Stripping off a woman’s clothes in public and filming it, enjoying it, filming oneself taking part as that woman is being groped by hundreds of men is the new normal of Pakistan. The culprits get away. The women are silent, after a while. Most never appear again. Ever. Writes Ibn Khayyam
In Pakistan today, a country led by pro-Taliban and pro-jihad Imran Khan, women are not safe: they are often groped in public. Mostly the individual cases are never reported, because they are never filmed. In the viral ones, hundreds grope the victim. Tear their clothes apart. Throw themselves at them. Rape them in front of their children. And then kill both the woman and her children. Rape them in front of their boyfriends. Film the carnal knowledge. Harass them in secrecy. And then charge money for it. Women are not safe in Pakistan.
Shrinking clothes are not responsible for shrinking responsibilities. Or shirking them. Small clothes are not responsible for a small sense of shame. Bare limbs are not responsible for bare brutality. Alone—or not alone—women in public places must never be held responsible for the undertaking of public sexual assault and abuse by the men. But Pakistan seems not to understand that simple axiom. And along with that, almost all of the Muslim nations in the world relate the absence of hijab and burqa to such sexual atrocities against women and young girls.
Stripping off a woman’s clothes in public and filming it, enjoying it, filming oneself taking part as that woman is being groped by hundreds of men is the new normal of Pakistan. The culprits get away. The women are silent, after a while. Most never appear again. Ever.
On August 14, the Independence Day of Pakistan, a woman in Lahore was sexually charged by hundreds of men, as if she had been a fortress of their nemesis to be broken. On that day, Pakistan showed its unwillingness to provide safety to its people, mostly women. Not just somewhere remote, but right at one of the nation’s most well-known public places: Minar-e-Pakistan (Tomb of Pakistan) in Lahore.
The new normal: Recording everything while ferocious, desperate people tore her clothes. The people who posted this video on social media were smiling, with that woman was screaming as the backdrop. They groped her everywhere, all while she was screaming for help. Under famous minaret of Minar-e-Pakistan, which was built to commemorate the 1940 Resolution of Pakistan, under its shadow, men were to do anything they wanted to do with that woman. They threw her in the air. They kept throwing her. They stretched her. They kept stretching her, as if she were a marshmallow. A thing to relish. A commodity to enjoy in whichever way they wanted.
A report was submitted against 400 men by the victim. But it seems unlikely that they will be recognized and punished legally.
The people of Pakistan have seen this before, on August 14, 2015. Wild men physically harass women and shoot videos. Mostly on August 14, a day to tell people that they got their independence on this day. And for what?
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