SC judge praises women cricketers

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ISLAMABAD: The cheers brought by Pakistan’s women’s cricket team that defeated India in a match on Saturday were felt in the Supreme Court on Monday when a judge acknowledged their success, saying that Pakistani women were second to none.

“The Pakistani women are second to none,” Justice Sheikh Azmat Saeed said while hearing the federal government’s appeals against a promotion order in favour of women officers issued by the Federal Service Tribunal (FST) last year.

The court dismissed the appeals, ordering promotion of nine women assistant sub-inspectors appointed to the Federal Investigation Agency between 2002 and 2004. The officers were represented by Advocate Shoaib Shaheen.

Justice Saeed referred to the Pakistani team which beat the Indian team at their home ground in a Women’s World Twenty20 Group B match.

“Although our men’s cricket team lost to Indian team in the World T20 match held at the Eden Gardens, Kolkata, our women’s team outshone their male counterparts and won their match,” he said.

Women were not second grade citizens, rather they were equal to men, Justice Saeed said, adding that they should not be discriminated against in other spheres of life.

The women’s team brought good name for the country in India, the judge said.

While rejecting the appeals, he said the government should not have approached the apex court against the women officials – Sumera Mehmood, Zakia Ras­hid, Shumia Saleem, Shazia Safdar, Asma Abbas, Ghulam Bano, Najma Hafeez, Nazish and Tanzela Safdar.

After women ASIs’ induction, the government appointed men during 2004 and 2005 and they were promoted as inspectors or sub-inspectors in 2007.

Feeling aggrieved, the women officers approached the FST which held that they should be promoted to the next grades in accordance with the seniority list on the basis of their appointment dates.

These women should also be promoted from 2007 to bring them on a par with their male colleagues, the tribunal held.

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