Let’s rewind. Upside down. Senate committee, CM, former CM, Ministers, IGP and CCPO have tweeted already. All unanimously terming the incident horrific; shameful: condemnable and tragic only after the anecdotal details stormed the social media. CCPO shares the blame with the victim; because she left her house in the first place; not choosing Grant Trunk (GT) road and travelling in the car which could break on the way. Police got the F.I.R after thoroughly determining if the incident happened within their police station’s jurisdiction. Lastly; two robbers “allegedly” raped the woman at a gunpoint, in the Gujjarpura area on Wednesday while she was waiting for help on the motorway after her car developed a fault, in front of her children.

The intrinsic problem with tweets, condolence, and rebuttals is that they lack action. It is the only action that results in better policies, performance, accountability, and justice in society. Words just echo for some time then fade away into silence. The incident has once again reiterated that it is the systems that make or mar the quality of a society and not the faces of the higher-ups.

Wait. Anything I am missing? Did the detail above say the victim, before being attacked, called the Motorway Police for the help after her car stalled? Only to listen that currently, no emergency vehicle is on duty; leaving her on her own along with her three children amid the night. The Police ignored the potential danger to the life and property of the family despite knowing the areas are deserted and unsafe. This criminal negligence must be investigated as no appropriate action was taken and the caller was hushed away.

The culprits came armed, broke the windscreens of the car, dragged the victims to the fields, molested them and then left with all their cash and valuables with impunity and none was alarmed by a sedan car stranded on the Motorway with windscreens broken. It took several hours and calls for the police to arrive at the scene right outside the provincial capital- Lahore. 

Motorway Police are meant for the swift response; failing to do so results in fearlessness amongst the culprits. The horrific incident could have been averted had the police reacted swiftly on the call in the first place. The right training, motivation, and skills what is needed in policing. The law and order are deteriorating sharply. Police do not move unless CM takes notice and all is well unless something creates a storm on social media. All this happens in the to be Rayasat-e-Madina. 

A microscopic view of the Motorway safety standards suggests a lot needs to be done to meet the international standards. A motorway should not only ensure a fast but also safe travel. In the developed world, the motorways have stopped vehicle detection technology, allowing vehicle stoppage to be spotted within 20 seconds and lanes to be closed more quickly. Police response time is a few minutes as well and failing to act is not an option. A shorter distance between emergency points ensures that a vehicle can get the right assistance in the times of a breakdown or fuel shortage. The frequency of emergency stop points is even higher in areas where there has been a higher rate of breakdown.

In Pakistan, the government can use satellite-imaginary to prepare a zone-map of the Motorways based on the security risk and regions experiencing maximum break downs. These areas can be then focused on greater security and better hospitality. Social empathy is pertinent as well. It is time we develop a sense of connection in society. In the USA, it is an offence to not help someone on the road in critical need or inform the police. Such awareness should be spread in the public in Pakistan.

Unless the government declares ‘sexual assault and rape’ as a crime against the state ensuring fast and speedy justice very little can be achieved. A ‘knee jerk’ reaction without any robust Motorway, safety plan will not create much difference. 

The words of condolence, anger, rage and concern will soon stop echoing and the public will then continue again waiting for another similar incident to happen in the future?