This Karachi Girl's Dangerous Experience With Careem Is A Warning Sign For All Women Traveling Alone

By Rameeza Ahmad | 8 Jun, 2018

Ride-hailing apps, like Uber and Careem, have become a norm in Pakistan. It’s an easy way to get around town and it’s made traveling more convenient for many Pakistanis. However, even with the safety precautions promised by the companies, women tend to face some terrifying situations.


Unfortunately for Maryam Aftab, she had a terrible encounter with a Careem driver which left her very confused and scared. She shared her thoughts on Twitter in a series of tweets.


After booking her ride, she had a little trouble locating her Captain.


After a few minutes, the Captain arrived at her location and had another car with him…

The driver of the other car which was NOT the one she had booked came out and asked her to get inside his vehicle

Alarm bells were going off in Maryam’s head, but she wanted to get to the bottom of the situation so she asked yet again who the man was and why he was asking her to get in his car.

Realizing that things were going awry, the men made excuses about being from a morning show’s production team and pranking her and handed her a business card to seem more legitimate


She then called the Careem driver to ask him what exactly had just happened. Strangely, he asked her to go with him to a restaurant nearby and see their recording equipment herself.


She summed it all up with this:

Thankfully, she reached home safely.


The entire experience left Maryam shaken to the core. However, she spoke up about it to ensure that other women were promptly warned about such instances.

And of course, people were upset after reading her harrowing story


Others gave tips on how to stay safe when using such apps.


But most people were just relieved that Maryam was safe and had the presence of mind to sense something was off.


Maryam lodged a complaint about the incident with Careem immediately.

They assured her that they were investigating the matter and that they would take action against the Captain, if he was involved. Talking about her experience, Maryam said that while she appreciates how Careem helps in the mobility of women, they still need to screen their Captains better because the entire experience hinges on safety. Moreover, she emphasized how it is important for everyone to stay vigilant and to report incidents such as these immediately.



When it comes to safety, all of us should and can do our part. You too can help make such rides safer.

Digital Rights Foundation, is working on a survey, which is aiming to collect information on how secure Uber and Careem are within Pakistan, to possibly help the companies better their operations here.


DRF’s Communications Manager, Hija Kamran had this to say about the entire episode:

“Ride-hailing companies, just like any other corporate organization, play an essential role in providing safety to their users before, during and after their services are acquired. While this is not an isolated incident, it is reflective of the fact that customers’ safety albeit remains a priority in their books, in practice it’s still neglected. In current circumstances, it’s crucial that strict background checks are done on drivers, strong security and safety policies are developed by consulting with all stakeholders, and solid and transparent implementation of those policies is ensured.”

Till more mechanisms are put in place for a safer experience, stay safe everyone. Let this be a reminder that we must be vigilant at all times.


Update: Careem also shared what they have to say about the matter:

“For Careem, the safety and security of our customers are of utmost importance. This is a very unfortunate incident. We fully empathize with Ms. Maryam Aftab and are sorry for what she went through. We understand that any customer would feel unsafe due to this and are in constant touch with her for all the support she needs. Our Safety and Security team has taken strong measures. The person who was driving the car has been suspended and we are doing a thorough investigation to create a roadmap to ensure such incidents do not take place in the future. We take pride that over 70% of our customers are women and are fully committed to providing safe rides for all our customers.”

Let us know what you think.


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