DHA rape case: Police have not arrested "influential" rapists

Published: March 12, 2011
Rape survivor K has been waiting for justice since December.

Rape survivor K has been waiting for justice since December.


International Women’s Day came and went in the usual flurry of speeches and discussions but the woman who was raped in DHA last December still awaits justice even though the police know who her rapists are.

K, in her 20s, was raped by a group of young men who forcibly stopped her car while she was driving near Seaview. She went to hospital and underwent a medico-legal exam in which the rape was confirmed.

According to M, K’s friend who filed the FIR, the police have identified the perpetrators. They are reportedly the teenaged sons of a well-known executive employed in an influential privately run organisation. The family lives in DHA.

A dejected M told The Express Tribune last month, “The culprits are from an influential family so the police cannot arrest them. The police have investigated this case properly and they have all the evidence. They have identified the car and the culprits.”

But even though the men have been identified, the police have not arrested them. The government’s initial interest in the case has waned, and no human rights groups have come forward to campaign for K.

“The investigation is going on,” said DIG South Iqbal Mehmood, before cutting the conversation short and promising to call back. Calls to Mehmood went unanswered on Tuesday and on Wednesday he cited VVIP presence in the city as a reason for being too busy to talk.

What are K’s options?

What can a rape survivor do when the police, despite identifying the culprits, fails to bring them in for questioning? Human rights lawyer Javed Burki, who has represented several rape survivors, said, “If the police have not arrested anyone, the complainant should write an application to the inspector-general or the deputy inspector-general and ask them to direct the police to arrest the culprits,” Burki said. “They can also go to court over this.”

According to Aurat Foundation’s director Mahnaz Rahman, “We should all blame ourselves for not supporting them.” She says she feels helpless at the number of cases of rape, violence and poverty that she comes across every day. “It is a very sad situation. Something only happens in highly publicised cases. Look at the case of the nurse (who was allegedly raped and pushed out of a window at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre). Even the president intervened but nothing happened.”

Activist Tahira Abdullah told AFP this week, “Almost 85 per cent of Pakistani women are subject to domestic violence at least once in their lifetime and most repeatedly during their life. The police stations are on the payroll of the feudal and the tribal chieftains, if a woman is kidnapped and raped or gang-raped by a son of a feudal landlord and his friends, who is she going to go to?”

According to the Sindh Police website, 50 cases of gang-rape and 239 cases of rape were reported in the province last year. Fifty-one cases of rape and 29 cases of gang-rape were reported in Karachi alone.

A recent report by the United States Institute of Peace on the Pakistani police stated: “The police in Pakistan have a terrible reputation, and ordinary people often avoid approaching the police to report a crime or communicate grievances. There is a general perception that the institution of the police is corrupt, institutionally incompetent, and brutal.

Consequently, justice is elusive, insecurity is rampant, and ordinary citizens are the victims of this system. […] The police officers get the most blame because they are visible to everyone and are expected to do everything in Pakistan, from crisis management to resolving political and legal disputes, in addition to facing the wrath of people venting their frustrations over blunders committed by the country’s leadership, both political and military.”

Published in The Express Tribune, March 12th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (21)

  • maheen usmani
    Mar 12, 2011 - 1:56AM

    “Look at the case of the nurse (who was allegedly raped and pushed out of a window at the Jinnah Postgraduate Medical Centre). Even the president intervened but nothing happened.”
    Give me a break. The rapist in the JPMC nurse case was influential, because he had close links with the ruling party. So why did nothing happen, even after intervention at the official level? They are all in it together.. that’s why. Recommend

  • Noor Nabi
    Mar 12, 2011 - 5:24AM

    All those interested in making sure that the culprits are punished should take a lesson from an Indian movie “No One Killed Jessica”. The story deals with a situation similar to the one reported in this story. Recommend

  • Imran butt
    Mar 12, 2011 - 6:59AM

    The writer must be appreciated for such a good article.Recommend

  • M. Tauseef Barlas
    Mar 12, 2011 - 9:49AM

    they must get harsh punishment, but who will arrest them and who will give evidence against them. they will buy all. horrible.Recommend

  • imran shirazi
    Mar 12, 2011 - 11:17AM

    atleast the newspapers should publish the rapists’ names.the students they study & work with have a right to know.their neighbours have a right to know.Recommend

  • saad salim
    Mar 12, 2011 - 11:21AM

    Gays & lesbians in this country have a right to live their lives as they want.if they want to marry & live together they have every right to do so.

    Religion imposing its homophobia on the gay community is highly unfortunate & condemnable.
    Our people should stop their persecution of the gay,bi,transgendered community.
    just because you’re straight doesn’t make it right for you to abuse & victimise a minority community.
    The religion of peace should not preach hatred & violence towards the gay community.Recommend

  • Neman
    Mar 12, 2011 - 11:52AM

    Seeing exponential increase in rape cases and no action being taken by govt/law-enforcement-agencies, I am so looking forward to reading the headline “Rapist killed by people…….body dragged through the city……burned at XYZ square”Recommend

  • Farhan
    Mar 12, 2011 - 12:23PM

    @saad salim:
    How is this relevant to the article?Recommend

  • Farhan
    Mar 12, 2011 - 12:26PM

    Try to raise this issue. She can get justice only if you can bring this into supreme court’s notice.
    I hope that the culprits get harsh punishment.Recommend

  • Bhai
    Mar 12, 2011 - 1:41PM

    Collect 5 trucks full of people and visit the the rapist houses. Barge in and bring them to justice.Recommend

  • Atif
    Mar 12, 2011 - 4:46PM

    saad salim: you just want to blame islam for everything. nonsenseRecommend

  • muhammad usman
    Mar 12, 2011 - 5:02PM


    nonsense would describe the mentality of people like you who like to live in denial.
    maulvis & islamic fundamentalists are at the front of persecution & spreading of hate against minorities.

    Maulvis spew hatred,venom towards the gay community,they incite their rabid followers to violence.

    Gays & lesbians are just as human & just as pakistani as any of the other 180 million people.Atleast they don’t blow themselves up killing innocent people,nor do they pump 20 bullets into another human being just because he’s a non muslim.Recommend

  • Someone
    Mar 12, 2011 - 9:15PM

    Umm….what do gays and lesbians have to do with this? Recommend

  • Mar 12, 2011 - 9:55PM

    Rape victims rarely get justice in a country like Pakistan, where people blame the victims more than the accused.Recommend

  • N
    Mar 12, 2011 - 11:29PM

    TTP should intervene if chief justice doesnt do something ASAP. Recommend

  • Nayab
    Mar 13, 2011 - 3:56AM

    It’s Appalling how women have to endure so much and it’s all due to illiteracy. But in this case, it’s clearly Our so called ‘law and order’, that has yet again Failed. Recommend

  • Hamid Siddiqui
    Mar 13, 2011 - 12:05PM

    *Question for Saad Salim & Muhammad Usman, why are you changing the topic, its irrelevant to this article, what’s your problem, are you on drugs? *

    Coming to the article it’s so sad, but true and this explains the democracy we have in Pakistan during this government.

    I have said it before that we all know welfare or democracy (from the people and for the people) starts from home, for a patriot leader, his home is Pakistan, like Musharraf’s was.

    Musharraf was called and known as a dictator, but he looked after Pakistan and Pakistanis, he dictated to the dictators that you cannot mistreat Pakistanis or Pakistan any more.

    After Musharraf the same dictators, came in power in the name of democracy, but their democracy starts and end in their houses its from their families, for their families.
    They look after only their families that they shouldn’t be harmed no matter what they do; nothing should stand between them and their corrupt actions.

    The people who raped that woman deserve the worst punishment regardless of their relation to any influential person, and those influentials should be charged to protect a crime and criminals.

    It’s also sad to see that there is no serious reaction from our society (male & female) and specially the flag holders of women rights and etc.Recommend

  • Nayab
    Mar 13, 2011 - 4:58PM

    Our NGOs Go to Sleep when they’re Actually needed. Guess their “social work” is nothing more than Hypocrisy. Recommend

  • Ahmed
    Mar 14, 2011 - 12:36PM

    @saad salim:
    Go to a psychological doctor, you are mentally sick.Recommend

  • Faizan
    Mar 14, 2011 - 12:40PM

    Now, the only solution is that the public take law in their hands, lynching is the only solution for these dogs. Police has become a political organization. If the same thing happens with the girls in families of police and that so-called influential executive, then???Recommend

  • Faizan
    Mar 14, 2011 - 1:00PM

    Honourable Chief Justice Pakistan, may also take sou moto action on this issue of influential rapists, and police incapability to arrest them.Recommend

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