"And then he slapped me across the face."
Pakistani policewoman Faiza Nawaz addressed a press conference in Ferozewala on September 11, 2019, stating that she was standing up for herself.
This comes after she was slapped by lawyer Ahmed Mukhtar outside Ferozewala as she was simply doing her job.
Constable Nawaz explained that she was not speaking on behalf of the police department but for herself and justice for women.
She had asked Mukhtar to move his car after he had parked it in front of the court’s entrance. He responded in an aggressive manner.
Mukhtar had allegedly said: “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?”
The lawyer then verbally abused the policewoman and kicked her in the shin.
Constable Nawaz, who was sitting down, stood up and said:
“Sir, talk now … What’s the problem with you?”
She added: “And then he slapped me across the face.”
The Pakistani policewoman arrested Mukhtar and brought him to the court in handcuffs.
She also told the District Police Officer what had happened. However, Mukhtar was soon released due to an apparent ‘mistake’ in which his name was spelt wrong in the FIR.
The policewoman also pointed out that other lawyers were angry over how she was allowed to produce Mukhtar before the court, despite being a police officer.
She stated: “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 Nawaz also spoke about how some lawyers were maliciously harming her reputation and threatening her family.
“They are doing my character assassination on social media. No woman would bear such character assassination.”
Due to her assumption that she would not get justice, constable Nawaz expressed her wish to resign.
However, a combination of her refusal to give in to the lawyers and widespread media attention led to the Punjab Police and government taking notice.
Pakistan Tehreek-e-Insaf (PTI) leaders, including Punjab Assembly members Uzma Kardar and Mussarat Jamshed Cheema called for the courts to provide justice to the Pakistani policewoman.
Kardar said: “We condemn what happened with Constable Faiza Nawaz.
“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.
She added that the PTI ensured honour and respect for women and girls in Pakistan.
Kardar further explained: “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.”
Kardar said it is necessary for men and women to be equal in order for the country to progress societally.
“We wish to make all Pakistani women strong. We wish to tell women that they have equal respect in all fields.
“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.”