'Heinous, barbaric': Pakistan highway rape sparks outrage Police investigating the robbery and rape of a woman after her car broke down on the highway in Punjab province.
The woman was allegedly raped by two robbers near the Gujjarpura area on Wednesday while she was waiting for help on the road after her car developed a fault or run out of fuel, police said. The attack quickly drew widespread condemnation on social media, with some activists demanding that those involved be hanged in public. But in a shocking televised statement, recently appointed Lahore police chief Umar Sheikh blamed the victim for traveling alone with her two children after midnight without checking whether her car had enough fuel. His comment drew nationwide condemnation, although he also vowed to arrest the rapists within 48 hours.
So that was the news, ironically, whenever such an incident occurs in Pakistan, instead of showing rage and anger and vows to make arrests, the officials, the clerics, and the so-called "decent" people say, why "why she was traveling in the night, on a deserted highway?" Really! That's what one will say.
Prime Minister Imran Khan's office said the protection of women is the first priority and responsibility of the government, adding that “such brutality and bestiality cannot be allowed in any civilized society. Such incidents are a violation of our social values and a disgrace to society." The Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf government has also been under immense public pressure to remove the newly-appointed Lahore police chief Umer Shiekh for his 'victim shaming'.
Sheikh had said that the woman should not have traveled late at night along with her children. Human rights activists urged the government to fire Sheikh, the police chief, for his remarks. A senior police officer told PTI that the prime suspect has been identified as Abid Ali, 27, a resident of Fort Abbas of Bahawalnagar, some 400 kilometers from Lahore. "Abid Ali's DNA has been matched and teams dispatched for his and his accomplice's arrest. Ali was also involved in a gang-rape of a woman and her daughter back in 2013 in his residential area. He was caught but later released from jail after the affected family pardoned him probably under pressure," he said. ISLAMABAD (Reuters) - Protests were held in several Pakistani cities for a second day on Saturday over the handling of an investigation into the gang rape of a mother traveling with her children on a highway, as police said they were launching a manhunt for the suspects. Hundreds, mostly women, also gathered in Lahore, Karachi, and even the conservative northwestern city of Peshawar. "Shatter the silence, stop the violence," read one placard in Peshawar.