Wednesday December 08, 2021

KP, GB lead in suicide cases, Punjab in gang-rapes, rapes

July 03, 2021
KP, GB lead in suicide cases, Punjab in gang-rapes, rapes

ISLAMABAD: In past five years, the KP and GB had 62 percent of suicide cases countrywide with over 90 percent of such cases in year 2019 and 2020.

The Punjab reported 81 percent of the total cases of fornication (zina) and gang-rapes in past five years across the country. Sindh, however, reported a notable fall in the cases of suicides after year 2018.

The overall crime statistics in Pakistan according to the data shared by the National Police Bureau from year 2016 to 2020 reflects that the crime rate has increased by 22 percent. In 2016, the amount of reported crimes stood at 677,554 in total while in 2020, there were 876,430 cases reported across the country.

Experts of criminology also suggest that the cases which are reported are the tip of an iceberg if compared to the actual number of cases which never gets reported. Pundits indicate rivalries, non-implementation of punishments and poor performance of police as a leading factor resulting in escalation of gang rapes and fornication in Pakistan. It was also acknowledged that most of the suicide cases in GB and KPK are occurring among the female gender over the past recent years which are mostly happening because of forceful marriages, mismatch in relationships and educational pressures.

BBC in its special report on suicides in Gilgit-Baltistan claimed that according to the HRCP, on an average 20 women attempt suicide each year in Ghizer District, which makes it the highest in Pakistan.

However, there is a need for a detailed research on the subject, as there is no exact scientific explanation as to why the cases of suicide are increasing in the specific region, experts told The News.

According to the data, 74 incidents of suicidal deaths were reported in Pakistan in year 2020 among which, only two cases took place in the provinces other than KPK and GB. Likewise, 85 cases of suicide were reported in GB and KPK in 2019 out of the total 89 cases in the country. In year 2018, cases of suicide reported in KPK and GB were 73 while 61 cases were reported in Sindh and three in the Punjab.

In 2017, only one case was reported in Balochistan. The Punjab reported three whereas 64, 42 and 25 cases of suicides were lodged in Sindh, KPK and GB, respectively, in the year 2017. A total of 123 cases of suicide were reported in 2016 with 58 in Sindh, 40 in KPK, 12 in each- GB and the Punjab and only one in Balochistan. Islamabad, the federal capital reported no case of suicide from the year 2016 to 2020.

Analyzing the statistics of gang-rapes and rape in 2016, Pakistan reported a total number of 3,564 cases of gang rapes and 278 cases of rape among which 211 cases of gang-rapes and 2,925 cases of rape happened in the Punjab only. Sindh reported 51, ICT 12, GB one and AJK three cases of gang-rape in the year 2016. While in the same year, cases of rape reported in Sindh, KPK, Balochistan, Islamabad, GB and AJK were 223, 164, 15, 200, one and 36, respectively.

During these five years, the data shows that Pakistan reported the highest cases of gang-rapes in the year 2018. A total of 458 cases of gang-rape were reported in this year with 380 cases reported from Punjab only. Likewise, rape was also reported the most in this year with 6,064 cases across the country among which 5,111 cases were reported in the Punjab. In the year 2020, 4,628 cases of rape and 260 cases of gang-rape were reported in Pakistan out of which 3,602 cases of rape and 187 cases of gang-rape were from the Punjab only. Whereas, cases of gang-rape reported in Sindh were 54, one in KPK, 11 in ICT, five in GB and two in AJK in the previous year.

Islamabad reported cases of rape more than Sindh, Balochistan, Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, Gilgit Baltistan and Azad Jammu Kashmir in the year 2019 and 2020. Whereas Islamabad and Sindh reported same number of rape cases in year 2018. The data shows that the crime of rape has increased tremendously in the capital. From 2016 to 2017, the capital reported the third highest cases with Sindh and Punjab on the top. While after 2017, the capital moved up to second place leaving Sindh behind in the overall reported cases of rape. In comparison, the specific crime has increased by 57 percent in the federal capital of Islamabad.

According to a research done by the University of Gilgit Baltistan --- only in Ghizer district in GB ---- 125 people committed suicide from 2010 to 2017 According to the breakdown, 67 of them were students, 27 housewives and 31 from other social groups. Gilgit-Baltistan is dangerously facing one of its major social challenge of increase in suicide incidence among young people (aged 14-32 years), specifically young women.

In general, the study indicated lack of parental support, unempathetic behaviour towards the sufferers, economic disparity and suffocative societal and cultural norms push an individual towards despair leasing to committing suicide.

When contacted Ishrat Fatima, a Clinical Psychologist and Clinical Councilor at the University of Gilgit-Baltistan, she said that the spike in the cases of suicide in the region was much of a surprise for them too. She said that the emerging phenomena is being explored by them and the factors causing suicide were yet to be discovered as they have grown tremendously in their region in these recent years. Recently over four cases of suicide by female students happened in Ghizer district. She said that forceful marriages, educational pressures and mismatch in relationships are the most common reasons that are seen behind the suicide cases of women in this region.

Regarding rape and gand-rapes, Hasan Askari Rizvi, a political scientist, told this correspondent that such incidents happen mostly due to conflicts and rivalries between different groups. To malign one’s family or to avenge someone, the evil action is done to the sister, mother or daughter of the family. In addition, he said that punishments are not executed in most of the cases unless the incident gets the spotlight which is one in hundreds, said Mr Rizvi.

The psyche of getting away with the action of rape using influence and power is also one of the leading factors in its growing rate. Now that the issue is being highlighted at a greater proportion because of social media for last four to five years, it may decrease the number of overall cases of gang-rape and rape in the country, he said.

Former IGP Afzal Shigri told this scribe that the Punjab reports most of the cases of gang-rapes and rape because of the farther access of social media by the general public in the region.

He believed that gang-rape/rape cases in Punjab get reported and a few even get attention because people are aware of technology which can reach the masses in a blink of an eye. Unlike other provinces where there is less technology and access to social media, the case of Punjab is different, explained Mr Shigri.

Dr Shoaib Suddle, who too served as Inspector General, told this correspondent that police need to be hired on merit if we really want them to work with transparency. Mr Suddle maintained that increase in criminal statistics was because of poor behavior of police. Increase in population is also a reason why the overall crime is increased, he said.

Increase in population, policies of the police and non-implementation of laws against crimes are the main factors that leads to an increase in the overall crime rate, according to experts. Though the actual number of crimes can never be measured as many remain unreported, in incidents of heinous crimes or crime against person, the probability of them being reported is normally high, he said.