PPP parliamentarian invited female lawmaker to his private chambers in widely publicized incident.
A female lawmaker threatened to self-immolate after she was harassed by male colleagues in Parliament, telling AFP that the widely publicized incident shows how laws to protect women are not being enforced.
Nusrat Sahar Abbasi, an M.P. in Sindh province, spoke of her fury after provincial minister Imdad Pitafi of the provincial ruling Pakistan Peoples Party invited her to his private chambers on the floor of the assembly on Friday. She said she protested strongly but the deputy speaker of the assembly, also a woman, refused to take any action.
A frustrated Abbasi was then pictured Saturday holding a small bottle said to be of petrol and threatening to self-immolate if action was not taken.
Federal party chiefs were forced to intervene as the incident exploded on social media, with Pitafi finally caving to the pressure and apologizing in the assembly while offering Abbasi a chador, or veil, as a mark of his respect.
Abbasi told AFP on Tuesday that the incident was now “over,” but that it poses a question on the implementation of laws protecting women from such sexual harassment. “Their implementation is still a dream,” Abbasi said. “Even us, the parliamentarians are not safe from gender biases and harassment,” she said.