“I offer all the riches I’ve made out of the panchayat-enforced

gang-rape to the president in return for justice.”

–Mukhtar Mai, September 2005.

Mukhtar Mai shot to fame when her harrowing story of a Panchayat enforced gang rape caught international media attention in 2002. Since then she has been an activist for the women of Pakistan who are subjected to rape and violence, creating awareness and working to protect their rights by giving a voice to them. She made the aforementioned comment in response to then President Musharraf’s irresponsible comments made in an interview with the Washington Post on 13 September 2005, incensing campaigners and others at home. He said outright, “You must understand the environment in Pakistan. Rape has become a money-making concern,” and that “a lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.” He also lashed out at rights groups for their role in highlighting cases such as Ms Mai’s outside the country, despite saying that he would work to end violence against women especially honor killing. This system of violence remains pertinent today more than ever and successive governments have not been able to control the hundred of cases that go unreported still due to blackmail and an flawed law enforcement system.