Pakistan would have saved the IMF chief

Dominique Strauss-Kahn chose the wrong country to commit rape - here in Pakistan he would have walked free.

M Asghar Malik May 17, 2011
The news about the IMF chief/possible French presidential contender Dominique Strauss-Kahn being arrested and charged with an alleged sexual assault, including an attempted rape of a hotel maid, has been a cause for shock worldwide.

The New York Police Department (NYPD), on the complaint of a hotel maid, responded quickly and a high-profile personality like the IMF chief was removed from an Air France plane minutes before it was to take off for Paris.

Now, United States (US) courts will decide the fate of Kahn according to American law.

While I understand that you cannot compare apples and oranges, when I read about this development, what came into my mind was: What if the same incident had take place in Pakistan? Would our police be quick enough to respond and actually arrest the IMF chief?

Below, I have tried to illustrate a hypothetical situation in case similar events transpired in Pakistan:

  • First of all, the woman, who is working at the hotel, would not have the courage to report the event to the police. The main reasons behind this could be her lack of confidence in the justice system, her lack of awareness about her constitutional rights, the fear of bitter questioning by the police and later by lawyers in the court, and most importantly the fear of losing her dignity in society.

  • The hotel administration would try to compensate her but at the same time would tell her to remain silent since the case involves a high-profile customer. Her colleagues and her family would also urge her not to file a complaint.

  • If she does try to register a case, first it will be difficult for her to file an FIR. The police would surely be reluctant, and by chance if they do register her complaint, they would not have the will, resources, abilities or authority to handle a case with such complexities. Naturally they would turn to higher authorities and wait for their permission before taking any action.

  • Now, if by some miracle, the high profile personality were to be arrested and put behind bars, it would make way for an array of new complications. The embassy of the accused’s country would first claim that the accusations are unfair and wrongly imposed. This would then result in the spokesmen of different ministries of Pakistan to give out contradicting policy statements. Of course the statements would change with time.

  • NGOs, media, and people from the civil society would rise up and demand justice for the victim and hold protests against the accused man.

  • Seasoned politicians would show sympathy for the victim’s family, tell them to have confidence in Pakistani courts and ask the people to remain calm because justice will be delivered.

  • Finally, high officials from both countries would visit each other and have meetings to strengthen relation for the sake of Pakistan’s future. The matter will then be resolved through talks and mutual understanding and the accused would be put charted plane which would safely take him to his desirable destination – everything would be done according to the law of course.

  • The victim would be compensated by "undisclosed sources", shifted to some secure place to live happily ever after, and the government would consider this whole episode a great achievement with regards to its foreign policy.

M Asghar Malik A masters graduate in business administration who currently manages Pearl Brokerage Private Limited and White Pearl Foundation. He blogs at
The views expressed by the writer and the reader comments do not necassarily reflect the views and policies of the Express Tribune.

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