LAHORE: When will we stop being the subject of ridicule and sympathy of the international community? Upon hearing of the rape in Multan and the subsequent retaliatory rape ordered by the panchayat, I am upset and disgusted. The story is plastered all over CNN and BBC, as it should be—considering that it depicts the level human beings can stoop to. Who are these perpetrators, and why are they giving all of Pakistan a bad name? When will we do something to stop such tragedies from occurring? Why don’t we speak out?
This time around I decided not to be silent. I know that I speak for many of us when I say that this incident is not minor. These two rapes are too much to take. It makes one wonder how many such rapes go unreported. There are so many voices that have been silenced in the name of ‘izzat’, but enough is enough. If such acts are not strongly condemned by government officials, then we can expect more to occur in the future. If such acts are not thoroughly researched and written about by the Pakistani feminist scholarship in particular, they will continue to be buried and neglected.
Raise awareness and condemn rape. Instead of avoiding it as a classroom topic, educators must start early and teach young men and women about the lasting psychological trauma and damaged life that ensues for one who has been subject to sexual assault.
There is a huge lump in my throat whenever I think of how backward and insane the panchayat’s decision was. How could they be so heartless? Though I feel broken, we cannot let news of such stories defeat us. We must vow to be stronger and to teach those we can influence.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2017.