In what was yet again a horrifying incident of brutality against women in Pakistan, a woman was gang raped in front of her children on the Lahore-Sialkot motorway. This heinous crime piling on top of many like this once again depicts how lawless Pakistan is becoming. It is, unfortunately, becoming a country where the rights of the minority are not protected and women feel unsafe to get out of their homes while the government remains inactive.
Like many incidences before this, this crime once again sent the nation in an uproar as it called for justice and demanded swift action.
However, it’s becoming increasingly apparent how these offline and online protests that last a few hours make little difference in improving the overall situation when the authorities remain unmoved. This can clearly be seen in the statements of the Chief City Police Officer Umar Sheikh as he blames the victim instead and shows great disregard for the crime.
CCPO Lahore Umar Sheikh is being dragged for his disgusting victim blaming about the Lahore motorway rape incident
In a recent interview on Dunya News, Umar Sheikh resorted to blaming the victim when asked for updates and progress on the incident. Instead of giving a strong statement against the rapists, he implied it was the woman’s fault for not checking her petrol beforehand and traveling late at night with her three children.
Pakistanis are angry at this display of ignorance and callousness from the top police officer responsible for investigating the crime
This is CCPO Umar Sheikh of the esteemed Punjab Police, for whom one IG has already been let go. This victim blamer is supposed to protect us? pic.twitter.com/yoeZc7kBI0
— Zebunnisa Burki (@zburki) September 10, 2020
These words from a person in power and a position of authority are appalling. Instead of condemning the crime and taking much-needed action against it, if the police start blaming the victim and show an attitude of condescension and misogyny against a woman who has suffered a great horror, what does it tell us about the future of law and order in our country? People have had enough of this behavior and are calling for the immediate removal of Umar Sheikh.
The CCPO should be the first one to go. Needs to be sacked immediately for his callous attitude towards a brutal crime. FFS how is the police supposed to solve the case if they think the victim was almost asking for it! https://t.co/DcRSr4uCZe
— Saadat Ali Zia (@my55cents) September 10, 2020
Get rid of this CCPO. No woman will receive justice while he sits on that seat.
— Natasha (@OhTripe) September 10, 2020
Shameful!!! Newly appointed CCPO lahore blames rape victim for being raped bcz she was travelling alone on motorway . How can you expect this man to arrest the culprits?
— Najeeb (@The_Najeeb) September 10, 2020
مین روڈ پر کھلے عام ریپ کرنے والے مجرم شاید جانتے تھے کہ ان کی اس بربریت کے باوجود سی سی پی او لاہور پہلے ان وحشی درندوں کا تعاقب نہیں کریں گے بلکہ اس مظلوم ماں سے الٹا پوچھیں گے "بی بی اس وقت رات کو نکلنے کی ضرورت کیا تھی؟" ایسی سوچ مسئلے کا حل نہیں بلکہ مسئلے کی جڑ ہے- https://t.co/VE7t8vYpeT
— M. Jibran Nasir (@MJibranNasir) September 10, 2020
People are asking for the immediate removal of the CCPO Lahore as many are voicing out their outrage at Umar Sheikh’s thought process
Rightfully so, the people of Pakistan want CCPO Umar Sheikh out of office. If the people with authority do not empathize with the citizens, how can we ever expect change and justice?
You cannot hold the government responsible for changing the mindset when they share the same mentality of a rapist. #RemoveCCPOLahore
— ردا (@RidhaAlii) September 10, 2020
The police is not only to take bribe or mishandle the cases
Police is to
Protect the citizens @ImranKhanPTI sir this is not what u had promised
Take action against this nonsense statement
— Talmeez Khan (@Iamtalmeezkhan) September 10, 2020
— Sania Ashiq (@SaniaaAshiq) September 10, 2020
Time for some serious action. Time to make example of incompetent officers. @CcpoLahore you MUST apologise for your words of blaming the victim lady or @UsmanAKBuzdar you must #RemoveCCPOLahore https://t.co/gVe3m0lP5q
— Hassaan Niazi (@HniaziISF) September 10, 2020
This is not the first time CCPO Umar Sheikh has made headlines for questionable behavior and people are bringing up his past record, saying a man of his caliber would indeed make such statements
Umar Sheikh has allegedly been known for misconduct by passing insulting comments for his IG, Shoaib Dastagir. About 50 officers signed a declaration to demand disciplinary action against him. He was also issued a challan by a traffic warden for talking on the phone while driving. And now his victim-blaming comments add to the rhetoric that he is not fit for such a high office.
We were expecting justice from a corrupt ccpo😒 Seriously!! How can he blame a victim for the rape…
Kisi ko shoq ni hota apna rape khud krwane ka…. #motorwayincident #PublicHangingOfRapists #RemoveCCPOLahore #Stopblamingthevictim pic.twitter.com/MtAitfy5Sg
— Rania Hussain (@RaniaHussain18) September 10, 2020
— Hassaan Niazi (@HniaziISF) September 10, 2020
So according to Umar Sheikh culprit is none other than the victim herself.
— -Maimoona (@LucidViews__) September 10, 2020
#RemoveCCPOLahore I, as a pakistani woman, DO NOT feel safe when I know men like him are in charge of keeping people safe.
— dodi (@_dxdi_) September 10, 2020
Even government officials and celebrities have started to raise their voice
Waqar Zaka also took to Twitter to express his disgust with the Chief Officer’s comments. He explains how this mindset can prove to be extremely dangerous for women everywhere and highlights the need to remove this mindset from a sphere of authority and influence.
— Waqar Zaka (@ZakaWaqar) September 10, 2020
And Human Rights minister Shireen Mazari also commented on the statement of the CCPO Lahore.
For an officer to effectively blame a woman for being gang raped by saying she should have taken the GT Road or question as to why she went out in the night with her children is unacceptable & have taken up this issue. Nothing can ever rationalise the crime of rape. That's it.
— Shireen Mazari (@ShireenMazari1) September 10, 2020
Victim Blaming is a toxic practice embedded in our culture that needs to be eradicated
Unfortunately, victim-blaming has time and time again proven to be a cultural thing. When horrifying incidents of crime like this happen, there are always people who choose to condemn the victim instead of taking action against the culprits. It’s a practice that defies all logic and is even more dangerous when adopted by someone with authority.
If a person in power like the CCPO Umar Sheikh chooses to express this sort of mentality, how can we expect the average citizen to not walk in the same path? There is a dire need to eradicate this practice, starting from the swift removal of those that promote it.
Victim Blaming is the name of justice in Pakistan
— WJospheen (ابن_حّوا) (@WJospheen) September 10, 2020
The ccpo isn't saying this in some leaked 'gotcha' video. This is on national TV. Now what should one expect from such a man?
— Zarrar Khuhro (@ZarrarKhuhro) September 10, 2020
Change has to come within us. We need to be more empathetic and sensitive to the plight of victims that suffer from these crimes as anyone of us could be in their place.
I Suffered Sexual Abuse Since I Was 6, I Couldn’t Speak Up Earlier Because I Was Told It Was My Fault
Cover image via: dialoguepakistan.com