LAHORE: Being sent off to the home of her husband in a red bridal dress, showered with the blessings of her parents, is what a girl dreams of. Like so many others, Y* also wanted the fairytale rukhsati, but the villain in her story was none other than her own father P* who raped the teenager.
“He played with my life,” says the girl who has been constantly raped by her father for three ever since she was just 13.
“I am cursed because he, of all people, shattered my dreams.” She says the man was blinded by his beastly lust and continued to force himself on her, despite the repeated pleas of his own flesh and blood.
Unable to fight back the tears, the teenage victim of incest/rape, covers her face and requests The Express Tribune to keep her identity a secret. She recalls that whenever her mother tried to come to the rescue, the father would threaten to either kill the whole family or divorce her. As a result, the mother remained confused over whether she should take a divorce as she had six daughters, a minor boy and nowhere to go.
The girl remembers appearing before her father with the Holy Quran in her hands, but even that failed to deter the beast inside P. “I then went to my grandfather who did not believe me. He said I was lying; that his son could never do such a thing, and then he sent me away. My grandfather said there is nothing he can do for me.”
The rape victim recalls that her mother caught the father red-handed on one occasion when he was trying to force himself on her. She says the mother raised a hue and cry, but this only enraged the man who badly thrashed her and kept a knife on her neck. “He warned of killing his own daughter if she made more noise.”
She says the mother was also trying to hide the incident from what she called the “biradri” or the family into which the teenager would be married. At the same time, the mother also spoke to her brothers who assured that they would deal with the rapist father.
Finally, the mother entered the house one day and saw that her daughter was being beaten badly by the father. She inquired why the man was beating the girl, who which he said that their daughter was rejected his sexual advances.
She says the mother took matters into her hands and untied her. The mother later told her brothers who got an FIR registered against the father of the girl. The victim recalls that her assailant asked for forgiveness when he was taken for a DNA test, but she was in no frame of mind to show sympathy. “You deserve it as you had forgotten God when I was touching your feet while carrying the Holy Quran and asking for mercy.”
The teenager appeals to the prime minster, Punjab chief minister and chief justice of Pakistan to take strict action against the father so she may finally get justice for all her suffering.
When contacted, the investigation officer (IO) of the case confirms that police have arrested the accused. As per initial investigation, the suspect confessed to the offence and his guilt.
*Names withheld to protect victim’s identity.