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Tuesday, June 28, 2005

Jaan kee amaan paaooñ to arz karooñ ...

General Musharraf is, generally speaking, generally speaking. To give him his due, his straight-forward, mainly un-rehearsed and unbridled statements, have endeared himself at home and abroad, even to the common man in neighbouring India, where a dillivaala tells me, he'd win the local elections in Delhi hands down! [Amusingly, during the recent Dehli Cricket-Summit, the Indian Media was not allowed near him freely, lest he say something and score a point.]

So - one has to come to believe that, unlike our deceitful politicians, whatever the President says, he means. Thus, it came as a grievous shock to read, in The Times (June 18, 2005), General Sahab's statement that rape was "not a rampant malaise Pakistan suffers from everyday...".

Of course, whatever he says is based upon whatever he knows, either from personal experience or from what is fed to him by the increasing band of sycophants and chronic liars around him. He would do well to give more ear-time to the few learned and honest members of his team, those who actually believe in the kind of Pakistan that he claims to be carving from the mess a sad past has shaped it into.

I am sure that once aware of the breadth of the problem the President will look at the incidents in Pakistan, of this most heinous of crimes, in a new light. The learned Eqbal Ahmad, in his piece, War on Women, published in Dawn [Feb 27, 1994], writes:
"Rape is the most common form, worldwide, of violence against women. In this Islamic Republic it is an epidemic. HRCP offers an estimate: A woman was raped every 3 hours during 1993. Two were gang-raped every day. And half of those assaulted were minors or teenagers. Rape victims are often murdered after they have been raped. HRCP mentions young victims ranging in age from five to fifteen. It also cites numerous cases of lndlords, politicians, and police officers engaging in crimes against women, including minors."
A common reaction by many people, in a well-intentioned effort to defend Pakistan's image, is to quote figures from the USA and other countries for the rapes that take place there. First of all, the ills and wrongs of other countries do not justify ours. And, in Pakistan - as well as in India, as in many 3rd world countries - the crime of rape is very different from the rapes in the West. While always a crime of power rather than sex, rapes are mainly pertpetrated by psycopaths, individuals, and loners. Not so here  (imagine 3-year old and 80-year old victims!), as another quote from the same article by Eqbal Ahmad, referring to the local occurrences, shows:
"[Here] As a rule, the crimes are committed with the aid or knowledge of one or more persons. In other words, they are not merely the product of individual pathology; they are perpetrated in a social context."
Given that these words were penned way before the cases of Jirga- and family-abetted crimes that my earlier blogs have mentioned, I believe it's this lack of access to the facts and statistics with regard to rape that makes it possible for the President to wave it away as merely another attempt at a slur against Pakistan.

I beseech him to take an unbiased look (despite the fact that Eqbal quotes HRCP) at what goes on in a country where, even by the admission of his fraud-perpetrating minister, Aamir Liaquat, child molestation runs rampant - and goes unpunished - in places of learning. Surely, the children who grow up in such a brutal society are unlikely to adjust well and treat others with honour.

The full text of Eqbal's essay can be found, along with some of his best analytical pieces, in the OUP publication, "Between Past and Future" - Eqbal Ahmad's collected essays on South Asia.

[Internet services have died, nationwide, I believe. So let me add for the record that this piece was completed at 23.30 on June 27, 2005]

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Blogger Sidhusaaheb said...

Initially, I also appreciated the General quite a bit for what I thought was his candour. Of late, however, especially since the release of his book, I have been having second thoughts.

24 January, 2007 02:44


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