Please allow me to share my perturbation over the (reported) flogging of a 17 year old girl. The final straw for me turned to be the disappointing remarks widely circulating among the journalists’ forums. In short, their remarks toe the line Taliban and their apologists, the ANP have adopted on the deplorable episode. Regrettably, some of these journalists work for your paper. After reading their comments my conscious didn’t allow me stay quite anymore. At the risk of inviting wrath of many, I would like to state the following:
1. Please don’t label capitulation to the oppressors as the so-called ‘national interests’; as if allowing a state within a state merits to be called a state to begin with. Please don’t take refuge behind ‘national interests’ when it comes to chauvinism. Bravery doesn’t mean locking women (mothers, daughters, sisters or wives) behind 7 doors. A real man gouges the eyes out of a pervert who even dares to looks at them with malice. A man of his salt defends the weak and not incarcerates them.
2. Shoot the message and not the messenger. I was hoping to see a healthy debate on the subject from highly educated and esteemed journalists, but not personal attacks on Ms. Summar. What a shame!
3. Flagrant abuse of women’s rights at the hands of self-righteous Taliban isn’t actually a secret in an age of camera equipped cell phones. I am old enough to remember how Taliban slowly tightened their noose around women’s rights in Afghanistan. At the height of their rule, birthing mothers were allowed to die, over allowing them to be taken to hospital without a ‘mahrum’/male-escort. Others died because they were forbidden to seek medical help from male physicians. While the lady-doctors were not allowed to work altogether under the pretexts of: they can’t work in the same facilities where male counterparts worked too; and allegedly, there was no money to build or run schools and hospitals, exclusively for women. Bravo, what a justice system!
4. If the video is fake, then why did ANP minister Mian Iftikhar and the Taliban spokesman Muslim Khan earlier accepted the occurrence of incident? Didn’t they also allege that she was punished for illicit relationship with her father-in-law? They even had nerve to suggest, that she should have been thankful that she wasn’t stoned to death. Latter on, these men first launched attacks on Ms. Summar and then started to question the authenticity of the tape. I cringe to imagine how some people could even give a second thought to their doubletalk.
5. Two wrongs don’t make a right. Just because bloody and senseless war in Sawat was wrong, doesn’t mean abuse of women’s rights cannot be condemned either. Pacification of abuse of any sort should be condemned loudly, or it would bread even more severe abuse.
6. Can someone please enlighten me how many ANP politicians (along with their families) are currently residing in the Swat Valley? What a brave trendsetting men they are!
7. If Talibanization is a just cause and has become all too real, then instead of going on defensive, shouldn’t they accept their actions with courage? I call them to stand up and be counted for condoning Talibanization!
8. If it was my daughter, starting with the man delivering lashes, I would have put a bullet through everyone’s eyes gathered there. At minimum, I would shoot her and I before becoming a spectacle for the (na-mehrum) perverts watching whole perverse episode.
I can’t stress enough, my disappoint with those defending the most deplorable, shameless, barbaric and un-Islamic actions of these self-righteous barbarians.