Politicians and celebrities call for justice after woman assaulted by 400 men at Minar-e-Pakistan

Politicians and celebrities have raised urgent calls for justice after a woman was continuously assaulted by hundreds of men at Lahore’s Iqbal Park at Minar-e-Pakistan on Independence Day.

In videos of the incident recorded by the mob and circulating on social media, the woman can be seen tossed into the air and her clothes ripped apart by men, her cries for help going unheard. In a first information report (FIR) lodged with the police, the woman claimed she was separated from her six companions, who were also violently assaulted, and that the mob also stole jewellery, cash and mobile phones from them.

According to the woman’s complaint, she and her group were at Minar-e-Pakistan on Independence Day to film a video before they were harassed and then attacked.

“These are gross violations of laws and social norms, [the government] won’t spare a single person involved,” said adviser to the prime minister Zulfi Bukhari, who also announced that the prime minister “has personally spoke[n]” to the Punjab police IG to arrest those involved.

 

PTI MNA AamirLiaquat also revealed that Prime Minister Imran Khan is “sad and angry”.

 

However, even if laws are implemented effectively, it’s the mentality and mindsets that must change to deter such incidents and protect those most vulnerable in society, said Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari.

 

Actor Mansha Pasha summed up part of what the incident so shocking: where and how it happened. “We preach religion and patriotism here but we follow hedonism and barbarism.”

 

Mahira Khan called for the perpetrators to be made an example of for their actions, and also called out those justifying the attack or questioning the woman’s presence at the location.

 

 

“When a man is assaulted, murdered, robbed or defrauded we don’t associate blame to him then why do we do it with women,” Karachi-based lawyer and human rights activist Jibran Nasir questioned the widespread victim-blaming on social media and those who blamed the actions of the hundreds of men on the woman they assaulted.

“Why are crimes committed against a man seen as an exception despite his own conduct but crimes against a woman [are] considered a natural outcome of her actions?”

 

“Can we finally see our police in action by putting those men responsible for this gruesome act behind the bars,” asked Adnan Siddiqui. “Is this too much to ask for our women?”

“We cannot continue to bury our heads in the sand. Pakistan is not safe. Not for our women. Not for our children,” wrote Aseefa Zardari, referring to reports from the past weekend of an incident of necrophilian in Thatta district, where a 14-year-old girl’s freshly-buried body was dug up from her grave and raped.

 

“Ashamed of being a man today, ashamed that the men of this country keep doing these horrible acts every other day,” wrote Farhan Saeed.

 

In a similar vein, vlogger Shahveer Jafry expressed the surreal and shocking nature of the incident.

 

“Hope this incident is dreadful enough to open your eyes,” wrote Mawra Hocane.

 

Ishq Zahe Naseeb actor Zahid Ahmed could barely find the works to express his disbelief at how hundreds of men could assault a single woman without intervening to help.

 

“Action, not just condemnation. Bring the perpetrators to justice,” Osman Khalid Butt summed up.