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Justice delayed is justice denied


Every country in the world is suffering from rape against women and children. The Government of Pakistan has introduced many pro-women laws and policies and set up institutions to safeguard the interests of women. Laws to prevent honour killings and rape were passed in 2016 to ensure punishment for perpetrators of heinous crimes; and considerable investments were made to improve women’s access to education and health. Despite these the number of rape cases is increasing on a day-to-day basis.
Culture and norms in society are such that rape incidences are not reported due to expected dishonor in society. More solid efforts are required at the government and non-governmental levels for awareness of women’s rights in society to overcome this stigma. Proper implementations of the women and children protection laws, media campaigns, changes in the curricula, and healthy discussion can help produce fruitful results.
According to Pakistan Demographic and Human Health Survey 2013 Pakistan remains one of the lowest performers in the South Asia region on human development indicators. As per the World Economic Forum’s (WEF) Global Gender Gap Report 2017, Pakistan ranks 143 out of 144 countries in the gender inequality index, way behind Bangladesh and India which rank 47th and 108th, respectively. One in two Pakistani women who have experienced violence never sought help or told anyone about the violence they had experienced. Almost 32 percent of women have experienced physical violence in Pakistan and 40 percent of ever-married women have suffered from spousal abuse at some point in their life.
The tragic story began and ended the same for all Pakistani women with a tragic rape and the victim being brought to shame or murdered for a violation of Islamic law. Pakistan, which had historically based its laws surrounding rape and the punishment for the crime on Islamic beliefs, failed to provide adequate relief for its victims. There is a need to strictly follow the Islamic laws for getting rid of this menace from the society.
But what we have seen and gone through again another victim, another rape another raises of voice. Morally perfect Pakistan is busy banning PUBG, TikTok and TINDER while there is no control over criminals and syndicates. Women empowerment institutions now need to grant a special quota for arms licenses to females for personal protection. The only solution to stop such horrific incidents is the “Public Execution”. This is an issue that shouldn’t be politicized, the culprits should be apprehended and the death penalty awarded. As usual just statements, no solid action from Prime Minister, Chief Minister, and CCPO.
What happened to the culprits of the Sahiwal, Kasur, Multan incident, nothing and now the tragic incident of Noor Muqaddam and Tik-Toker Ayesha who was assaulted badly, in the report presented to Senate body, the ministry said it was monitoring human rights violations in the country. All stakeholders are responsible for this incident. There is a need to set examples otherwise such incidents would keep happening. The sad part is either theculprits run away and even if they are arrested, our pathetic justice system freed them for lack of proofs. We all agree for punishment for such inhuman acts. But one more thing that, the more appropriate way is to make a constitutional act to make a law for a marriage of each adult individual, as that may reduce such kind of inhuman activities.
First and foremost is that the comparison of Pakistan with socially and economically stable countries like the United Kingdom does not come in the vicinity of justice. For, one state is reckoned among the P5, while the other is deemed among the undeveloped countries that are still in its infant social and economic stage.
Second thing is that, even if you educate your children in a country like Pakistan, the social factors still affect their mentality. You cannot install the sense of liberalism in their minds. They still feel hesitant to talk about their sexual harassment.
The third is that the establishment of such an institution is a laudable step that provides mental and physical support to victims, however, it cannot be achieved in a debt-laden country like Pakistan, where poverty contributes to major socio-economic problems like gender disparity, growing crimes, and inequality.
There shall be special separate courts for trial of offenses of rape, just to give it more importance. Such courts shall comprise of judges with equal gender parity who shall be specially trained and educated to try such criminal offenses in which rape is involved. Special prosecutors can also be educated and trained in this regard so that they can effectively present their case(s).
Special lawmaking is required to take offense of rape non-compoundable in the Criminal Procedure Code etc. Also, we should not forget to involve and integrate males in our struggle to end prejudice and violence against women. Yet, it is necessary to be careful to send the right message to them, since most of them are still under the impression that their main role is to play the protectors.