Constable Faiza also lamented how the lawyer fraternity — especially those at the Ferozewala courts and bar council — were engaging in her character assassination.
"They are doing my character assassination on social media. No woman would bear such character assassination," she said.
The PTI leaders, including two members of the Punjab Assembly, Uzma Kardar and Mussarat Jamshed Cheema, demanded the courts to provide justice to Constable Faiza.
"We condemn what happened with Constable Faiza Nawaz," Kardar said, adding that her party, the PTI, ensured respect and honour for girls. "The good thing is that the government stands with the constable.
"We request our honourable courts to take notice of this incident. We want to convey the message that [Prime Minister] Imran Khan and [Punjab Chief Minister] Usman Buzdar are standing with this daughter of the nation.
"Today, the entire police department and the government is standing with Faiza," the PTI leader said.
Kardar further noted: "We do not wish to target all of the lawyer community. There was something lacking in the upbringing of a lawyer who misbehaves with someone's sister or daughter.
"Those from lawyer community should also come forward on this matter," she added.
The PTI leader quoted Quaid-e-Azam Muhammad Ali Jinnah, saying the father of the nation had said it was necessary to walk side by side with women for the country to progress.
"We wish to make all Pakistani women strong. We wish to tell women that they have equal respect in all fields," she said. "We have written a letter to the chief justice of Pakistan that this girl should get justice.
"If Faiza doesn't get justice, then no one gets justice," Kardar said.