It is not safe to be anything in Pakistan right now!

It is not safe to be anything in Pakistan right now!

Shireen Rizvi

Within just two week span we witnessed some horrific realities were seen the in form of violence and hatred. A woman got raped in front of her children on Lahore to Gujranwala motorway. This news spread like a fire across nation, not because it was an isolated or unique incident , but because sadly as a nation we have set some bizarre precedent when it comes to violence on women. Before this incident a minor was raped and burnt in Karachi. Earlier to that a teen raped a cat in his home, a clerk raped a minor in Mosque. I know this is triggering for many of us but unfortunately some of our compatriots have made peace with it. Not with the violence but the perpetrators per se. Hang the rapist hashtag swiped the internet which indicate that people are against the act of rape but when some activists and intellectuals explained how capital punishment is not the solution as it will breed more violence and it is the culture which perpetuate this heinous crimes not individuals, some took it for a coward or “desi liberal” stance. Two days later; 14TH September, 2020 nationwide protests were organized and we saw people of all sphere showing up in solidarity with survivors. Circumstance were overwhelming because no matter what school of thought one had belonged to, they strongly condemned this act of violence except an incompetent CCPO who was busy blaming victim on national television. While all of this was happening on one side we then witnessed a massive rally marching on streets of Karachi in broad daylight chanting anti-shia rhetoric. The participant in this sectarian roadshow were more enthusiastic to declare shia as “kafir”/ “infidel” rather to stand against the increased physical and sexual violence on women, minors, animals and religious minority. 

Silence has become an attribute of contemporary administration. Intimidation or forced disappearances has been a crucial “strategy” in term of “eradicating” the evil. Evil is pretty subjective in our discourse now, our talk shows have evolved in term of technology and marketing, our journalists are abducted at night because they offended a machine operator in middle of Karachi just by reporting the sectarian issue. Most importantly the whole community is under major threat. It is safe to say that social media has become key source of mobilization but on the flip side of it we see an immense network of people who advocate rape culture and can be seen as threat for common public. We have private group where people share problematic contents regarding women, minor and religious groups. This virtual group might look like a national threat to administration but they play a vital role in orienting people for certain type of mentality. Honestly no one can tell where we are heading as nation; with biased emotions and barbaric institutions we might end up making a violent culture with intolerant and vicious rule of mob. 

 Indeed it is unsafe for the whole world because of Covid-19 and crippling economy as millions of people have lost their lives and rest of them have lost jobs but in term of my own country, our basic humanity is under threat . In short, in this Pakistan right now it is unsafe to be an animal, minor, religious minority and especially a woman. But in case you belong to a major religious sect and have a XY chromosome in your DNA, you’re safe. Don’t worry.

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