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Who will protect our women?

Who will protect our women?

KARACHI: In another horrific incident, three girls were reportedly kidnapped and raped by police officials and three others in the Model Town area of Bahawalpur on March 12. The cantonment police have arrested two culprits and two others have escaped. The arrested culprits were identified as Yasir Ghaffar and Shoaib Sunny. They are said to be the relatives of former union council nazim Mian Shamsur Rehman.

Still another case which attracted the attention of the Punjab chief minister is that of Amina Bibi, a young college student, who set herself ablaze in protest against police connivance with her accused rapist outside Mir Hazar Khan Police Station of New Jatoi in Muzaffargarh on March 13. She had heard that the court had released him on bail due to a faulty investigation report of the police. The accused, with his other three accomplices, raped her after kidnapping her when she was returning from college on January 5. With great difficulty, an FIR was registered by the police. No justice was visible for this girl. On the release of her alleged rapists, she was overcome with despair. Nothing can bring her back to life now.

These are only two of the many reports of rape and sexual harassment of women in Pakistan, which have been pouring in of late. Though this happens probably everywhere in the world, maybe even on a much larger scale in several other countries, such cases are treated as criminal and they are prosecuted by the state with the full weight of the law. A people and society that goes soft on rapists, has clearly forgotten the rules of humanity. They are a danger to this world and need to be brought to justice.

Unfortunately in Pakistan, rape is considered even by our rulers to be a minor offence and most of the time, men even blame women for it, suggesting that they were probably not properly dressed or that the woman must have behaved indecently. Until and unless rape is not banished from our society, Pakistan will not be able to progress. The culprits of the Bahawalpur and Muzaffargarh incidents, even if related to influential families or persons, have to be punished to infuse confidence in the poor segment of society, which might reawaken our dead conscience.

Ali Ashraf Khan

Express Tribune

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