In the month of October, at least 25 women in Chichawatni, near Multan, were unjustly harmed for being out after sunset, engaging in the innocent activity of shopping. Women in the area continue to be attacked; they are being stabbed in the shoulder, back, arms and in some cases, they are even attacked in the face. The gang responsible for these stabbings must be apprehended and such vigilantism must be clamped down upon immediately.
The rights of women in Pakistan continue to be suppressed, whether it is the right to obtain an education, or the right to dress as they please. Indeed, such acts of crime have instilled fear in women, leading to low attendance at girls’ schools and colleges, not only in this particular area, but also in other places across the country. Day in and day out, we categorically read multiple stories of injustice against women. Many of the offenders in these cases attempt to use the name of religion to get their way. In this case, perpetrators claimed it was against sharia for women to be out shopping alone. Certainly, this contradicts the examples we have read about in religion and it is contemptible that religion is being exploited here in such a manner.
Groups with such extremist and suppressive ideologies must be captured and tried for hate crimes, for this is an outright breach of human rights. In this particular case, the police must act in a swift manner to take the gang members to task. Not only should the men be tried in a criminal court, but authorities must also see to it that these men get the psychological therapy they require to get rid of the ideologies that they have been brainwashed to believe. It is imperative that these gangs be caught and tried for the heinous crimes they are committing so that they stop endangering the lives of innocent women.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 30th, 2013.
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