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Mukhtaran Mai’s Blog

Posted on September 8, 2006
Filed Under >Bilal Zuberi, Law & Justice, People, Women
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Bilal Zuberi

Mukhtaran Mai is a name familiar to most Pakistanis. In 2002, she was raped by 4 men from a rival tribe as per the decision of local elders in a tribal jirga. The story of the jirga decision is a fascinating tale itself in how our judicial and extra-judicial systems sometimes work in rural Pakistan.

While many women quietly suffer an ill fate at the hands of such tribal decisions, and sometimes committ suicide from the ‘shame’, Mukhtaran Mai fought back. Her prepetrators of the crime were tried in the anti-terrorism courts and death sentences were handed down to the guilty. Since then, the judicial process has taken the case back and forth and most recently the Supreme Court has decided in her favor.

Mukhtaran Mai has become a symbol of resistance and hope for women in Pakistan, and all over the muslim world. In addition to fighting the case in courts, she has become a movement for bringing education to her village, and attention to the broader issue of women’s rights in Pakistan. She buillt the first two schools in her local village of Meerwala, in Southern Punjab and now campaigns internationally.

But now one can read a weekly blog by Mukhataran Mai, her own own internet diary about her life, her village, and the work she is doing internationally to promote women’s causes. Her blog is in urdu and is hosted by the BBC Urdu service. Since Mukhataran cannot read or write, she tells her stories to a local BBC journalist, who types it up as a web diary.

About her blog, she says:

“Mostly I talk about incidents which are cruel and painful. I try to discuss only the most serious things in my blog: the poor treatment of women, sometimes leading to killing,” she says.

“I sometimes talk about my childhood memories – events that take place at my schools; or perhaps just about the household chores.”

“I don’t think that the people in our village know what it’s all about and what I am writing. But I’ve received a few e-mails from other places – people who have reading my blog on line and who encourage me to continue.”

Mukhataran Mai’s presence on the web, in the form of a blog, is a wonderful reminder of how digital access can open doors for a better communication between people lwho otherwise may never meet each other. Mukhataran’s audience is global, and while most support her cause, not all people agree with the path she has chosen; some may not even sympathize with her. But at least a healthy discussion is happening where a village woman can be a party to share her thoughts and opinions. Even about the naysayers, she says:

“It’s their kindness that they read the material. I am grateful to them. They encourage me to continue in my work in the village, and for women everywhere in Pakistan.”

55 Comments on “Mukhtaran Mai’s Blog”

  1. September 8th, 2006 5:15 pm

    I agree with you Bilal but I do not trust the women rights NGO’s of Pakistan especially the one made by some popular women of Pakistan. I worked with one of that NGO in Lahore and witnessed many nasty things, which made me to resign after a month. If you remember the case of Saima and Arshad, it was very much made up by the specific women rights group and one NGO in Lahore. Actually it happened many times that Saima did not say what these ladies told to media. Sure she wanted to marry Arshad but not by showing her father as an evil in public eyes and when she tried to object the false story which they made but they zipped her mouth by telling her that how helpless she could be in society if they left her. Infact with that case women rights NGO got alot of international attention and also earned alot of money on women rights issue in Pakistan.

    Helping a poor woman is infact a very good cause but misusing her situation and herself to make your business is very immoral. And unfortunately in Pakistan many women rights NGOs do cross the limit of good cause and use it as a mean of getting international funds. But I hope that Mukhtaran Mai’s case is the different one. On the other hand I wonder why BBC or Amnesty International and many more human righst NGOs do not point out the recent case of Sati in India??? I hope my friends here you got my point….

  2. aalia says:
    September 8th, 2006 8:36 pm

    Saadia, no I do not get your point at all. Please expalin. What has Sati in India got to do with Pakistan or with Mukhtar Mai? Or are you saying that you would have preferred if her rape had gone unreported and her rapists gone free rather than the media in Pakistan and abroad write about this injustice? Also, you mention the issue of Saima without full details. Are you saying that you have first hand knowledge of this case. Which NGO did you work with? Are you saying that you yourself heard Asma Jehangir or Hina Jillani or someone else ask her to lie. Who? When? If so you have an obligation to go to the police and report them for what would be a crime.

  3. Eidee Man says:
    September 8th, 2006 10:49 pm

    Aalia, I think you got Saadia’s post all wrong (maybe on purpose). No one is arguing that Pakistani women are getting their rights or that there should be no reports on these issues. But, living in the U.S., I can tell you that
    Pakistan is the target of character assassinations ALL THE TIME. It frustrates and angers many Pakistanis when the all they hear about Pakistan is “not doing enough against terrorism,” “support for Osama Bin Laden,” “most dangerous place in the world for westerners,” and “a culture where women can be beaten up for going to school,” etc etc.

    In contrast, India is portrayed as this haven where all 1.1 billion people seem to have “good karma.” I read BBC-South Asia daily and I’ve seen many stories of women being abused belief, children being the target “religious” burnings, etc etc….but never have I seen the same stories mentioned on CNN, Fox, or any other news channel. But if some crazy mullah even makes a threat, you can bet that it;s going to be carried by all of the news networks.

    Pakistan has a lot of problems and the society itself has a lot to learn, but for once I’d like to hear a few kind words about Pakistanis who themselves have been victims of terrorism.

  4. PatExpat says:
    September 9th, 2006 2:11 am

    Regardless of what women right NGOs do, sati in India etc., Mukhtaran Mai should be applauded for standing up. And its not like that she is washing dirty linen in public. Believe me we have a lot of politicians, government officials, exiled leaders who have nothing better to do then to criticize the country.

    So I would suggest that we should get off the back of Mukhtaran Mai and let her do the work she is doing. Its more than any of us has ever done. BBC might have its own ax to grind but we can ignore that.

  5. drpak says:
    September 9th, 2006 3:32 am

    I think Mukhtaran Mai is an extraordinary woman. I remember when I first read of her story when it broke on the front page of The News. I was absolutely horrified and hoped that this tradegy would not be ignored like so many others in this country.

    Having said that, I can appreciate Saadia’s words. She’s not speaking against Mai, or even the Mai case in particular, but against those NGOs who look at Mai and see not a travesty of justice, but an opportunity to get more funds for themselves. There are thousands and thousands of NGOs in Pakistan, and for the large part, they have failed to gain the trust of the public at large. These places are unregulated and unchecked and there is nothing in place stopping them from manipulating situations and garnering press attention simply so they can project themselves as sole defenders women’s rights in Pakistan and thereafter recieve lots of funds for themselves.

    That being said, I don’t mean to discount the good work many NGOs are doing here in Pakistan, but we need to acknowledge that there are NGOs out there that are in it for themselves.

  6. Rabia Bashir says:
    September 9th, 2006 3:59 am

    I respect and admire Mukhtaran Mai for her courage to stand up against the odds and fight for her rights. No doubt, she stands tall as a pillar of hope for the women in despair. She is out there, upfront saying no to oppression and abuse. It takes a lot to do that!

    Rape is a heinous crime and it should be condemned no matter where it happens…Pakistan, India, America, or any other country. Just look at the following statistics:

    UK:
    http://www.cer.truthaboutrape.co.uk/3.html
    The Campaign to End Rape (CER) Website reports about 12,354 rape offences in 2003-04 (only the reported cases).

    USA:
    http://www.rainn.org/statistics/index.html
    The Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN)

    “Every two and a half minutes, somewhere in America, someone is sexually assaulted. In 2003-2004, there were an average annual 204,370 victims of rape, attempted rape or sexual assault”.

    These are eye-opening numbers. It happens everywhere, but unfortunately Pakistan is being projected in a negative way as if it is the only place on earth where such crimes are happening. Such victims exist in every country hoping for a better tomorrow. With Mai’s struggles, perhaps that tomorrow is possible.

  7. Adnan Siddiqi says:
    September 9th, 2006 4:01 am

    Miss.Khan I agree with you.


    Aalia, I think you got Saadia’s post all wrong (maybe on purpose)

    Maybe she is right hand of Asma Jehangir *grin*

    Is Asma and Her sister hina doing something good these days?Last time I heard they were mourning on Bugti’s death.

  8. Bushra says:
    September 9th, 2006 7:30 am

    [quote comment="2334"]Is Asma and Her sister hina doing something good these days?Last time I heard they were mourning on Bugti’s death.[/quote]

    Adnan Bhai, is mourning over someone’s death a bad thing? I hope not.

  9. Pakpics says:
    September 9th, 2006 8:29 am

    She deserves a huge round of applause for how she has shown her resitance against the worst Jirga system. why dont our government make any rules for the idiot people (Members of Jirga) of these areas.
    well done Mukhtaran mai for your all good work & best wishes for your blog. she has become a star for the women of the rural areas. Allah bless her.

  10. September 9th, 2006 4:59 pm

    No Bushra Adnan probably knows that Asma and Hina were always against Tribal Chiefs like Bugti and any other and today when he is killed they found another story to get a profit out of it. I wish they do sincerely feel bad on his tragic death and a false act of our govt.

    Oh yeah, thanks alot Eidee Man, DrPak who understood the context of my comment and gave an appropriate reply to Aalia. I only add one thing here that being a woman its shameful for me to not take a stand for another woman who suffers from some evil acts of our society. Its against my profession and my education in human rights. About Saima’s case you can get enough details on guru google but I may tell you that I worked at Nighat Said’s (a best friend of Asma and Hina) organisation for a month. It was Nighat who told me the story that how they are winning the case by telling Saima to wear western clothes and give this and that statement to newspapers and though Saima did not want to do many things but she had to do that…
    It was clear to me that Nighat would never talked to police against her friends on my request, especially when they all were the fish of same pond.

    Today I do see that its my obligation to tell donor NGos to not give the funds in wrongs hands. And I am glad there are some sincere local NGOs in Pakistan though they are small but they do alot for women and children of our country and best part is that they do not build a huge red buliding as an office in lahore for them by getting funds from GTZ and other donors but collect money at community base and serve the community with complete transparency and moral values.

  11. Nuzhat Aziz says:
    September 9th, 2006 8:31 pm

    What bothers me about this whole debate is how some people, as a response to violence against women in pakistan, trot out statistics about crime aginst women in Western countries. I do not think anyone disputes that crime against women occur all over the world. However, in Western countries, at least there is a system, however imperfect, that seeks justice for the woman. Unforunately in Pakistan, after the crime, the woman is victimised all over again by the police, society and finally the justice system. That is the crux of the matter.

    As far as Asma and Hina are concerned, I do not know them personally, but as a Pakistan woman, am forever indebted to them for being in the forefront, along with many others, in resisting the oppression of the mard-e-momin zia-ul-Haq.

  12. Eidee Man says:
    September 10th, 2006 12:28 pm

    “What bothers me about this whole debate is how some people, as a response to violence against women in pakistan, trot out statistics about crime aginst women in Western countries.”

    Again, you, too, seem to be misinterpreting the argument being made here on purpose. No one is saying that the situation for Pakistani women is in any way good. Law enforcement in Pakistan is little more than a joke when it comes to implementing any law, be it heinous crime or not.

    But those of us who’re living in the West know what news channels say about Pakistan. Most of the time they paint ALL Pakistanis as terrorists or terrorist-sympathizers and when they’re not doing that they are mentioning how it is such a dangerous place that women are raped all over the place and all the time.

  13. Rabia Bashir says:
    September 10th, 2006 4:41 pm

    The statistics given in my earlier comment refer to the media projection debate. It does not mean that we have to sympathize more with the western rape victims and ignore what so ever is happening in South Asian countries. I said repeatedly that rape should be condemned no matter where it happens but the kind of media projection should be impartial across the board.

  14. September 10th, 2006 5:33 pm

    I am having difficulty understanding the complexity of how Pakistanis see the modernization of Pakistan. On one hand people want 7-star hotels inspite of the widespread poverty, because in their eyes it somehow allows Pakistan to look “modernized” and ready to enter the 21s century blodly.
    On the other hand, people object when a rape victim is provided a support system to stand up for her rights and for the rights of women like her who are oppressed every day, and every night. We may disagree with th etactics used by Asma Jahangir, Hina Jillani and other likes them, but have they ever sided with the oppressor? How many others are there who have consistently taken a stand to protect the under privileged?

    At this important juncture in history, the question that should be impotant for us Pakistanis should not be how one kind of media (or another) projects Pakistan, but how Pakistan really is! We cannot paint a nice picture of Pakistan by turning our attention to countering what CNN, Fox, Sky News may have to say about us. Why can’t we just focus on cleaning up our own house and letting news organizations report with whatever bias they may have. Do we really think we can convince a biased western media to change how they report on us? Heck we can’t even change our own media’s biases in Pakistan? I would really rather focus on improving the lives of our own women and children.

  15. Umera says:
    September 10th, 2006 6:27 pm

    Bilal, I was reading everyone else had to say and was getting really annoyed with the debate and finding it increasingly off the point until I reached your post. I think you have hit the nail squarely on the head – we really need to set our house in order before we can other to paint a pretty picture of our country.

  16. Danny says:
    September 10th, 2006 11:41 pm

    Interesting article, but i had one complaint. You mentioned she was punished by a rival tribe in a Jirga. THat it not factual at all. As a Pakhtun i take that as an insult, and as a Pakistani, i find it strange that you do not know your own territory. She was punished by a village Panchayat, which is an ancient pre-Islamic institution from india. You want to know the difference between the two visit punjab to see a Panchayat in action, then visit FATA to see a Jirga. A Jirga would never make such a decision. In fact, Jirgas are known to make fairer and more just decisions on the frontier than any british common law court. Also, I do no t believe that the extent to which this Mukhtaran mai business has gone was her decision or under her control. I think all this has overwhelmed her and her life is no longer under her control but under the control of various groups, both domestic and foreign that want certain policies/agendas pushed forward. There is not one person in Pakistan, or rather the world, who upon hearing of her plight did not feel sorry for her. I do believe though, that she is being made into something bigger than she really is, and the way she is being projected is not accurate. Also, it is funny how the biggest rape cases(except the recent Balochistan case)in the past few years in which women were “punished” by panchayats and publically humiliated (there are more than just mukhataran mai) all originate within one radius in punjab (multan). Perhaps this area needs to be taught a lesson, thoroughly punished by the Army.

  17. Saifulmaluk says:
    September 11th, 2006 12:37 am

    Danny,you need not feel insulted. Jirga and Punchayat are the same thing — a collection of village elders. In Pushtoon areas they are called jirgas while in Punjab they are called Punchayats. Both are pre-Islamic and have nothing to do with any religion. It is true that a normal Jirga would not sanction rape as a punishment. Nor would a normal Punchayat. In this particular case it was a collection of rivals or a “rogue Punchayat”, if you will, who did this. It was not a recognized Punchayat of the village.

    Secondly, one doesn’t eliminate crime by using the army to “teach a lesson” to people at large. Crime can only be minimized, if not eliminated, is by applying the law — and protecting the victim, not the criminals.

  18. September 11th, 2006 3:29 pm

    Dear All,

    ANAA, Asian American Network against abuse of Human Rights, is holding a rally to “repeal Hudood Ordinanceâ€

  19. Danny says:
    September 11th, 2006 6:42 pm

    Saifulmaluk, They are not the same thing. As i told you before. As a Pakhtun i would consider it an insult, but as a Pakistani i consider it my duty to give you more knowledge on this issue. A Panchayat is 5 villages of which the chosen council has almost unlimited power in making decisions which affect the lives of the villagers. A Jirga is a decision by those Maliks of a tribe with influence who judge according to Pakhtunwali and cannot oppose the law of Pakhtunwali. That is why i said a Jirga could not make that decision. I did not mean that normally Jirgas and Panchayats don’t make these decisions, what I meant was that its not possible for a Jirga to make this decision as Pakhtunwali does not allow it. THe Panchayat on the other hand has free reign to make these decisions (Although you are right, no Panchayat would make this decision normally, as the system would break down). It’s just that they do not judge according to a certain law but according to circumstances. I would appreciate it if the writer of the article would change the word Jirga to Panchayat to more accurately reflect the facts in this matter. THank you.

  20. Samdani says:
    September 11th, 2006 7:13 pm

    Danny, you are right in that there are a lot of differences between how jirgas andd panchayats work. In fact, different panchayats also work very differently. But I wonder if your desire to “teach lessons” to certian parts make much sense, because then no one will be spared. Jirga approved honor killings, for example, are not uncommon in NWFP. My Pakhtun friends tell me they are NOT part of Pakhtunwali. Is he right? If so, why woudl the Jirga approve it? According to one repot a Jirga in Upper Dir “not only endorsed the centuries-old custom of putting to death a woman that the family considers dishonourable, but declared that those responsible were not liable for punishment.”
    see http://ipsnews.net/news.asp?idnews=33217
    I do think they also be taught lessons, but lessons of human respect, and not the ones you seemed to be implying.

  21. passion says:
    September 11th, 2006 9:14 pm

    I wonder if it was a real rape or just a revenge for her brother. I totaly condemn this and rapists should be punished severly because its an act against humanity but in Pakistan like where there is definately a problem in the society with these chaudry and wadera elements present we also have to see that with this kind of publicty and monetry aid coming in some people can make it a business too. I am not saying that Mai is a liar, its nothing but just a thought and I apologize if i am hurting anyones feelings here but still in a society where people can sell their kids for money and even kill their kids due to poverty isnt it possible that ” some ” women can accuse men of rape to be an ICON and due to monetry gain associated to it.

  22. Rafiq says:
    September 11th, 2006 11:37 pm

    Passion, what a disgusting comment. You say you are not accusing Mukhtaran Mai, and then you do exactly that.

    You really think that a woman would go through this trauma just to ‘get even’. The problem with Pakistanis is not just the chaudhry and wadera elements you mention, it is the type of attitude your email shows which considers the poor, and especially poor women, to be so inhuman that you can even imagine such a thouoght, to imagine that they would lie on something like this for a little monetary gain… and what is this monetary gain you all talk about. Has she become rich? Is she setting up factories? What?

    I do not know if you are man or woman, if you are a woman can you even imagine yourself going around telling people you were raped when you were not? If you are a man can you imagine a woman you love who is close to you to do that? If your answer is yes you would, then I pity you. If it is no, then how dare you assume that you or women that are close to your, your mother, your sister, would never think of doing so but this poor woman would. I am thoroughly disgusted.

    What would you do to become an ICON… how much monetary gain woudl you need to go around telling people you have been lynched (if you are a man) or raped (if you are a woman)?

  23. PASSION says:
    September 12th, 2006 12:17 am

    Dear Rafiq
    There is no need to be rude and emotional. If a prophet of God ( Hazrat Yousuf)can be accused falsely of trying to rape by a women who wanted something then it can happen to anyone. As I mentioned earlier that its just a thought not my verdict. Every thing is possible in this world. I am not accusing Mai for anything as i said earler that those rapsits should be punished severely becuase that is a inhumane act they commit. You can call me disgusting or whatever your mind tells you but if you think that those women nowadays who are taking their clothes off on stage and making mujra cd’s are doing it for SOCIAL SERVICE or in the name of ART then you need to go and smell the coffee my dear because you are sleeping in the night of ignorance. it is ok for you to bring my mother and sister in the comment because you have the authority of judging me and my thoughts by Allah but I can’t bring a thought into words and express myself even thought i said that its only a POSSIBLITY. I am a man and i believe in women’s freedom and i wholeheartedly reject a man owning a woman and treating her like a slave but that doesnt change the fact that what i said earlier about my thought CAN HAPPEN

  24. Danny says:
    September 12th, 2006 3:09 am

    Samdani, Honor killings in Pakhtunwali are known as Tor. The concept is a little different though. Tor usually implies that both man and woman are guilty of something that they should not have done. Honor killings in other parts of the country are done on mere suspicion, although, these types of honor killings are sometimes found on the frontier, they are not sanctioned by Pakhtunwali, and hence, illegal. I agree with you, Pakistanis, hailing from any province need to learn how to respect their fellow human beings. But this requires education on a very vast scale, and different from how it is practiced in the rest of the world. In the mean time, there is such a thing as social “balance,” and while we can look at other countries and say “wow, look what they did” most of those methods do not apply to Pakistan. When the social balance becomes upset, it needs to be restored. The people living in the area now called Pakistan have been ruled by the rod for the past few millenia (even before Islam). For them to develop the character to make correct social/political decisions they need to be educated, but that education must filter through at least 3 generations before it can take effect. Immediate results can be obtained through force. Perhaps that one small region in Multan where most of the rapes in Pakistan are taking place can be used as a test subject? The police, following the structure that the British left is ineffectual. In fact, in each Muslim colony that the British had, they purposely created a corrupt police force at the lower levels. It was easier for them to control through payments. So Pakistan now has to take a giant step backwards in order to make a leap forward. The entire police force can be remodelled but in the mean time, control needs to be transferred to the only remaining disciplined institution. Personally, i think a police force ordered along the lines of the Turkish police would be better for Pakistan in which the police would be trained like soldiers and trained to operate in urban/rural environments, coming directly under the army chief.

  25. passion says:
    September 12th, 2006 11:20 am

    Danny I agree with you, the whole system needs to be changed. The police force, the judiciary and to be very clear people need to be educated. Majority of our people are so gullible and innocent that one leader give them promises and they vote for him and nothing happened and then in the second term the same leader do the same thing and they vote for him again. That village where the incident happened should have a police station and if there was one available it shouldnt been 9 days after the report was made. They should have arrested the culprits right away if the police system was JUST and immediate DNA testing should have been done. The system needs to be more scientific and more precise. If the system is fast and reliable then no one can say that it was all made up or someone made a false accusation. I hope that politicians in pakistan should do something about it.

  26. Mast Qalandar says:
    September 12th, 2006 11:57 am

    I think some of you guys have got this discussion all wrong. The discussion is not merely about rape as a crime. It is about the reaction of the society and its institutions towards the crime. Mukhtarn Mai’s rape was not the first and, unfortunately, it won’t be the last. But it was the conduct of the society and state institutions, during and after this particularly shameful crime was committed, what made it hit the headlines around the world.

    Those amongst us who try to minimize the gravity of this shameful crime by quoting statistics of rape and similar crimes from the US and Europe should know that in these countries the society, the police and justice system are always on the side of the victim and they do their best to catch the perpetrators, prosecute them and punish them according to the law. Such cases are never forgotten by the law. Only recently, in a well publicized case in New York, a 60 year old man was arrested and successfully prosecuted with the help of DNA test for a rape he had committed 35 years ago. He could not be successfully prosecuted then because of lack of evidence (DNA not available then), jumped bail and ran away, he thought, into oblivion. His victim, now a 55 year old lawyer, did not have to beg the president or anyone else for justice. The system worked on its own, slowly and surely, and caught up with the perpetrator.

    Mukhtaran Mai now is not just a rape victim. She has become an icon of battle against injustice. Those of you who accuse the NGOs for stirring up her case should remember that had it not been for the NGOs and the press she would have been long forgotten as one of the unreported statistics like thousands of others like her.

    To her “Passionate” accusers, once when a reporter asked Mukhtaran Mai to explain the accusation that she was doing all this for money, her simple reply was “take all that money and give me justice.”

  27. passion says:
    September 12th, 2006 12:44 pm

    Dear Mast Qalandar
    The society and the institutions of country should be on the side of the victim. Islam says a women needs 4 witnesses for rape and here the whole village watches the rape and no one comes out and say YES I SAW THE RAPE why? just because our system is weak and injust. Police is corrupt and why blame the police when the politicians are corrupt then the whole system gets corrupt.we are not living in 18th century but this is 21st century and what we need to do is as a nation condemn these acts and improve the system. A woman should not have to wait DAYS to report a crime like that if the system is just and fast. We have all the money in the world to spend on everything else but on the improvement of system. Why is the police in Pakistan so behind in everything. How come they are not being modernized with labs and weapons and protection. We blame the police but what do you expect from somone one who stand on their feet all day and get merely 5000 rupees a month or less, is that JUST looking at the inflation in Pakistan. As long our system will not change nothing will change and only education and sincere politicians can do that.
    I am not a passionate accuser of Mai, I am just bringing up a possiblity not a judgement. Dont you think that this kind of attention can provoke false accusations in the future? My judgement is very clear that those culprits should be burried in the ground uptill their necks and stoned to death because when you rape someone you rape not just one person but the whole society.
    Our people need to know their rights and responsibilities and should be educated about their rights as citizens of Pakistan. No one should be afraid of going to police for protection, or to judiciary for justice. There should be checks on police system and prompt action on those checks.
    More scientific system is the answer where you dont have to wait for people to come upfront and say that the crime happened but the crime speaks for itself loudly with scientific evidence.
    Mai is a BRAVEHEART and I respect her bravery to break the barrier and show the ill factors of the society that women are not mere commodities but still MY THOUGHT ABOUT THE POSSIBLITY STAYS THERE and our system needs to make sure that people dont get advantage of this situation and use it for their own benefit.

  28. Mast Qalandar says:
    September 12th, 2006 1:43 pm

    Passion: I agree with most of what you say except your proposed punishment of burying the perpetrators upto their necks and stoning them to death. Brutality does not improve anything. It only begets more brutality.

    If we have a good justice system no one would feel the need take their grievances to the world.

    Did you notice one thing? Throughout the MM episode not even a squeak was heard from the country’s loudest loudspeakers!!!

  29. September 12th, 2006 2:02 pm

    Good point, Mast Qalandar.
    Why are our mosques silent on this issue? Do they think such issues should not be discussed, or at all contemplated upon? What are they afraid of, when their pulpits are ideal for teaching and preaching civility and justice? Those of us who raise concern on such issues from outside Pakistan are often chastened for washing our dirty laundry in public. If there was enough wasing going on inside, there would be less need to do it outside as well.

  30. September 12th, 2006 5:47 pm

    Its sad to that Pakistan rape reform has been failed after President Musharraf’s govt. caved in to religious conservatives by dropping its plans to reform rape laws. Its really disgusting that he had to do this only because of some illiterate Mullahs and MNAs pressure….What a shame!!!

  31. Jenny says:
    October 1st, 2006 12:41 am

    I am glad to read this and also the comments. All of you Pakistanis are correct in being proud of her courage. As a woman, I am too.

  32. Shabir Alam says:
    October 1st, 2006 1:58 am

    Saadia it’s a shame that his “dictatorship” is not working afterall. I wonder what would have happened if he actually was a dictator?

    [quote comment="2502"]Its sad to that Pakistan rape reform has been failed after President Musharraf’s govt. caved in to religious conservatives by dropping its plans to reform rape laws. Its really disgusting that he had to do this only because of some illiterate Mullahs and MNAs pressure….What a shame!!![/quote]

  33. Hina Zafar says:
    December 8th, 2006 5:14 pm

    [quote comment="2493"]Good point, Mast Qalandar.
    Why are our mosques silent on this issue? Do they think such issues should not be discussed, or at all contemplated upon? What are they afraid of, when their pulpits are ideal for teaching and preaching civility and justice? Those of us who raise concern on such issues from outside Pakistan are often chastened for washing our dirty laundry in public. If there was enough wasing going on inside, there would be less need to do it outside as well.[/quote]

    Hello MQ,
    I kind of discovered this site and looked up Mukhtara’s case deliberately. At the Toronto Film Festival this year, “Shame” a documentary on Mukhtara’s plight was probably one of the films which had a full-house screening (possibly because of its controversial subject matter and the media hype around it). I also like many others only knew bits and pieces about it and the documentary served to fill in the gaps pretty accurately. One of the positive things about the film and my reason for adding this comment is that it was an Imam from a nearby mosque who was the first one to convince Mukhtara to report the rape and took her to the nearest police station to lodge the complaint. Also the same imam also raised the issue after one of the prayers in front of the villagers.
    But then as far as NGOs and all other instituitions are concerned, I would agree that they all do have their own axe to grind. The person who made the documentary, the people and the “prestigious” Pakitani organizations who met Mukhtara while she was in Toronto all had their own personal agendas. I only met Mukkhtara for a few moments after the film screening and couldn’t help but appreciate how far she had come, and all power to women who can turn their misfortunes into something positive. Though I have to agree that Mukhtara may not very well be able to comprehend the extent of her accomplishment, but I don’t think she cares. In her small way she wants to continue giving back to the girls of her village and yes she may be forming alliances with the media to reach that objective, big deal! The culprits who have played a major role in making Pakistan appear so negative in the western media are probably our liberated Pakistanis in North America who have exploited the situation for their own ambitions.

  34. MQ says:
    December 8th, 2006 10:33 pm

    Mohtrama Hina Zafar Sahiba,

    The points you have raised in your comment have already been answered in detail on this thread. However, let me try to clarify some of the points once again.

    1. Yes, the imam of the local mosque was the first person who raised the issue publicly and even encouraged Mukhataran Mai (MM) to go to the police station. The imam must be commended for his action. All the responsible NGOs, both in Pakistan and abroad, have mentioned this fact in their reports. The film that you saw in Toronto, which also mentioned this fact, was presumably made by a non-profit organization. But the point is that other than this solitary imam of village Mirwah, not a squeak was heard from any pulpit or loudspeaker throughout the length and breadth of Pakistan. All these muftis and mullahs who are today blowing hot and cold and vowing to protect the “hudoodullahâ€

  35. Kahn says:
    September 7th, 2007 10:53 am

    Mukhataran Mai is great. Hope the international community who could reach her, would stand by her and help her in work for women. Women in Pakistan had long been enslaved by those who forget that they were once in a woman’s womb, sacrificed their lives for the men, that they have sisters, daughters and mothers. The men in Pakistan are afraid of women; they are not following the teachings of Mohamed but only the law of the jungle! Without women, mankind will not exist.

  36. Rafay Kashmiri says:
    September 24th, 2007 7:11 pm

    Mukhtanra Mai’s horrible ordeal has no words, all I can say, just in punjabi (if she is able to hear me):

    Begum Sahibah, pakistani tay ki, sari dunya des mard, putar,
    dhian,bachay, ma piu,tay saray farishtay tuhano salaam paye
    kenday nay, tuhadi azmat tuhadi izaat tar tar kar kay wi buland hi raway gi, tuhadha hosela kamal da hey, aprhin sari
    koshish jari rakhna, ayna siasi gundain de hissab sab day samaney away ga. ALLAH swt di lathi beawaz hey, assy sarey
    tuhaday tay tuhadi jei hazaran bibian dey qrazdar hegay an, Asan tuhaday lie kugh na kar sakey, Inallilahi wainah elaihey rajeoon.

  37. October 19th, 2007 12:47 pm

    you are great women,we all pakistani appriciate,you are working for women health and save the women in pakistan.
    please if your any office in lahore mail me i would like help your ngo, i have some experience i hope you advantage with my work.
    thanks mail me

  38. November 27th, 2007 10:09 am

    Hi, hello, privet
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  39. Talawat Bokhari says:
    December 13th, 2007 7:36 pm

    Bilal

    You say:

    “Since then, the judicial process has taken the case (accusation of rape by MM) back and forth and most recently the Supreme Court has decided in her favor”.

    Mastqalandar however says:

    “To her

  40. ATP Administrator says:
    December 16th, 2007 6:35 pm

    For our moderation policy, please refer to our comments policy, including refrain against unsubstantiated character assasination, personal attacks, rumor-mongering and slander.

  41. January 14th, 2008 11:00 am

    TRULY BRAVE WOMEN , BUT WHAT A SHAME FOR OUR SOCIETY .

  42. readinglord says:
    January 14th, 2008 7:05 pm

    You are right Passion but this ‘jahilia’ nation is not interested in facts and the truth. The Quran is a witness that they (including some Sahabies) had accused even the wife of the prophet, Hazrat Aeyshah, of Zinna, without any proof whatsoever. But luckily Allah Himself could and did intervene to prove her innocence then. So was the case of Hazrat Yousaf. He had to suffer jail fo 17 years for a mere accusation of zinna by Zulekha. Again it was Allah Himself who vouchsafed his innocence. Who will tell us the truth now when Allah, according to the Mullah, has stopped talking with the man. So lie will prevail and an accusation will henceforth be treated as a fact even when the verdict of the High Court was to the contrary.

  43. Deborah says:
    June 12th, 2008 9:57 am

    Dearest Mukhtaran
    I just want to let you know that you have truly touched the heart of God with your strength and courage to keep going inspite of what tradition says about women.
    Education is the key for all women every where
    I thank God for you and for your willingness to keep going and for not giving up
    God Bless you

  44. Renu says:
    August 25th, 2008 7:35 pm

    Mukhtar Mai, I have just started reading your book and i am truely touched by your courage and by your family.
    You are inspirational and your book is an encouragement to women all over the world who are finding it hard to talk about the abuse they have been through.

  45. Dana Pertermann says:
    October 23rd, 2008 6:12 pm

    Dear Mukhtar Mai,

    I have followed your story from it’s first airing in the US. Your book is truly amazing, and I have bought it for many people so that your story stays alive. I have no idea if you read this, but I wanted you to know that there are people even in the US that still care, and still pray that you are doing well.

    God Bless You.

  46. November 16th, 2008 9:29 pm

    Dear Mukhtaran Mai, peace be upon you,
    I really admire you for your braveness. You have done very much for human rights of women in your country. I hope you will encourage more women to resist against violence being commited on them.
    I wish you patience in your jihad and happiness in your life.
    Let the God protects you.

  47. Aisha says:
    March 11th, 2009 5:31 am

    I think you should have Mukhtar Mai’s picture on your side panel about strong women.

  48. SHAM says:
    March 17th, 2009 4:47 pm

    I WANT TO MEET MAI COULD ANYONE HELP PLEASE!!!!!!!!!!!!

  49. Enver says:
    March 18th, 2009 3:00 pm

    Congratulations to Mukhtar Mai on her marriage.

    She deserves happiness after all she has been through. I hope people will not drag her through teh mud again on this. That woudl be petty.

  50. readinglord says:
    March 21st, 2009 7:33 pm

    My point is that the world at large, especially the West and the urban media, cannot understand the rural tribal culture under feudal set-up in Punjab. Just see Mai

  51. readinglord says:
    May 24th, 2009 8:07 pm

    How Mai’s case in Supreme court stands now? Can any body tell me? Mai herself seems to have lost interest in her case after her marriage with Gabol. But what about the accused poor Mastoies still languishing in the jail perhaps who could not be bailed out even? What a justice it is? Where are the NGOs, the media and the satanic Kristofer? Should we wait for the Taliban to come and provide justice to the male gender? Isn’t it shameful for the CJ also who capped this case with his suo motu martial law?

  52. Amy says:
    January 31st, 2011 3:42 am

    Does anyone know where I can get a DVD of the film “Shame”? I know Georgetown screened it, but their librarians say that they don’t have it in the library, and I don’t know who else at Georgetown to ask. I can’t find it anywhere online, and I’m supposed to be putting on a screening of it at Hampshire College on March 4th. If anyone has any info or a copy they’d be willing to sell, please e-mail me at ark09@hampshire.edu. Thanks!

  53. March 31st, 2011 1:53 pm

    I HATE THOSE WHO HATE WOMEN I SALUTE BRAVE LADIES .GIVE WOMEN RIGHTS .

  54. nazir says:
    April 24th, 2011 5:53 pm

    Why is Pakistan so fond of medieval practices? Why don’t you move towards modernity with a book of law? Scientific and logical approach is what is needed—well, I know, you have a few people. Sit and think together for development and peace, which is acceptable to all Pakistanis. Right now you all are so engrossed in exporting Islamic terrorist and representing yourself a power house of them. In the name Allah, you do everything that is irreligious—to your people and to the world. Nothing is more sacred more than the life of a human being. There is no such thing as sin, it’s all about perception. Law has to be objective and realistic. How can a band of morons—untouched and unaware of the modern world— pronounce a woman to be raped by a gang and called it justice. What if the same happens to their wives and daughters? Will they still call it justice? It is an attempt to ruin a woman on whom they could not lay their hands upon. It is a sadistic and barbarous—the very definition of medieval perverted Muslim man. Law and justice cannot be defined in terms of regional and religious terms; they are universal and applicable to the whole world.

  55. readinglord says:
    May 7th, 2011 8:10 am

    @nazir

    Don’t be so blinded by your feminism, please. Just read the judgment of the SC. It is all a media-cum-NGO fraud of the century when actually never did the panchayat order the rape nor did it actually occur. Just note the most active person in spinning this fraud was the mullah, Razaq, who was not present in the Panchayat, but the man who was the most concerned and was present during the event, father of Mai, did not appear as a witness. And what a timing of reporting the case; only when Khaliq’s sister was married to somebody else than the brother of Mai, as decided in an akath, in exchange for the marriage of Mai to the Mastoi accused, Khaliq.

    It was apparantly just Khaliq’s naive truthfulness that he performed rightful sex with Mai as his wife that made him suffer conviction and sentence, otherwise there was nothing to prove it. But Mai took undue advantage of it and denied to have an honorable sex with Khaliq as his wife, which actually was perhaps the fact and insisted on claiming it as a rape, evidently with the objective of avenging a tribal vendetta, accompanied luckily by the fame and the rain of dollars, the envy of many a woman.

    What a media-cum-NGO fraud it was!

    We read the story in Quran of Yusuf (ASM) who was sentenced to 17 years imprisonment as a result of a false allegation of attempt of rape against him by a woman named Zulekha. Mai has an edge on her as she made more than a dozen Mastois serve incarceration for over nine years by a totally false allegation.

    We can rightly call the Islamic Republic of Pakistan as ‘Zanaana Republic of Pakistan’ now wherein justice is only the zinaana justice.

    It was God which proved the innocence of Yusuf but who would prove the innocence of Mastois now when even SC has failed to convince the zanaan-e-Pakistan and their ‘Zankha’ supporters to do that and God, the Mullah say, has stopped all communication with the man even now.

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