KARACHI, June 21: A book on Mukhtaran Mai was formally launched at Gallery Changez here on Thursday.
Written by Bronwyn Curran, a former correspondent of the Agence France Presse (AFP), Into the Mirror — The full and untold story of Mukhtar Mai’s Case explores tribal society in rural Pakistan.
At the book launch, Ms Curran said she reconstructed both sides of the story to unearth the true events of June 22, 2002, in Mirwala. “My book is different from the biography of Mukhtar Mai as I have included the entire case proceedings, full investigations and all the accounts that were reported, or those that remained untouched so that a simplified version could be presented to readers when it was a much-sought-after story in and outside Pakistan,” she said.
Her research entailed many visits to the area and interviews with Mukhtaran Mai. During the process, many assumptions were proved inaccurate.
“One such example is the reports that she was paraded naked in front of thousands of people, which was not true,” said the Australian author. “Mukhtar Mai herself denied such reports during her interviews with me.” She added that “it’s hard to believe that thousands of people were present in the outskirts of a small village when night had fallen.”
According to Ms Curran, the evidence behind the case was fully scrutinised for the first time. “This book poses sensitive questions and dares to delve into both sides. It places Mukhtar Mai’s case into context with an examination of surrounding tribal customs and histories, the societal dynamics of her village, and the practice of using women to resolve feuds,” said the author. “This book shows these practices stem not from Islam but from the corruption of old tribal ways.”