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THOSE involved in the crime of rape are invariably powerful

THOSE involved in the crime of rape are invariably the powerful people of a locality. In fact, many rapes have been ordered by ‘jirgas’ that consist not of village ‘elders’ but village ‘powerfuls’.

The politicians and the government rather act as ‘supporters of rape’ by remaining silent and doing nothing to help or support the survivors.

Will the voters once again choose the same ‘rape-supporting’ individuals as their representatives in the next elections, or will they make sure that the person they vote for meets their conditions? These are:

1. The representative has not been a rapist himself.

2. The representative has not been a part of a ‘jirga’.

3. The representative makes a public declaration that (s)/he would take steps to implement the following tasks within the first six months of becoming an MNA or an MPA:

a. (S)he will ensure that every city and town of Pakistan has a ‘Women Support Centre’, staffed by a female doctor, a female police officer and a lab technician for carrying out forensic tests.

b. (S)he will ensure that every female victim will receive a dignified and prompt one-window support at these stations.

c. (S)he will ensure that this support includes registering of an FIR, medical examination and forensic test, all to be completed in one hour from the time a survivor reports at the centre.

d. (S)he will ensure that a law is passed that the courts try and decide rape cases within three months.

e. (S)he will resign from her/his MNA or MPA seat, in case of failure to implement the above promises.

Equally important are the political parties which have said a lot but done nothing on these issues.

The voters must insist that they would vote for a political party only if it includes the above points as key features of its manifesto.

Source: Dawn

Date:12/19/2007

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