Gang-rape victim Mukhtaran Mai weds police constable


Mukhtaran Mai, the woman who was insulted by tribals in 2002 for seeking to save her brother from radical Islamic justice, has married a police constable from her native village in Muzaffargarh, a television channel reported on Sunday.

According to The News, Mai got married to Nasir Abbas Gabol. It was Gabol’s second marriage and Mai’s family members attended the event. Mai attracted the attention of local and international media after she was gang-raped on the orders of a panchayat. Instead of committing suicide as per tradition, she took her case to court and had her rapists arrested and charged. Last year, Mai, who has converted herself into a human rights activist, said women in Pakistan have to keep waiting for justice, which has been elusive.

She said that women had to face different kinds of pressures within the family as compared to their male counterparts, and were forced to live in a suffocating atmosphere. “Atrocities and excesses are committed against women almost in every country but they get justice in time,” but in Pakistan they were made to run from pillar to post and post to pillar for justice, she said. Commenting on different pressures on women in Pakistani society, Mai said that the father, brother, husband and then son were cause of the pressures. “Male members don’t have to face anything like that,” she said. Mai made these remarks while responding to journalists’ queries after she inaugurated the Civic Society Club in Qasimabad. Mai, who has travelled across the globe, attending conferences and retelling her ordeal to a world audience, sounded disappointed when she said she had not received justice so far. “The accused in my case were earlier convicted by one court, acquitted by another and now the case is pending adjudication before the apex court,” she said. She spoke of bottlenecks in the country’s criminal justice system and said that police usually did not bother to cover important points while registering an FIR.

Mai emphasised the need for creating awareness and educating women. “My native village is a backward area. People live in abject poverty and they are not interested in sending their children to schools,” the Dawn quoted Mai, as saying. Mai said that she had started her school with three girls and now it had 1,000 students. “I started it with my sister and another girl. I had to implore families to at least send one of their daughters or sisters to the school,” she recalled. Mai is from the village of Meerwala, in the rural tehsil of Punjab and suffered a gang rape as a form of honour-revenge on the orders of a panchayat (tribal council). In April 2007, Mukhtaran Mai won the North-South Prize from the EU Council of Europe. In 2005, Glamour Magazine named her “Glamour Woman of the Year”. Last month, president Asif Ali Zardari directed the provincial government of Punjab to take immediate steps to provide speedy relief to Mai and also ensure her security against harassment by culprits. Taking notice of various media reports in which it was pointed out that Mai is being subjected to harassment by some influential people, Zardari instructed the provincial government that justice should be delivered without fear or favour. Zardari also directed that report on the steps taken by the provincial government be sent to him. He made it clear that any effort by government functionaries to delay and deny justice to downtrodden and womenfolk, especially in the case of Mukhtaran Mai would not be tolerated.

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