Women continue being tortured in Pakistan

The harrowing story of a 16 year old girl paraded naked in Pakistan had not even sunk in when yet another story of a Muslim woman being sexually tortured by family members and security agencies has surfaced. Following excerpt once again highlighting atrocities on women is taken from the Pakistani daily  Dawn:

A resident of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) appeared before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights to appeal for justice after alleging that she was repeatedly subjected to grievous sexual assault by family members before being forced into exile from her community. Narrating her ordeal, she told the committee that a nephew of her husband, along with his accomplices, raped her and recorded a video of the assault. She named several friends of the nephew who, according to her, participated in the assault. According to the victim, the abuse continued as she was later blackmailed on the basis of that video. She said the accused even kidnapped her son for ransom, which she was forced to pay. Despite paying hundreds of thousands of rupees, the blackmailing continued.

Further she added that she had attempted to commit suicide after informing her husband about the entire situation, but was saved by her spouse. The victim claimed that she was also kidnapped along with her son and an assistant sub-inspector along with others also assaulted her on a separate occasion.

Atrocities on Women Continue

Due to various factors women in Muslim countries are at the receiving end for the failure of a state as whole. Security personnel’s colluding with culprits is heinous and should be unpardonable. Also, husband letting her suffer for seven years is shameful. It appears that probably due to social stigma and family honor he must have not voiced concerns but that too is unfortunate and worrisome. Such atrocities on women exist for long and reflect a dangerous mindset.  According to experts by the Thomson Reuters Foundation Poll, Pakistan is the second most dangerous country for women in the world. It cited the more than 2,000 women and girls murdered in “honor killings” every year and reported that 90 percent of Pakistani women suffer from domestic violence.

What makes it more difficult for women in Pakistan is that, should she speak up about physical or sexual abuse, she is seen as having lost her and her family’s dignity. For the same reason many rapes and sexual tortures go unreported as the victim fears she will become worthless in Pakistani society. According to  Farzana Majeed Baluch, a Baloch human rights activist,  human rights violations committed by Pakistan in Baluchistan and the army targeting Baluch women was as bad as the torture and rape of women that took place during the Liberation War of 1971. It is unfortunate that the Pakistani government is a puppet in the hands of military and the state machinery is a failure so the question is who will address the plight of these victims?