- What to do?
Even as the hated and condemned rapist of the poor girl from Kasur was getting additional punishment over his involvement in similar abduction, rape and murder cases of minor girls from the same city, it could still not be said with certainty that the combined deterrence of media presence, better policing and legal precedent was really working. The rape case from the F-9 park in Islamabad, where a girl was allegedly sexually assaulted and blackmailed by a CDA official, as two other people watched (in broad daylight in a public park), is appalling and once again questions the safety of public places for females.
More importantly, cases like this one prove, if any were still needed, the need for stricter punishment to ensure that nobody feels confident enough to break the law and get away with it, especially when such crimes are concerned. At the time of Imran Ali’s arrest much hue and cry was made of the demand, put forward by numerous sections of society, of a public hanging for such a depraved criminal. However we were told, in light of the law, that there was no space for such medieval forms of justice.
Sexual aggression is, of course, just one form of subjugation Pakistani women are generally exposed to. From being deprived of education and careers, to workplace harassment for the few that do break that barrier, to outright abduction, rape, murder, etc, they are and remain clearly marginalised. But for the state to be simply unable to curb a crime as heinous as rape is unacceptable. At a time when the judiciary, clearly bending over backwards to ensure justice to the common man, is even apprehending the high and mighty in pursuit of justice, crimes against women must be accorded higher priority. It is now for those in power to prove that they are up to the task.