Pakistan protests rage over an assault case

A distinguished case of robbery and assault of a woman is being worked on in Pakistan right now. The case is about the crimes committed by men to a woman when her car broke down on the highway. The matter caused a series of protests in various cities across Pakistan.

The victim was driving with her children along a motorway in Lahore, Pakistan, at precisely 1:30 A.M. when her car broke down. The woman instantly called the police for help, asking for fuel when the hideous crime took place.

Two men broke the windows of her car, dragged her and her two children out of the vehicle, and forced themselves to the woman multiple times, as her kids witnessing such a traumatizing event. The men then stole her jewelry, cash, and bank cards.

The crime became more disgusting when Umar Sheikh, the lead police investigator, came out with an official statement.

Sheikh said that women in Pakistan should know better than to travel alone at night, pointing out that no man in the country allows their sisters and daughters to travel late at night. He also added that if she had to travel, she should have taken a safer route and made sure she had enough fuel.

Furthermore, the route taken by the woman is a new one, and the provincial police said that the newly constructed highway did not have any police officials deployed for security, according to a report by Al Jazeera.

The victim is a citizen of France, and the Pakistani police made no mistakes in attacking that point as well. Sheikh said that the victim should not have mistaken the Pakistani society to be “just as safe as France.”

The statements given by officials added fuel to the fire and led to a series of protests on Friday, September 11.

The Outrage

In a report by The Guardian, this is not the first time Pakistan has indulged in the practice of victim-blaming. In cases of sexual violence in the country, women who report such crimes are often treated as criminals.

Sheikh, who was recently promoted as Chief of Lahore Police after a political controversy, is now facing demands by the public to resign.


The police have arrested 15 suspects in the case. However, none of them is believed to be part of the group that committed the crime.

Pakistan Prime Minister Imran Khan released a statement via Twitter saying he has kept a close eye on the case and has asked the investigators to arrest and sentence those involved in the crime as soon as possible.

Image courtesy of Tomasz Bidermann/Shutterstock

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