Mukhtaran Bibi, the courageous gang rape survivor from Meerwala, Muzzafargarh, and an iconic advocate of women’s rights has voiced her fullest support to victim of inhuman violence from Multan.
“I have been through the same pain and humiliation and will give all possible support to the Multan gang rape victim, she told ‘The News’ from Meerwala over telephone.
Mukhtaran Mai Women’s Organisation and its volunteers will stand with her support in defying the attackers of the Multan gang rape victim.
Mukhtaran Mai is from Muzzaffargarh district and was gang raped in 2002 on orders of a tribal council as part of honour revenge.
Mukhtaran Mai has opened a school and a crisis centre in Meerwala. “My attackers were not convicted but I am settling the score by educating the girls of my remote village.
According to reports ten members of the ‘panchayat’ (village council) have been arrested for having ordered revenge rape of the 16-year-old on July 18. Police is on the lookout for the remaining members of the ‘panchayat’ who have managed to flee.
In March 2014 Amina a 17-year-old gang rape victim set herself on fire in protest against a police report that led to the release of the key suspect.
In Mukhtaran’s case back in 2005 the Lahore High Court acquitted five of the six convicted by the anti terrorism court on “insufficient evidence’.
‘Custom may expect rape victims to commit suicide. We must continue to challenge tribal laws and must never give up our right to justice.”
In 2006 Mukhtaran established a women’s shelter home in Meerwala for women subjected to violence. The non-profit home has assisted hundreds of women mostly survivors of rape, crimes in the name of honour, child marriages and exchange marriages.
She said: “I am heartbroken over the Multan incident, but will continue in my fight for violence survivors.”