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“Acid attacks, honor killings, forced marriages, rape and domestic violence - this is not acceptable to any government in Pakistan.”

Ms. Rehman said the government of President Asif Ali Zardari is dedicated to women’s rights.

Mr. Zardari is the widower of Benazir Bhutto, a former prime minister who was assassinated in 2007. Mr. Zardari this week signed a bill to allow the National Commission on the Status of Women to operate as an independent voice to advocate for women’s rights.

“The Pakistan story you hear in Washington is often only about the country that fights the front lines of terror and extremism,” Ms. Rehman said.

“I want to take the opportunity to say that we are not just about bombs and bullets. Pakistan is also about women who lead the way forward.

“Ladies and gentlemen, in celebration of International Womens Day, we must demand the fundamental right to be judged by who we are and what we have accomplished, not defined by our fathers and husbands, but defined by ourselves.”

Call Embassy Row at 202/636-3297 or email jmorrison@washingtontimes.com. The column is published Mondays, Wednesdays and Fridays.