LAHORE: Notwithstanding praise by the president and prime minister on Sharmeen Obaid-Chinoy winning her Oscar, it has to be said that the two men are complicit in creating the kind of environment that leads to acid attacks on women. To elaborate my point, it is precisely because of the bad governance of the current government, as well as previous ones, that women continue to be attacked in this manner. How many men who have carried out such attacks have been even arrested, prosecuted and convicted for this most heinous of crimes?
In the UK, a man of Pakistani origin committed this act in 2010 and he was arrested and eventually sentenced to 30 years in prison. The National Assembly may have enacted a law to punish those who resort to this inhumane act, but to date, nobody has been given punishment on this. Projecting the country’s soft image is all well and good but this cannot happen merely by passing legislation, unless it is backed by proper enforcement.
We live in a country where a military dictator misruled us for eight years, while talking about ‘enlightened moderation’. And he protected the rapists of a doctor from Balochistan and even accused victims of rape for using their predicament to gain visas to western countries. Sharmeen has done her bit, but will the state perform its duty now?
Malik Tariq Ali
Published in The Express Tribune, February 29th, 2012.