No sympathy for men

Women can throw acid too; Murad Shah who was allegedly attacked by his ex-girlfriend continues to suffer.

Vaqas February 26, 2013
Picture this headline,
“Married woman doused with acid by ex-boyfriend”.

Now think, what would follow that little news item?

TV cameras and reporters would surround the victim, while NGO personnel, politicians, and every self-proclaimed human rights activist in town would be running to the cameras to show how evil the incident was and wail over the state of our society and the state of human rights.

When it came to light that the police never collected physical evidence and never properly recorded the co-accused’s statements, thus eliminating any chance of a conviction, everyone would have a field day screaming about the fact that the perpetrator has allegedly bought out the police, that he has been using political influence and daddy’s hard-earned money to remind everyone that the rich are above the law.

After learning that the charges against the wealthy planner and financier of the attack were lower than those against the pawn used to carry it out, that a case was never registered under the acid crimes laws, and that the accused’s father had been visiting the co-accused in prison, even after his son made bail, people would have cried foul and wondered why no suo motu action has been taken.

Eventually, heads would roll when a pursuant investigation found how many people were involved in protecting the attackers. The victim would get justice, an offer to star in a documentary, and full financing for the plastic surgery and other medical care she needs.

Now imagine the same scenario, except the victim is a man, and the attacker a woman.

You don't need to waste your brain cells imagining, because that is what is happening to Murad Shah, a 29-year-old husband and father, who was (allegedly) attacked on the order of a woman he had a relationship with before he got married.

Although most major newspapers did pick up his story, it apparently vanished within a couple of days. No NGO cared about him enough.

The mastermind was let out of jail because it would violate her human rights, thanks to recent legislation meant to protect female victims.

Meanwhile, thanks to the political and financial clout of this scorned woman’s father, Murad, his wife, and their children, arguably the biggest victims in this story, continue to suffer.

So the next time someone tells you that women can’t get it their way in this country, you know it’s a lie. All they need are rich, well-connected and unscrupulous parents.

Read more by Vaqas here or follow him on Twitter @vasghar
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.


Uzma | 9 years ago | Reply Vaqas, thus far, I have enjoyed reading every blog you have written and hardly been able to disagree with what you say. This, however, I don't understand. Given you work at a paper as well you may have noticed that not all cases of violence receive the same public reaction, whether from NGOs or otherwise. Last month I read about a woman in Lahore who was raped, killed and her face dissolved with acid. I even wrote to people to ask whether they were following the case or what someone like me, sitting in Karachi, could do about it and never received any responses. Take murder incidents for instance. Cases like Shahzeb Khan's happen every day but do not receive the same support from all sections of society and see such swift actions. More perturbing for me though is that your comments seem a little directed towards NGO's, insinuating that they are all hypocrites, in particular when there is already so much negativity surrounding the work that they do. I think the reason why NGOs focus more on women because women are more commonly the victims of acid crimes. You do have a point that men should not be forgotten altogether but I still think your anger might be a bit misplaced. I had not known about this man. But even if I had, I wish I knew what to do everytime something like this happens to a person, whether man or woman
I am a Khan | 9 years ago | Reply Sad state of affairs....This is the western influence and propaganda the Pakistani elitists follow, hence they have taken a 180 degree u turn and are now making men victims. Thats the problem with humans their their laws, they always tend to be biased towards one side. Divine Laws (Islamic Laws) show equality towards all humans. Islamic laws side with the victim and punish the perpetrator. Period.
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