Stop justifying crime

Meraj Humayun

As children in schools and while growing up these lines have been repeatedly drummed into our ears; When wealth is lost, nothing is lost. When health is lost, something is lost. When character is lost, everything is lost.

We learnt and memorized these lines though not really understanding their full meaning and depth, however, there was a warning and a threat to each and every one of us to behave appropriately in accordance with the code of ethics and moral standards set by our families and schools.

Similarly, a nation survives in pandemics as we are currently experiencing. Joblessness, economy taking a nosedive, small entrepreneurs wringing their hands in frustration, orphans and widows in danger of coming out in the streets and so on and so forth but nothing there is shocking to cause a lingering pain in our whole system.

One weeps for the lost ones, we pray for Almighty's sustenance, we console each other and do all normal functions of a caring people. It is the insane brutality, the heartless violence, the naked sexual abuse followed by murder of a sweet little child lifted from the street, a woman raped in front of her kids and a transgender killed by a brother, this is when one wonders.

Has the Pakistani nation lost that high moral character which distinguishes humans from animals? Have we stopped teaching the above three lines to our children at home and in school? Is this the reason that our daily news bulletin predominantly contains horrific and terrifying news of human rights violations of the ugliest nature?

The worst is the debate that follows with the majority holding the victim responsible for the crime that happened. Pakistan is, for sure, in crisis on different fronts but that is hardly an excuse for a government with its legion of highly paid ministers, bureaucracy, and establishment to watch in silence three rape cases in last one day in the province which is supposed to be more developed than the rest of the country and which is directly governed by the prime minister and his special nominees.

No one in authority seems to have the moral courage to take the blame and accept the responsibility for future prevention of gruesome crimes. The Prime Minister's blue eyed head of the province can hardly speak two sentences on the subject and about the security personnel he the least said, the better. Unfortunately, the public debate is also no more promising that is always about how a woman should dress, why she should not leave her home, when and what to eat and how she should speak.

Here, my few questions are for all those who think such: Were the innocent Zainab and Noor luridly dressed? Was the dead woman wearing a low-necked and sleeveless red silken shroud so the men could not contain their 'desires' and had to dig her out? Therefore, I would like to say that wake up, Pakistan! Wake up! Please cure your mindset of ‘men are masters and entitled to all vulgarity and crimes’.

The writer is a social and education activist and a former Member of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Assembly. Presently, she is the Chief Executive of Peshawar-based welfare and development organization ‘De Laas Gul’. She can be contacted at:

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