Saving face (II)

Published: February 28, 2012

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.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Khalil
    Feb 28, 2012 - 10:58PM

    Sharmeen has raised the curtain and exposed enormity of this cancer, where violence has become an accepted mode of expression. These victims of acid throwing suffer more than those who are murdered, because they and their families will suffer this agony endlessly as long as they live. The only deterrence is swift prosecution and severe punishment with no allowance for getting away because of the corruption that dominates within our police, lower judiciary and prosecution agencies such as few male dominated groups within our lawyers community.


  • antanu g
    Feb 29, 2012 - 4:12PM

    guys….read through indian print media and you will find daily incedents of ACID THROWING in india. Still it never makes headline…why it is so with pakistan?


  • Tass
    Mar 1, 2012 - 7:43AM

    Forget about what happens in India, the fact is that acid attacks have increased in Pakistan because the state has failed to punish those responsible for these inhumane acts. Sharmeen has exposed this and also projected the positive role played by many to elleviate sufferings of such women. It is the failure of the state which is disappointing.


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