Every other rape story in Pakistan

Published: February 23, 2013
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Sometimes, the family of the victim(s) demand justice. Story ends. No follow-up. PHOTO: REUTERS

In a small town or village in Pakistan, victim X (perhaps Y and Z too, who may be sisters, mothers or relatives) has [allegedly] been raped, gang-raped, often tortured, sometimes murdered and dumped in a ditch, a well, or close to their home.

The actual rape lasts hours, days, weeks or even years.

A few lurid, but contained details of the sexual assault go here, with large chunks cut out so as to not offend and/or titillate the readers.

Additional details may be dropped because the district reporter’s English is atrocious, and his embellishments are suspect.

In fact, the whole story may be dropped right here.

The body or bodies of the victims (alive or dead) have been shifted to a local hospital, where rape is confirmed, or will be confirmed soon by a doctor.

Meanwhile, an FIR may or may not have been registered against a number of accused, who have generally fled the area.

An arrest or two may or may not have been made in the case, but the police are always investigating the incident.

Sometimes, the family of the victim(s) demand justice.

Story ends.

No follow-up.

Placement in the paper:

  • A one to two paragraph brief, somewhere far away from the ‘real news’.
  • A single column story, depending on where the rape took place (urban centers get more traction) and whether it was ‘more violent’ than usual.
  • Nowhere. Other ‘important’ news knocked the story right off.

This is the fate of hundreds of rape cases that actually make their way to the print media each year. Most never go beyond the immediate family of the victim(s). Fewer still get to the registration of an FIR.

Perhaps this is all for the best – at least this way Pakistan’s rape statistics remain lower than those of ‘immoral western’ countries, and our honour is preserved.

Read more by Jahanzaib here or follow him on Twitter @jhaque_

Jahanzaib Haque

Jahanzaib Haque

News buff and Web Editor, The Express Tribune. Jahanzaib tweets @Jhaque_ twitter.com/jhaque_

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