Tuesday, June 28, 2005


I am sure you have heard of Ms Mukhtar Mai, a genuinely brave Pakistani woman who was gang-raped on the orders of the local village council as punishment for her brother's "indiscreet" fraternization. This happened about 3 years ago and since then Ms. Mai has suffered even more ordeals - Being barred to travel abroad and tell her story, the rapists being acquitted for lack of evidence etc. But I don't want to talk about her admirable struggle itself in the face of such great odds (read the brilliant Nicholas Kristof's column here for more on that).

I want to talk about a quote from the "President" of Pakistan which pretty much sums up his feelings of apathy towards this iniquity. Upon being asked by the BBC to comment, he said "We are no worse than any other developing country".

Am I the only one who is appalled by this? That is his excuse? "No one else does anything, so why should we?" I am sorry if this seems like an overreaction but I don't think Mr Musharraf makes for a very good President, let alone a human being.

[Update: Looks like the Supreme Court is not as apathetic as the rest of the Pakistani government - it overturned the acquittals of the accused and gave orders for them to be retried at a future date. Ms. Mai's passport has also been returned to her.]

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