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HomeGo To PakistanPakistanis cry ‘blasphemy’ on Twitter after spotting 'French flag' at Aurat March

Pakistanis cry ‘blasphemy’ on Twitter after spotting ‘French flag’ at Aurat March

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New Delhi: Organisers of the nationwide ‘Aurat March’ held in Pakistan Monday, to celebrate International Women’s Day, are facing online threats and accusations that a French flag was allegedly paraded during the march. They are being accused of “subscribing to a foreign agenda”.

The march was held in various cities in the country including Karachi, Lahore, Islamabad, Quetta, Multan and more.

Many Twitter users called the participants “shameless” and blasphemous, and asked Prime Minister Imran Khan to take action against them.

The Women Democratic Front, the main organisers of the marches, however, clarified Wednesday that they had held their own organisation’s flag, which had red, white and purple stripes as opposed to the French flag with blue, white and red stripes.

In a tweet, the organisation said: “The WDF flag represents grassroots feminism in Pakistan and has nothing to do with the French flag. We, at WDF, stand against all forms of imperialism and the accusation that we would ever wave the flag of a former colonial power is ridiculous.”

Many women on Twitter expressed anguish over the misconceptions.

“My mother is watching Neo TV and asking as to why the French flag was waved at Aurat March and why AM disrespected the Prophet. Directly quoting the speaker (Orya Maqbool Jan) and the headlines. The quality of journalism in Pakistan is just amazing,” wrote one user.

Pakistan was among several Islamic countries that held anti-French protests last year after French President Emmanuel Macron encouraged the display of cartoons featuring Prophet Muhammad, citing freedom of speech.

Also read: Off your hijab, let me see your eyes: China diplomat tweets dancing Uyghur woman, upsets Pak

YouTuber’s spoof video of Imran Khan goes viral

A spoof video of Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan’s saying “aap ne ghabrana nahi hai” (You should not panic) during a speech went viral.

Pakistani musician Saad Alavi uploaded the 58-second rap remix on YouTube Monday, which subsequently went viral when it was shared on Twitter.

Several news reports in India compared Alvi to Indian musician Yashraj Mukhate who went viral last month after remixing Pakistani influencer Dananeer Mobeen’s ‘Pawri Hori Hai’ video.

Twitter users praised the “creative melody” of the song, which also raised the issue of “rising cost of living” in Pakistan.

The song is centred around a line from Khan’s televised speech in March last year on the coronavirus pandemic, where he said, “Aap ne ghabrana nahi hai.”

In the song, Alvi sarcastically talks about ‘not panicking’ over rising prices of soaps, flour, medicines, school fees, among other things. He also criticised tax payments in Pakistan.

Also read: Imran Khan to seek vote of confidence after Senate loss & Karachi’s ‘last’ sarangi player

US blocks delivery of Turkish gunships to Pakistan

The US has prevented Turkey from supplying 30 locally-made attack helicopters to Pakistan, Turkish presidential spokesperson Ibrahim Kalin said Wednesday. He added that this will likely lead to Islamabad buying the helicopters from China.

The machines in question are ATAK T-129, a twin-engine, all-weather attack helicopter modelled on the Agusta A129 Mangusta platform. It is equipped with American engines, according to a Dawn report. However, the US has blocked export clearance for the engines.

In July 2018, Turkey and Pakistan inked a deal for 30 Turkish T-129 attack helicopters in what was seen to be the “biggest export deal” of the Turkish defence industry, notes a report in Business Recorder.

However, relations between Turkey and the US strained after the former bought Russian missile defence system SU-400. The US then imposed defence sanctions on Turkey due to which the supply of T-129 combat helicopters to Pakistan was delayed.

In the last five years, Turkey has exported unmanned aerial vehicles (UAV), missiles, armoured vehicles, artillery and ships to Pakistan, Malaysia, Oman, Qatar and Azerbaijan.

(Edited by Rachel John)

Also read: Karachi Police gets on rollerblades to stop crime, preacher fashions idea to fund madrasas


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