February 2, 2006

U.N. Eager For Having Another Date with Mai

United Nations: Pakistan gang rape victim Mukhtaran Mai is likely to speak at the United Nations soon, as the world’s body is said to be in touch with the non-governmental organisation “Virtue Foundation” for fixing a date with her, a UN spokesman said. Earlier, on January 20 Mai was scheduled to make an appearance at the UN at an event – “An Interview With Mukhtar Mai: The Bravest Woman on Earth” – in the UN television studios. But, the event was abruptly cancelled as Pakistani Prime Minister Shaukar Aziz was also visiting the UN office the same day. The event is being co-sponsored by nongovernmental organization Virtue Foundation and the Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Human Rights, reported The Nation. UN spokesman Stephane Dujarric said that the Department of Economic and Social Affairs was discussing with the Virtue Foundation for fixing an appropriate date for the function, and hoped that the event would take place in the near future. Meanwhile, Pakistan’s UN Ambassador Munir Akram refuted the speculations that the January 20 function was cancelled at the behest of his country. He said that the decision to cancel the event had been taken at a lower level and that “the Pakistan government would be happy to host it with the UN”. Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz also feigned ignorance when he faced questions about the cancellation of the Jan 20 event at the press conference with Kofi Annan. He was quoted as saying that he was unaware of any such decision, and that his government supported Mai’s mission “of fighting against the male-dominated Pakistani society.