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|Mukhtar Mai - Pakistan|
|06/17/05 at 14:28:17|
| Article in The Independent - 15 June 2005:|
Women's rights in Pakistan: The woman who dared to cry rape
When Mukhtar Mai was gang-raped on the orders of village elders to settle a
tribal score, she shocked Pakistan by taking her case to the courts.But now she
has found herself persecuted once again. Jan McGirk reports from Islamabad
15 June 2005
It was a scorching afternoon in Islamabad yesterday, when a visibly trembling
Mukhtar Mai, teacher and rape victim, announced to assembled journalists that a
long-planned trip to America was off because her mother was sick.
No one believed her. Ms Mai was to publicise in the United States the work of
the crisis centres she has developed since being brutally gang-raped on the
orders of a village court in Meeranwalla, in the Punjab. Now it turned out that,
because her mother was ill, she would be unable to undertake a trip that would
have been highly embarrassing to the government of Pervez Musharraf.
For the activists who have passionately championed Ms Mai's cause for three
long years years, the shoddy and hastily arranged "show-conference" was the
final insult in a case which has appalled urban Pakistanis, enraged human rights
activists around the world and thrown a sharp and unflattering spotlight on the
way Pakistan treats its women.
During the first seven months of last year, according to the Independent Human
Rights Commission of Pakistan, at least 151 Pakistani women were gang-raped and
176 were simply murdered as the victims of honour killings. The traumatic case
of Mukhtar Mai's experiences, which will not now be personally described to an
American audience, has come to stand for all such brutal violations of female
dignity in the remote tribal regions of the country.
On a terrible June day three years ago, 14 men from the dominant Mastoi tribe
in Meeranwalla volunteered to rape Ms Mai as a way to settle a score after her
12-year-old brother Abdul Shakoor was seen walking with a Mastoi girl. The
decision on retribution had been taken by a village court to preserve tribal
honour. The jirga, or council of village elders, summoned Ms Mai to apologise
for her brother's sexual misdeed. When she apologised, they gang-raped her
After the atrocity was carried out, Ms Mai was paraded naked before hundreds
of onlookers. Finally, her father covered her with a shawl and took her home.
Many assumed that the subsequent rumours that the 30-year-old had committed
suicide by swallowing pesticide were true. Few would have blamed her. Calling
attention to such abject abuse is virtually unheard of even in modern-day
Pakistan, where the downtrodden, especially women, are expected to remain meek.
But Mukhtar Mai, an unmarried daughter from a low-caste family, was not about
to go quietly. She fought back in the courts and at first the legal decisions
appeared to go her way. Half a dozen men involved in her rape were punished,
with two sentenced to death. But since that early success events have begun to
take an increasingly sinister and depressing turn. Last Friday, a court in
Lahore refused to extend a 90-day detention order and 12 of the 14 accused were
ordered to be released. The case has gone into appeal, and now is expected to go
to the Supreme Court.
All the men must do is post a £600 bail each and they can leave jail while the
case now goes through a series of appeals. According to a leader in The News, an
Islamabad English-language daily: "The police failed to provide the prosecution
with the damning evidence" even though there were some 150 onlookers who could
have testified. "It is introspection time for government," the leader continued.
"It must review the system that routinely acts against people, and sometimes
against the government itself ... It is ironic that even as her alleged
tormentors were freed, the woman who has become a symbol of courage and the
rights of Pakistani women was barred from proceeding abroad.">
In the village, their homes are right across from Ms Mai's. Every day she must
now face the men who gang-raped her and who threaten to do the same again.
Naturally Ms Mai was upset and traumatised by last week's decision. But there
was also trauma in Islamabad, where the prospect of her imminent visit to the
United States was being viewed with trepidation. By last year, Mukhtar Mai had
become an international icon for abused women after challenging her rapists and
apparently winning. Time magazine named her as one of Asia's heroes. Half a
dozen of the 14 village men involved were set to hang.
Ms Mai had used her compensation money in the case to start two schools in her
village. She even helped to enroll the children of some of her attackers, in
order to show that she bore no grudges. American sympathisers sent more than
$133,000 (£73,000) in donations. Using the funds, Ms Mai set up a shelter for
abused women and bought a van which is now used as an ambulance in the area. She had become something of a local heroine, and on the back of such a triumphant and defiant rehabilitation, she had decided to go to the US to publicise her schools and voluntary efforts. In Islamabad, senior politicians shuddered at the
The thought of Ms Mai receiving applause in auditoriums across America
prompted immediate and savage action. In effect, the government decided that Ms
Mai needed to be gagged. The American visit was scheduled to begin last
Saturday. On Thursday, the authorities placed Ms Mai under house arrest. She has
reportedly said that when she attempted to leave her home, police pointed their
guns at her. Three women police officers traipsed after her from room to room,
even following her into the toilet. After overhearing a couple of telephone
interviews with journalists, police severed her landline. Ms Mai's name remains
on a blacklist, normally reserved to curtail the movement of political
extremists, called the Exit Control List.
While Ms Mai was under house arrest on Friday, the court decided to release
her attackers. Lahore courts do not normally operate on Fridays. Their
re-opening appeared to be a clear and calculated attempt to change the balance
of power in the Mai case. Using her mobile phone, Ms Mai continued to argue her
case. To no avail.
Airports were alerted that Ms Mai should not be permitted to leave the
There was an international outcry. The actual request to keep Ms Mai in the
country allegedly came from the Pakistani ambassador in Washington, Jahangir
Karamat. In the end, Ms Mai never made it out of her village, much less to the
Weeping yesterday afternoon, Ms Mai told a founder of the Human Rights
Commission of Pakistan, Asma Jahangir, that she was rushed on Monday night to
the capital and made to sign papers requesting the return of her passport from
the American embassy visa office. Her signed statement maintains that she had
not been under detention in her home village, but guarded for her own
Then Ms Mai called yesterday's press conference - held at the women's
development ministry in Islamabad - to announce that her speaking engagements in
America were cancelled.
"I came to Islamabad to discuss my crisis centre back in the village," she
said. "I decided of my own free will not to go abroad, because my mother is
ill." Minutes later, Farzana Bari, a women's rights activist, rang her mother in
the village and said she sounded perfectly fine. "But Marktar looks completely
terrorised," she added. "The government was afraid she would tarnish its image."
Insiders say she is frightened that government agencies will "whisk her away" if
she dares speak out again. Activists claim that Ms Mai relented to pressure
after being told that President Musharraf was personally "very angry" with her.
The case has indeed embarrassed President Musharraf, a "modern" general who is
keen to play down the religious extremism in backward parts of his country. He
has been promoting "an enlightened Islam" but activists say that this vision
seems to e> xclude women. Privately, General Musharraf is enraged at how Ms
Mai's case has brought infamy to Pakistan. Instead of promoting justice in the
case, his reaction, along with a group of newspaper editors, has been to
suppress information about the case. The President even threatened to "slap" a
reporter "in the face" for publishing details in an international magazine about
Mr Mai's defiance. The reporter in question was Pakistan's leading women's
rights activist, Ms Jehangir, who is also a UN special rapporteur on human
General Musharraf incurred the wrath of women's rights activists earlier this
year. A tribe in Baluchistan began a revolt after an army captain allegedly
raped a woman doctor working for the state-run gas company at its desert
installations. The tribal chieftain, Nawab Bugti insisted that the suspected
rapist be tried by tribal custom - walking across burning coals to prove his
Instead, the suspected rapist, who had powerful family connections within the
military, has so far never been tried. Nor is he likely to ever face justice,
after General Musharraf publicly declared he thought that the captain was
innocent. The woman doctor was encouraged by the authorities to leave the
country - not a choice for the defiant village schoolteacher.
The ruling party has vilified Ms Mai's supporters as unpatriotic. The State
Interior Minister, Shahzad Wasim, said: "People in NGOs are ready to say
anything for one dinner with Johnny Walker and eat innocent people like
Above all, yesterday's extraordinary press conference appears to demonstrate
that Pakistan is willing to go to enormous and unjust lengths to protect its
public image. Officials are desperate to hush up the brutal justice of the
tribal hinterlands in Punjab as a matter of public relations. Medieval
punishment discourages investment in the infrastructure, and Pakistan is eager
to be perceived as a haven for moderate Muslims. Mukhtar Mai could never have
been allowed to go to America and tell her terrible story.
When Time magazine nominated Ms Mai as one of Asia's heroes, it commented: "As
long as the state refuses to fully challenge the brutality of tribal law, the
plight of Pakistani women will continue. Mukhtar Mai is a symbol of their
victimhood, but in her resilience she is also a symbol of their strength."
In the end, it seems, that strength and resilience was not for export.
|Pakistan is at war with Islam and Muslims!|
|06/19/05 at 09:03:56|
|Pakistan is ruled by land owning Qadyanis. When Pakistan became independent from British rule, it wasn't the formation of a Islamic country, it was the formation of a Qadyani ruled country with a Majority Muslim population.|
The reason the Qadyanis are so powerful in Pakistan is that during british occupation, the british would only allow loyal Kaffir like the Qadyanis and the Ismailis to gain positions of power in the Army, civil service and government. Muslims often had their lands taken from them, and Qadyanis were allocated lands.
When independents happened, the Qadyanis who ruled India For the british started ruling Pakistan for themselves.
Every one whose voice is heard on this issue blaim the solution for the problem and state that the problem is the solution!
The problem started due to the Ladies young brother being gang raped by a bunch of homosexual Landowners. If Pakistan was ruled by Islamic law these Homosexuals would be executed for that, but they weren't. Any one who has been to pakistan knows that the streets of Karachi are full of Homosexual prostitutes begging for money, called hijrahs.
The homosexuals then decided to rape the boys sister who was a well known teacher of the Quran in that area. they had the boy arrested. And took the father of the Boy to court, a court were the homosexual landowners who had early raped the boy were the Judges!!!
They then decided that they should rape the boys sister, which they did and paraded her down the street.
It is obvious that this has nothing to do with Islamic law courts in Pakistan because the homosexual landowning Qadyanis do no rule by ISlam, they rule by seculerism. Seculerism is the problem because it allows the landowning judges a free hand to rule by what they want.
It was the local Imam who had told the lady to go to the police. he didn't rule that she should be raped, he wasn't the judge who decided she should be raped. the judges were the homosexual landowners who had earlyer raped her brother, and then raped her.
And now the seculer Qadyani dominated courts of pakistan have freed the rapists, and imprisioned the rape victim. is it any surprise?
Mushraf himself is angry with the lady for challenging the right of the landowning rulers to rape their subject populations!
Mushraf himself placed gage orders on jurnalists to stop them talking about this issue.
This issue should not be taken in isolotaion, remember the lady doctor who was raped, and all the tricks the government used to silence her and protect the landowning army men who raped her?
Pakistan was made at about the same time that Israel was made. both nations were made on Muslim land. both nations were given by the British to a kufr religion. Israel was given to the jews and Pakistan was given to the Qadyanis. Both nations will only be freed when the jews and Qadyanis are defeated and removed from their rulership of our nations.
|Pakistan and Qadyanis|
|06/19/05 at 21:02:56|
There are elemnts of truth in the post above, but quite a wrong picture emerges.
Pakistan was not given to the Qadyanis by the British. The Qadyanis were an influential group, but the feudal structure of Pakistan included a very large number of non-Qadyanis. Qadyanis were limited to the Punjab.
There were Shia, as well as a predominantly large number of the Barelvi school of thought among the feudals. There was little education in West Pakistan, and in this the Qadyanis were more evident than in the feudal structure.
They gradually increased their hold over the Pakistan government, but their numerical strength waas never so high as to give them complete control.
The real reason is the feudal nature of West Pakistani society.
Education, and Dawah, are the answers.
|06/20/05 at 05:59:38|
|The deviant respond to the words we use in our dawa with guns, beating, rapes and killings. and the army and police side with them, because they are the government, so the army and police work for them.|
The Qadayanis who rule pakistan will never leave office until they leave life, and when they die their sons willl take over from them. the only solution is the removal of the whole system. and replacing it with Islam. Khilafah. The real ulimah of pakistan such as Dr Israh Ahmed agree with this.
|Rights and Minorities|
|06/20/05 at 08:22:04|
[quote]The deviant respond to the words we use in our dawa with guns, beating, rapes and killings. and the army and police side with them, because they are the government, so the army and police work for them.[/quote]
I am not sure what you mean. Do you mean that all these crimes are the result of our dawah effort? Perhaps this could be true of Rabwah before the flight of Mirza Tahir, but this isn't true of all of Pakistan.
[quote]The Qadayanis who rule pakistan will never leave office until they leave life, and when they die their sons willl take over from them. the only solution is the removal of the whole system. and replacing it with Islam. Khilafah. The real ulimah of pakistan such as Dr Israh Ahmed agree with this.[/quote]
OK, tell us the names of those Qadiyanis who are ruling Pakistan. I can understand that there may be a core of Qadiyanis who may be trying to get the government to do things for them. After all, our constitution has declared them non-Muslim, and as such their "dawah" effort has suffered a setback. Those in the government who flocked to them for favors, no longer do so. So, they must be peeved, and must be trying to tilt the balance in their favor. But it is too far-fetched to say that they control the government.
brother, in order to solve our problems, we must try to correctly identify the causes, or else we may end up with a wrong solution.
Theer may be a few Qadiyanis in the top heirarchy, which in the secular atmosphere that is the aim of this covernment is to be expected. I have heard the charge of Qadiyanism or kufr against so many people, that I think those who use such charges do so without an understanding. It seems to me that we are trying to find scapegoats, without doing our homework.
I want the Khilafah, too, and I respect Dr. Israr Ahmed, but I don't think he is right in everything.
Instead of blaming the ills of the society on a minority, we should try to understand the roots of the problems. In cases like those of Mukhtar Mai, the tribal and jirga system needs to be reformed, nothing to do with Qadiyanisa at all. In the cases involving the police rapes and other atrocities, we need to separate the administration from the political (power) process.
Human Rights and freedoms were guaranteed by the first Constitution in islam, the Meethaaqe Madinah. These have been taken away from us by our own elites, and we have given in. It is these rights, universal, that we need to take back from our power structure, and we will have to include the minorities' rights, too.
laa ikraha fid deen
When we guarantee other peoples' rightsa, we will have them, too.
Why do you think the US was able to topple the Taliban? It was with the help of the Northern Alliance. Had the Taliban shown tolerance for the NA, things might have been different.
Why do you think India was able to invade and bifurcate East pakistan in 1971? I have lived and studied there at school, college and university, and I was there during the army action. The reason was that the Bengalis had become estranged from West Pakistan. Sure, there was a Qadiyani Chief Secretary upon whom Yahya Khan relied, but I assure you that Yahya Khan and his generals wern't such innocents, and they weren't Qadiyanis.
Closer ro to today, why were the US and the UK able to invade and occupy Iraq. There is no Qadiyani element here. Saddam's policies had alienated the Kurds and the Shia Arabs. That is why.
There is a basic lesson. If you disenfranchise a section of the population. If that section feels it has been unjustly treated, whether that feeling is true or not, there is going to be trouble for the state, and your enemies will exploit this weakness.
|Pakistan Lifts Ban on Rape Victim's Travel|
|06/30/05 at 17:56:46|
|Pakistan Lifts Ban on Rape Victim's Travel |
By SADAQAT JAN, Associated Press Writer
Wed Jun 29, 7:28 PM ET
Pakistan's president said Wednesday he had lifted a ban on travel abroad for the victim in a high-profile rape case, a restriction that was strongly condemned by Washington.
The statement by President Gen. Pervez Musharraf came one day after Pakistan's Supreme Court overturned the acquittals of 13 men and ordered their re-arrest in the gang rape of Mukhtar Mai, whose plight has cast a glaring light on the treatment of women in this conservative Muslim nation.
"Let me make it absolutely clear that Mukhtar Mai is free to go wherever she pleases, meet whomever she wants and say whatever she pleases," Musharraf said in a message on his Web site. "I have full faith in her and in her patriotism."
Despite the reversal, Musharraf defended his earlier decision to restrict her travel. His spokesman said he had received some 1,000 e-mails about Mai's case.
"While I sincerely regret what Mai had to endure, the government is taking action to remedy it," Musharraf said.
Mai, 33, was allegedly ordered raped in 2002 by a council of elders in Meerwala, her home village in eastern Punjab province, as punishment for her 13-year-old brother's alleged affair with a woman from a higher caste family. Mai and her family deny any affair ever took place and say the brother was in fact sexually assaulted by members of the other family.
A trial court in 2002 sentenced six men to death and acquitted eight others in Mai's rape. In March, the High Court in Punjab province acquitted five of the men and reduced the death sentence of the sixth to life in prison.
The Supreme Court ordered the re-arrest of all 13 men on Tuesday, a day after an emotional appeal by Mai.
Mai welcomed Musharraf's remarks, but said she had no immediate plans to travel abroad.
"I wanted to go (abroad) as ambassador of Pakistan," she told The Associated Press in an interview in the capital of Islamabad, where she arrived this week to attend the appeals.
She said she hoped those who attacked her "will get punishment" soon.
The rape made international headlines and become a major embarrassment for Pakistan's Western-friendly government, drawing attention to a legal system that has done little to protect women from violence.
In Washington, a U.S. State Department spokesman said the perpetrators of the gang-rape must be brought to justice, adding that the United States is closely following the Mai case..
"The use of rape or sexual intimidation as a means of punishment or retribution, whether by individuals or by groups, is unacceptable in our view," spokesman Sean McCormack said.
Mai won international renown and praise after speaking openly about her ordeal in a country where most victims of sexual attacks suffer in silence for fear of being ostracized by their families.
She has been the subject of editorials in prominent newspapers, including The New York Times. And she has received tens of thousands of dollars in donations from sympathizers around the world.
Several courts — local, federal and religious — have issued conflicting rulings in the case this year in a legal pingpong match that has often seemed capricious and confused, further embarrassing authorities.
But perhaps the greatest damage came after revelations that the government had barred Mai from traveling abroad and placed restrictions on her movement within the country.
Mai had been invited by the U.S.-based women's rights group Asian-American Network Against Abuse of Women to tell her story in the United States. But she could not attend because authorities had confiscated her passport.
After officials in the Bush administration strongly condemned the move, Islamabad rescinded the ban. On Monday, Mai said the government had returned her passport.
Musharraf, a strong ally of Washington, acknowledged in an interview while on a trip to New Zealand that he had ordered the travel ban to prevent Mai from casting Pakistan in a bad light.
On his Web site, Musharraf defended that decision.
"I have already publicly stated that I took the decision to stop her from going to the U.S. myself. I took this decision in the best national interest of Pakistan because I truly believed that the invitation would have tarnished Pakistan's international image rather than help improve the lot of women folk in Pakistan or elsewhere in the world," he said.
"I believe there was a strong ulterior intent of maligning Pakistan by vested interests, rather than sincerely helping Mai out," he said without identifying the vested interests.
Maj. Gen. Shaukat Sultan, a spokesman for Musharraf, said the president issued the message in response to the e-mails about Mai's case. Some people were supportive of the government's action but others called it "retrogressive," Sultan said.
Hundreds of women are raped, maimed and killed every year in Pakistan in so-called "honor" attacks over behavior deemed inappropriate such as extramarital affairs or marrying without the family's consent. Many are killed by their own families.
|07/02/05 at 06:54:06|
A woman gest raped Ya Allah and in a society where Muslims are in the Majority
and we talk about Qadiyanis, Shias , Barelvis........
It happened in OUR society and WE are all responsible for it, ti's time to look inwards reflect and correct ourselves rather than find excuses
|They raped a teacher of the Quran!|
|07/03/05 at 04:46:04|
|firstly it isn't just a women, her younger brother got raped too, and she was raped to try and cover that rape up. |
Secondly who was she? What was she known as? She was the teacher of the Quran of that area.
It is a fact that the Qadyanis rule Pakistan, and they have done ever since the British rag invented them.
real implementation of Shariyah is what is needed in Pakistan. In Pakistan Homosexuals go about in the street asking for money and people give them money, even though islamicly these perverts should all be killed.
If the Homosexuals who raped the boy were killed they would not have been able to rape his sister.
If Homosexuals were not allowed to go about walking the streets of pakistan, wearing ladies cloths and calling people to homosexuality, may be these people who raped the boy would not have done that.
Pakistan is occupied by a militry that was set up by the british, and whose high ranks were filled with Qadyanis by the British.
we all know that Qadyanism was british made, but people seem to forget why they made it. Pakistan is why they made it.
|sorting our own problems|
|07/03/05 at 07:56:47|
brother abdullahcohn, no matter how much we detest the Qadyanis, we still have a lot to sort out from within our societiy.
Have you studied Indian society before the Qadyanis were born? Do you think it was shariah based?
How do we get the shariah - Taliban style? But the Taliban were not able to overcome the Northern Alliance. Sure, they were helped by Iran and Russia and India, and then the US, but that is to be expected. What should the taliban ahve done?
Homosexuals and transvestites in Pushtun society, and I daresay in Arab and Indian Muslim society have always been there, much before the Qadiyanis.
I have indicated in a previous post how the Caliph Ali (ra) treated the Khwarij, although they had stepped out of Islam due to their extreme views, but they were treated as Muslims until they rebelled.
Qadiyanis are non-Muslims, but non-Muslims ahve rights, too. Let us accord them those rights. And for the different sects and ethnicities, let us be sensitive to a fair deal for all. Only then can the entire society resist the imperialists.
bro Siddiqui is right. We must address our weaknesses and problems.
|07/03/05 at 14:07:35|
I cant believe Musharaf actually had the nerve to ban her from traveling and then admit it so openly! And what's with the dumb judges? Why cant they give justice to this poor girl. They release them and then put them back in jail. Then when the media lights seem to dim, they release them again. This poor girl would never have gotten this far, were it not for the non-muslims helping her. And that is very sad, that she cant rely on her own community for support.
Speaking on homosexuality, there's so much of it in Pakistan. Now increasingly you hear stories of lesbians too. Espeically in colleges and universities. At one of my cousion's college, two girls were caught having sex in a classroom that wasnt being used at the time. And my 8th grade cousion tells me that girls sit under trees and kiss openly in front of other students when there arent any teachers or adults around. And there's sooooo much adultery in Pakistan, its shocking. And of course we have our Heera Mandi, the prostitution town, which is almost legalised, but it doent say so in the law. And of course they dont get taxed. Its tolerated quite openly.
And it no longer is a phenomenon in the lower classes-of prostitution that is. You have girls from rich families doing prostitution as well. A lot of the "call girls" as they are called here, are from well-off families. A good book on prostitution and women is "Taboo." I cant remember authors name but a simple search will turn it up for you. I havent read it all yet.
When you hear stories from families and friends, you think there might be some exaggeration involved, but when its backed up by documentation then it really sickens you.
The author of Taboo had quite a hard time too. politicians steped in to stop her reserach as it would embarass them. They were involved in it one way or the other. But she got her awy through.
Did you know that a lot of the actors/singers are from families who have been practicing prostitution for decades, even centuries?
Anyway, there was a story in the newspaper some time back of another girl who was raped, and when she went to the police to repot it, she got raped by them.
:'( It's the entire systems that's messed up. We are messed up for allowing such things to happen. Really, me, you, everyone. It happens because we just read stories and shake our heads, we dont do anything about it. When that girl was raped by police, everyone in Pakistan should have gone to the police station and demand justice. But no one did. When the person sitting next to you does nothing, when people in authority do nothing, then it's your duty to do something. But we don't.
We are part of the problem, of messed up system.
|Mukhtar Mai - Pakistan|
|07/04/05 at 19:53:42|
I agree that our societies a lot of effort to stop further slide and doom.
About Musharraf, although I do not agree with his religious bent, I think he is a genuine person. He is the Chief Executive, and he presents what he thinks is right. He does listen, but has no patience for those with personal or group agendas. For him Pakistan does come first. And unfortunately, the physical existence of Pakistan has always been in danger.
I also agree with him that some NGOs in Pakistan, and some external think-tanks use such cases to malign Islam and Pakistan.
That said I do not agree that he should have stopped Mukhtaran in the first place, but this is indicative of the man's honesty that he admitted he had done that. This is what you will find in him throughout.
About the dumb judges, I think the judges aren't so dumb. They make a lot of money on the side, and they are part of the establishment.
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