Chitral : The concept of an exclusive shopping market for women where both the shopkeepers and customers would be women folk, could not take off into practicality as no woman turned up or sent her representative to book a shop in the market despite it being ready since last three months.
Conceiver/owner of the market, Wg Cdr (r) Fardad Ali Shah talking to CN said he had custom built the market of 32 shops with relevant amenities, with the intention to contribute in a humble way to the good of the society by ethically empowering women and giving them a healthy outlet and opportunity to contribute financially to their family income. He said he envisaged all this keeping in mind religious and social obligations prevalent in Chitral. He said in the begining the Chamber of Commerce and the District Administration evinced keen and active interest in it’s establishment but after a few religious people spoke against it, both the aforementioned beat a retreat.
He said he was sadly surprised that after a few politico-religious people issued statement against the planned market, not a single political or religious leader came up to speak in favour of it, despite the fact that the need for such a market had been emphasized in the district assembly in the form of a resolution presented by a religious party itself. He however thanked members of the social media who overwhelmingly supported the idea. A prominent social media activist conducted a survey on face book in which 87 percent participants supported the idea against only 13 percent opposing it.
Wg Cdr (r) Fardad Ali Shah said he was not worried about the financial set back to him on this backout by stake holders, but was worried about the lack of moral courage of the majority who theoretically endorses good things, but steps back when it is time to support the truth and reject the wrong practically. He however promised he would set up such a market again when the mindset of the people gets strong enough and is ready for positive reforms?.. CN report, 28 Apr 2018