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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."

WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY BILL BURTON HOLDS WHITE HOUSE NEWS BRIEFING ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE EN ROUTE TO ILLINOIS

Political Transcript Wire April 28, 2010 WHITE HOUSE NEWS BRIEFING ABOARD AIR FORCE ONE EN ROUTE TO ILLINOIS, AS RELEASED BY THE WHITE HOUSE APRIL 28, 2010 SPEAKER: WHITE HOUSE DEPUTY PRESS SECRETARY BILL BURTON [*] BURTON: Good morning. Thank you for joining us. We’re going to have some long drives today, but we’ll see some beautiful parts of the country. So, at 12:20 p.m., the President is going to tour the facility at POET Biorefining. The remarks will be about 1:00 p.m. It’s in Macon, Missouri. He’ll talk to workers about what they’re experiencing during these tough economic times and share ideas for rebuilding our economy in the long term. Secretary Vilsack is, again, along with us for the day. He’ll be with us all the way to the White House later on.

At that event we expect all the statewide officials and the mayor of Macon, Doug Bagley; the general manager of POET Biorefining, Steve Burnett, will lead the tour.

We will then — sorry, just a little more on POET. In Macon they produced their first ethanol in May of 2000, starting with an annual production capacity of 15 million gallons. Three years later the plant expanded its capacity to 46 million gallons per year and added the production of Dakota Gold Distillers Grains and carbon dioxide. The Macon facility was the first ethanol plant in the state of Missouri and currently employs 45 people. website act question of the day

The plant purchases 16 million bushels of corn from 650 local farmers, which annually produces, like I said, 46 million gallons of ethanol, which primarily goes to St. Louis and Palmyra, Missouri, 140,000 tons of high-protein animal feed called Dakota Gold Distillers Grains that’s sold to area farmers, and 94,000 tons of CO2, which is sold to soft-drink companies, food processors, water treatment facilities, to name a few. They also have really cool commercials at POET.

He’ll later have a kitchen table-type discussion with a local farm family to discuss their operation.

At 4:00 p.m., we’ll be in Quincy, at the Oakley Lindsay Civic Center. You guys might remember in 2008 this was the place where the President went and sandbagged in preparation for the floods. And later he’ll — and that’s where he’ll deliver remarks on Wall Street reform.

There will be about 2,000 folks in attendance; 70 percent of the tickets were distributed Tuesday on a first come, first serve basis; the other 30 percent, as per normal, distributed by the White House to local groups and elected officials.

And with that, I’ll take your questions.

QUESTION: Can you preview the remarks in Quincy this afternoon, at least a little bit?

BURTON: Sure. Well, the President is going to talk about the fact that it doesn’t take a degree from the Harvard School of Economics to understand that on Wall Street things are getting back to normal. But if you look around Main Street in rural America, a lot of the places where we’ve been, we’re a far place from a normal that should be acceptable to anyone. And if you look at the kind of economic crisis that nearly brought our economy to its knees with the collapse of financial firms and the bailouts that were required, the President firmly believes and will make the case that we need real reforms in place to prevent those sorts of catastrophes from happening again.

So he’ll talk about the need for Wall Street reform, what it means to Main Street in rural America, and the need to do it right now.

There’s been a lot of talk about this issue for a long time, and people on both sides are saying that they want to get something done. But it’s time to act.

QUESTION: Is he getting impatient?

BURTON: I’m sorry?

QUESTION: Is he getting impatient?

BURTON: The President has been impatient on this issue for a very long time. We need action in the Senate to move this forward.

QUESTION: Now that we’re facing a third vote in the Senate, does he have any indication from lawmakers that that vote is going to go any different than the previous two on getting the debate started?

BURTON: As we took off the conversations were still happening with lawmakers on the Hill, and I don’t have any further update for you, but that’s an ongoing process.

QUESTION: Has he had conversations with lawmakers?

BURTON: None that I know of.

QUESTION: So it’s people from the administration who have been having conversations with lawmakers.

BURTON: That’s right.

QUESTION: Is there any reason Secretary Vilsack didn’t speak at any of the events yesterday? He was governor of Iowa; he seems to be very popular in the state.

BURTON: No particular reason. But he’s — oh, he did actually speak at the pre-programs for some of the events yesterday.

QUESTION: Oh, he did? Okay.

BURTON: Yes.

QUESTION: Bill, why didn’t the President call out Charles Grassley, since he’s talking about financial regulation and he was in Iowa yesterday and he voted against the bill?

BURTON: There’s always a lot of things that the President can say or not say, but I’m not going to get into the, like, ins and outs of every non-utterance the President doesn’t make.

QUESTION: But we were in Iowa.

BURTON: We were in Iowa, and it is a fine state. (Laughter.) QUESTION: Do you have any reaction to the Greek debt crisis, which seems to be spreading, and was hitting markets pretty hard yesterday?

BURTON: This is something that is of great concern to the President. We’re monitoring it very closely. And officials from Treasury and other appropriate agencies are in close contact with folks in Europe about the issue.

QUESTION: Is there something to be said about the timing of this clean energy push while the Gulf of Mexico is being set on fire, there was this mine disaster related to coal?

BURTON: We’ve been having a — we’ve been in the midst of real energy problems for a very long time. Our dependence on foreign oil is too much. The amount of emissions that we put out of our vehicles and factories is too high. And this is an issue that the President has been committed to making progress on. actquestionofthedaynow.com act question of the day

Like I said yesterday, on the substance, there is bipartisan agreement on what we need to do to move forward to help to decrease our dependence on foreign oil, help to increase our production of clean energies here. And basically we’re just in the midst of a process question. And the President is confident that given the fact that lawmakers on both sides of the aisle agree on what we need to do to move forward, that we’re going to be able to make some very important progress on this issue.

QUESTION: What about the oil rigs off the — in the Gulf of Mexico? Is that going to affect your offshore drilling policy at all? Is that coming into consideration or play?

BURTON: Well, there’s a joint investigation currently under way that multiple agencies across the executive branch are participating in. The President is very closely monitoring the situation. People at the highest levels of the administration have been meeting with officials at BP to discuss not just the cleanup there but what happened there.

We take very seriously the concerns that people have and the issue that’s — issues that are underway today in the cleanup and the fire. But the President is eagerly anticipating the outcome of the joint investigation.

QUESTION: But do you think that he’ll continue the push for offshore drilling?

BURTON: Well, I’m not going to get in front of what the investigation produces.

QUESTION: Any reaction to the Goldman testimony yesterday?

BURTON: I’m not going to comment on what is ultimately an ongoing enforcement action on the SEC. But like I said earlier, there are real problems on Wall Street. There are — there’s a need to rein in some of the practices that got us into this mess. There’s a need for more transparency and there’s a need to protect consumers.

The President is committed to making sure that we make progress and get Wall Street reform done.

QUESTION: Thank you.

QUESTION: Have you seen “Barack the Barbarian”?

BURTON: I have seen that comic book. I liked it because it had few words and lots of pictures — made it easy to understand. (Laughter.) But when you come to Iowa you see all sorts of fun things, and it’s nice to see the manifestation of somebody’s creative energy in the President slaying a large elephant.

QUESTION: Are you referring to Sarah the Red?

BURTON: No, the big elephant.

QUESTION: The actual elephant. (Laughter.) QUESTION: Thank you.

BURTON: All right, thanks.

END 2009 CQ Transcriptions, LLC

56 comments posted

Comment Pages: [7] 6 5 4 3 2 1 » Show All

  1. June 24th, 2014 6:54 pm

    Last time we were there in Awari Hotel where all Commercial Kitchen Equipment used from Dastgir Engineering who are quality exporter of Pizza Ovens.

  2. 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.

  3. 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.

  4. March 31st, 2011 1:53 pm

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

  5. 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!

  6. 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?

  7. 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

  8. 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.

Comment Pages: [7] 6 5 4 3 2 1 » Show All



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