I was wondering around in the F9 park after the sunset and I found a couple sitting on a bench. It was dark all around and the bench was far away from all the gates of the park. It was natural to form an opinion on the situation. However, it was not necessarily the one people would generally think of in a situation like this. I am sharing the thoughts and the actions that I feel are the most common.
1- These guys are on a date and I should go talk to them. Tell them what is good for them and what is not. (Become a preacher)
2- Let them mind their own business and keep jogging.
3- Harras them and take whatever I can in a situation where they would be scared enough to oblige. (Yeah that’s not what most people will do, but definitely, something that happens)
Coming back to the live action, I had very little time to decide as they were right in front of me waiting for my response. I decide to go with the second option and let them mind their own business. I knew there was another group of men coming and they would have the same choices I had. So, I kept going and tried to stop thinking about it. The only thing that hit me was the group that was on the same track and they did not look as harmless as I was.
I received a phone call from my sister when I was still thinking about the matter. I decided to tell her the story. I told her how I let them decide for themselves. I also told her about the other group and how they looked creepy. She was just listening to me and was not commenting on any of it. (Maybe the traditional constraint) Although I did not expect any different advice from her, I still asked her what should I have done? Did I do the right thing? I did not know them so I did not interfere. I did not know the other group either, so I had no right to judge them either. My heart stopped when my sister finally responded. She asked me one simple question.
What would you have done, if it was me (your sister) instead of that random girl?
I knew exactly what I should have done. I ran back as fast as I could. I was extremely tired but the thought of that couple being in trouble overcame everything. It took me about ten minutes to reach there. I saw that the couple was still there, safe and sound and the other group disappeared. Maybe they did not notice them at all.
Let me ask you the same question now, what would you have done? It is only a few days ago that a girl was gang-raped by a group of 4 people. These guys were actually supposed to protect the citizens. Two of them were the employees of the district administration and two were associated with a private security company. They blackmailed the girl first hand and grabbed 2000 rupees initially. Then they told her to get lost as soon as she can and showed her a shortcut to the nearest gate. It turned out that the shortcut was a trap. They followed her into the jungle and caught here in the middle of nowhere. Anyone who has visited F9 park would know that it is vast and it has these huge chunks of woods. It is absolutely difficult to find a way out once you go in. The girl was raped and later blackmailed not to tell the story to anyone. They threatened the girl with her life, however, that brave young lady (who came out of the coma after 6 days) reported the crime as soon as she could speak.
The culprits were arrested the same day and they confessed in front of the district police. We should appreciate the district police for their agility, no doubt in that. But, ask yourself the question, would this matter be taken to the cleaners or would this die as the thousands of other cases? I leave it to you to answer this question.
This was not the only incident that happened in the capital city of Islamabad. Cases like these generally do not get reported. I remember the similar case that happened in F6 where the commando police rapped a girl on the road, in their police van. The girl was in a car with her friend when the police cornered them. The rape happened while the boy was trapped in the car and being held by the policemen. I have been trying to get regular updates to what happened to those policemen, unfortunately, the case is still pending.
There are a lot of questions once can raise here. For example, what are the rules to hang out with the opposite gender? What are the rules of engagement for the police if an indecent activity is detected? What can one do to avoid being blackmailed? Who to report if an incident like this happens? Who is responsible to put the culprits in jail? Keeping the current police and judiciary culture in mind, you might already have decided that these questions might not be answered any time soon. However, the one thing you should be sure of is that no one is authorized to punish you without the consent of the court. One should step up to these predators and demand legal proceedings. If you can’t stand up in such a situation, I suggest stopping hanging out with your friends instead.