THE recent custodial rape of a 13-year-old girl by the Wah police has shocked the nation. The Women Action Forum, Karachi, would like to condemn it in the strongest possible terms.
This case highlights the extremely insecure environment in which women of Pakistan are compelled to live, especially when the custodians of law – the police – turn predators and commit sexual violence.
To get justice and restore faith in the law-enforcement agencies, it is imperative that police personnel involved in this crime should be given an exemplary punishment.
Their crime is twofold: they have not only committed the crime of rape but have also shamed the entire police force.
Only an exemplary punishment to the culprits can send out a message that the police department has zero tolerance for such criminals in their ranks.
WAF strongly feels that in this case a judicial inquiry should be held rather than a departmental police inquiry to ensure impartiality and all findings should be made public.
It is hoped that the induction of MNA Sherry Rehman into the process of inquiry into the case will ensure a sustained campaign with full government pressure to get justice for the survivor.
It is important to mention here that reports on sexual crimes indicate an increasing involvement of people with political clout who are either directly involved with cases of sexual violence or use their connections to free the violators by manipulating the system or tampering with the evidence and, in some cases, browbeating the survivors’ family into withdrawing their complaint.
A serious notice of such politicians must be taken by their political parties to hold them accountable for such unlawful activities that defame their parties.
This misuse of political influence to hamper justice should be taken as a serious violation of party codes. WAF feels that rape should be declared a crime against the state as murder is. It is also a crime against society as it reflects on the entire society.
Hence, immediate steps should be taken to bring a fast and exemplary punishment to the violators, so that we can make Pakistan secure for its women.
Women’s Action Forum