Recently this news made headlines that an official of the Capital Development Authority (CDA) allegedly raped a young woman for being with a man in a park in Islamabad. The incident took place last week and was reported to the police by the victim herself.
According to her, she was visiting the Fatima Jinnah Park (F-9 Park) along with a man on the afternoon of August 2. As they entered the park together, a man approached them and he claimed to be a CDA official. He inquired what they were doing in the park together and threatened to take them to the police station.
After being told that they were not doing anything wrong, the official threatened to call the parents of the woman
These tricks are allegedly used by officials to get money – assuming the same, they paid him Rs. 2000/- and he then began to escort them out of the park. However, he asked the man to go out from a separate gate on his own and promised to take the woman out himself. But instead of doing that, he along with two other members took her to a corner where one of them sexually assaulted her.
This is not an individual incident where the officials have overstepped their authority, intervened in the private space of individuals and then violated them
When people’s actions do not coincide with the beliefs of the law enforcement, but it happens again and again especially around the time of Valentine’s Day when the entire government machinery is keen on catching people hanging out with the opposite gender. In 2017, the entire set up was busy and focused on making plans to not allow individuals to do what they want in their personal space but ended up not focusing on the security threat in the country otherwise. On February 13, there was a suicide bombing in Lahore which took the lives of eight people.
The fact that the system focuses on the moral policing of the people rather than actually doing their jobs and stopping criminals from committing crimes is not just unjust but also highlights their misplaced priorities
It is also a reflection of Pakistani society where the focus mostly is policing people especially the two genders and their interactions. No attention is given how individually people can improve and the goals and aims that they can set for themselves to improve as a collective whole. Same is the case with the institutions and politics of the country where the focus again is on the moral policing of the people rather than doing their actual job. Where are the same authorities when crimes are committed? Where is their morality when they accept bribes and sell out their “morality” for personal gains?
When will we as individuals learn to understand that there are certain boundaries that we just cannot cross and we, as individuals, have no right to meddle in someone’s affairs unless and until it is endangering someone’s life? Do not impose your morality on to others because people have every right to make their own decisions and if those decisions are not jeopardizing anyone’s life, try minding your own business.
The reason why Pakistan as a society has become so limiting and suffocating is that we want to know what everyone is up to and we want to have an opinion about it and we also want to impose our opinion on others
The same streak of thinking inculcates extremism and urges people to take the law into their own hands. This particular incident where a CDA official thought that it was all right to violate a woman because she was not acting as the society expects her to shows how entitled people are and think that they can do anything to people that they do not agree with. And if the authorities are indulging in such a behavior, how do you expect people to remain within their limits?
At the same time, a country that professes to offer people their rights despite the faith that they adhere to means that you do not impose your beliefs on the people and focus on activities that are actually harmful to the people of the country.
cover image via logicalindian.com