The recent heinous act of acid throwing on Huma Shahid in Lahore is a stark reminder of our intolerant-cum-patriarchal set-up heavily loaded against the womenfolk. Several ‘Women Protection Acts’ are gathering dust in the legal files which our parliament has failed to pass. How come the bills which facilitate the MNA and MPA are passed quickly while saving our mothers, daughters, sisters fails to move the rich elite sitting in the parliament. The tragic fate which the unfortunate lecturer met at the hands of some disheartened suitor does not need only verbal condemnation but action! We must also ask ourselves: what have we become, and wither the society is moving where violence towards women now emanates on daily basis and in the most unimaginable ways?

Sadly enough, driven by rage, we are fast becoming a nation where tempers seem continually on the boil. The corollary: the once flowing waters of compassion are now rapidly drying up. A holistic human rights framework is imperative if we want to treat our women with civility and respect. We need to remind ourselves that women are more than gratifying objects. We certainly need to look upon them as individual who need support and care in order to stand up as educated, mature, and well-adjusted members of the society.

The inculcation of tolerance and ethos needs to begin at school and societal levels with a strong condemnation of all those deep-seated, inhuman cultural practices which fly in the face of dignified values as advocated in the religious doctrines. There is also an urgent need to bring to book all those involved in the wicked act lest we become a desensitised society which eventually lets go the psychopaths and is more content with the suffering of its women.


Islamabad, February 1.