Join the Socialist Party Join us today!

Printable version Printable version

Facebook   Twitter

Link to this page: http://www.socialistparty.org.uk/issue/390/4422

From The Socialist newspaper, 28 April 2005

Pakistan: Mukhtar Mai - a rape victim in search of justice

DESPITE ALL the claims of the present Musharraf regime, women are still facing a horrific situation in Pakistan.

Rukhsana Manzoor, Lahore, Socialist Movement Pakistan (CWI in Pakistan)

Domestic violence, sexual harassment, rape, inequality, injustice, and discrimination are the realities of everyday life. Conditions are especially dreadful in the feudal and tribal areas.

On 3 March 2005, the Lahore High Court Multan Bench shocked the whole nation with its verdict on the case of a young woman, Mukhtar Mai, who was raped. The court freed five men convicted of rape by the Anti-Terrorist Court.

According to the judges, the evidence failed to prove that gang-rape actually took place and the counsel for the victim could not prove that a Panchayat (local elders council) was even remotely implicated in this dreadful act. The 'learned' judges also criticised the police for incorrect investigation and inefficiency.

This verdict has reminded people throughout Pakistan once again of this barbaric incident, in which four men gang-raped 35-year old Mukhtar Mai for hours on the orders of a Panchayat in Meer Wala village in the district of Muzzafar Gar in Southern Punjab in June 2002.

Mukhtar was working in her house, when the Panchayat ordered her father to bring her to them to "apologise" on behalf of her brother who was accused of having an affair with the daughter of a rich, feudal family. When she was brought to the Panchayat, the village elders ordered her to be raped in order to restore the 'pride' and 'honour' of the family who brought the case.

This case caught the attention of the international media and human rights organisations, which forced the government to take action against the accused and the members of the Panchayat. The Anti-Terrorist Court passed a death sentence on the six accused.

Widespread violence

The Seraiki-speaking belt of Southern Punjab is notorious for these incidents and horrific crimes against women, particularly those from a poor background.

Three months ago, in another district of South Punjab called Vehari, 13 men raped a girl for similar reasons given for the action taken against Mukhtar Mai.

According to police records, 580 women were raped in the first six months of 2004 in Southern Punjab. 24 were maimed by acid attacks, 634 abducted and sexually molested and 115 were killed after rape or during resistance against attack. These are just the reported cases - the vast majority of cases are of course never brought to the police.

Socialist Movement Pakistan (SMP) Central Committee member and a peasant leader Dr. Aashiq Zafar Bhatti has been at the forefront of the struggle to get justice in this case and others.

He was among the few courageous people, who raised his voice in support of Mukhtar Mai from the platform of AIMS Organisation (a civil society organization working against domestic and sexual violence against women). He mobilised hundreds of people, especially women, against the verdict of the High Court.

The Socialist Movement Pakistan, with the help of other organizations, organised a seminar and demonstration in which 500 people participated, the majority of whom were women. Some NGOs organised a protest rally in Multan on 7 March, in which Socialist Movement members participated.

SMP campaign

When they raised the issue and criticised the court verdict, the High Court judge issued a contempt of court notice to 14 of the participants, which also included two SMP members. Despite that contempt notice, SMP members organised an International Women's Day seminar on 8 March in Jatoi. More than 250 women participated in this seminar.

SMP members played a key role in organising a public meeting in front of Mukhtar Mai's house in Meer Walla, Jatoi, to show solidarity and support with her. More than 4,000 people were mobilised for this public meeting. This meeting was covered widely by the international and national media.

SMP members also sold copies of their paper, The Socialist, and other material. The SMP is the only left organisation directly involved in this campaign and also campaigning against the Hudood Laws (oppressive, discrimatory laws against women) - for example SMP members in Muzafar Gar organised a march and seminar against these laws on 16 March in which 300 people participated.

Despite having small forces, the SMP is playing a vital role on the issues of women, poor farmers and other oppressed sections of society in this very underdeveloped and feudal-dominated area.

This rape case has exposed the whole judicial system and the corrupt practices of the police and local influential feudal lords. There is no safe future on the basis of capitalism and feudalism for working class women in Pakistan. The overthrow of this rotten system is urgent. Only socialism can provide a way forward for women, workers and poor peasantry of Pakistan.

Why not click here to join the Socialist Party, or click here to donate to the Socialist Party.


In The Socialist 28 April 2005:

Vote Socialist on 5 May

Fighting the jobs massacre in Birmingham

Election Feature

Standing for socialism in Scotland

Leicester NHS phone in - socialists v. the rest

Needed - a new party for working people

Big business scuppers Jamie's school dinners

Britain's so-called 'booming economy'

Mukhtar Mai - a rape victim in search of justice in Pakistan

End world poverty

Why we celebrate May Day

Stalinism, socialism and capitalism

Labour's the problem not the answer

Usdaw - Need for change at the top


 

Home   |   The Socialist 28 April 2005   |   Join the Socialist Party

Subscribe   |   Donate  




Related links:

Pakistan:

triangleHackney Socialist Party: 70 years since India-Pakistan partition

triangleInternational Women's Day: taking action against capitalist oppression

Rape:

triangleLessons from the Russian revolution for LGBT+ struggle today

triangleWomen and austerity - scrap the 'rape clause'

triangleBenefits workers oppose 'rape clause' and two-child limit

triangleScrap the Tory 'rape clause' and all benefit attacks

International

International

11/10/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

4/10/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia - the people have the right to decide

4/10/17

Catalonia

Eyewitness: Irish socialist MP participates in events

2/10/17

Catalonia

Exemplary resistance by the people of Catalonia

27/9/17

Germany

Germany: Election results in political earthquake

27/9/17

Catalonia

Strike against Madrid's 'state of emergency'!

27/9/17

Germany

German elections: rise of the far right and right-wing government will provoke resistance

27/9/17

France

French Labour reform protests

25/9/17

Catalonia

Catalonia: Student strike called

20/9/17

Myanmar

Brutal repression of Rohingya people sparks massive humanitarian crisis

20/9/17

Catalonia

Solidarity with Catalonia in the Spanish state

15/9/17

Germany

Berlin hospital strike

13/9/17

Korea

Korean peninsula: is nuclear war likely?

13/9/17

Students

Interview with leader of students' union in the Spanish state: "When we fight, we win!"

6/9/17

US

Hurricane Harvey: A tragedy made far worse by capitalism

triangleMore International articles...


Join the Socialist Party
Subscribe to Socialist Party publications
Donate to the Socialist Party

triangle13 Oct The end of the Tories?

triangle11 Oct Nasty party imploding...drive out the Tories

triangle11 Oct CWU fights court attempt to stop national strike

triangle11 Oct The fight against racial discrimination is tied to fighting against...

triangle11 Oct Catalonia: Workers can finish what Puigdemont won't

triangle6 Oct Boeing bust-up threatens thousands of skilled jobs

triangle4 Oct The nasty party turns on itself... but the Tories must be driven out

More ...

triangle17 Oct London: TUC lobby & rally; and London march

triangle18 Oct Warrington & St Helens Socialist Party: 1917-2017; the October Russian Revolution

triangle18 Oct Hackney Socialist Party: 100 years ago - the Bolshevik-led revolution

triangle18 Oct Tower Hamlets Socialist Party: Capitalism in Crisis - is Corbyn the answer?

More ...

Socialist Party Facebook page
Socialist Party on Twitter
Visit us on Youtube

Archive

Archives:

October 2017

September 2017

August 2017

July 2017

June 2017

May 2017

April 2017

March 2017

February 2017

January 2017

2016

2015

2014

2013

2012

2011

2010

2009

2008

2007

2006

2005

2004

2003

2002

2001

2000

1999

Legal

SP RSS feed RSS

Platform setting: = No platform choice

V2