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Gang rape in Multan

Recently, in an appalling act, a 26-year-old woman in Multan was thrown in a field and abandoned after she was gang-raped. Her violators dumped the woman, who was a teacher by profession, in a field after her condition appeared to worsen. After medico-legal examination, doctors said that she might need surgery. It goes without saying that the conscience of the perpetrators of these acts was absent when they committed these criminal acts.

If one is searching for stories exemplifying how women are treated with respect, perhaps they might be difficult to find in Pakistan. Brutal treatment of women in our country has been going on throughout generations. These stories originate from rural settings and urban areas alike. Protection for women from rape is difficult to seek as perpetrators do not necessarily have to worry about being caught. Seeking justice after the act is also difficult to come by. Never has the nation raised a voice in solidarity. Instead, we meekly denounce such acts in our drawing rooms, shake our heads and move on with our lives. If we could muster the magnitude of voice that India raised a few months ago over the Delhi gang-rape case, maybe something will be done about the Hudood Ordinances regarding rape, and the authorities will enforce laws and make no exceptions in dealing punishment to offenders. It is the hesitancy in addressing this issue that gives space to extremists to target the few who raise their voices in this regard, and silence any mention regarding the repeal of the ordinance.

The men who committed this crime must not be allowed to roam the streets. They should be behind bars facing possibilities of heavy fines and life-term prison sentences. To this end, the police should make every effort to apprehend the culprits, and a fair trial conducted. Society, on its part, should help rehabilitate this woman — there is no room for the stigma that goes hand in hand with such cases, which assigns blame to the victim rather than the perpetrator.

Source: The Express Tribune

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