Violence against women: Pakistan to form committee to seek ‘guidance’ thumbnail

Violence against women: Pakistan to form committee to seek ‘guidance’

A committee comprising notable religious scholars, intellectuals, and members of the civil society will be formed to guide the government on how to control the rising cases of violence against women.

The federal cabinet made the decision on Tuesday, Information Minister Fawad Chaudhry said in a press conference after the meeting.

Fawad said the recent rise in incidents of rape, harassment, and assault on women has left the government alarmed.

According to the minister, Prime Minister Imran Khan has said the
harassment and assault of a woman Tiktoker at the Minar-e-Pakistan on August 14
is one of those incidents that have induced fear in all sections of the
society.

“The social media has reacted to the whole situation as well and we have decided to start a debate on this issue,” Fawad said.

He said a debate, involving people from different backgrounds, was necessary to find out solutions towards eradicating these issues. Therefore, the government will seek guidance from the “high-level committee on where we want to go and what kind of regulations can be introduced.”

Minar-e-Pakistan incident

The victim said that she was at the Minar-e-Pakistan with her friends
to make a video for her YouTube channel when suddenly more than 300 to 400 men
attacked them. The victim said when she and her friends tried to get away from
the crowd, the guards at the Minar opened the gate of the fence and they went
inside.

The men jumped over the fence and surged towards us and started
pulling me, the woman said. She said that they clawed and tore her clothes. She
said that some men tried to help her but the crowd was so overwhelmingly large
that they couldn’t do anything.

She said that the mob of men also assaulted her partner Amir
Sohail’s friend and snatched his cellphone and Rs15,000. They even forcefully
took off my gold ring and gold earrings, she said.

Videos of the incident surfaced later as many people present had
cell phones and started recording the commotion. They show the woman walking
with a crowd behind her before the men surround her. People can be seen raising
their mobile phones to take videos and pictures of her and start pushing her
around. As the scores of men surround her, the woman starts screaming
frantically. As the video goes on, a man is heard saying “Azaan ho rahi hai.”
The call to prayer had started to fill the air.

Another video shows men throwing the woman in the air.

The FIR was registered after the horrific footage of the woman being pushed, groped, and thrown in the air went viral on social media. More than 100 arrests have been made as the investigation process to identify the culprits continues.

Criticism on PM Imran

Last month’s rape and murder of Noor Mukadam, the daughter of a Pakistani diplomat, is one of the many incidents of violence against women that have taken place in the last two months.

PM Imran has been criticised for citing “obscenity and few
clothes” as a reason behind the rise in such incidents. He, however, later
responded to the criticism, saying the offender, not the victim, is the only
person responsible for committing violence against women.

Violence against women in Pakistan

If you or anyone you know is a survivor of domestic violence, then
you can contact the following organisations.

  • Ministry of Human Rights-1099 (You can even download its app Helpline 1099)
  • Madadgar-1098
  • Punjab Women’s Toll-Free Helpline-1043
  • Rozan counselling helpline-03041111741
  • Dastak Foundation-03334161610
  • Bedari-03005251717

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