By Ishtiaq Ahmed Daily Times 05 Jan 2010
What goes on all the time in rural India with regard to working women, especially from lower castes, hardly ever figures in media discussions. Such women are constantly harassed and molested by men of the superior castes
Some years ago, I met Indian human rights activists in Delhi. A lively discussion followed without the usual rancour that India-Pakistan interactions are notorious for, because we were interested in the rights and dignity of human beings as human beings and not as Christians, Hindus, Muslims, and Sikhs and so on. The exchange of views and notes ended with us being unable to decide whether the Indian or the Pakistani dominant classes were more ruthless and heartless. That both were identical in their inhumanity was probably the easier conclusion to draw. Continue reading
By Aisha Fayyazi Sarwari
Vulgarity is vulgarity, no matter what mouth it comes out of – Maya Angelou
Well then so is bullshit. Because that is what it would be called if someone asked President Obama in a public forum what his wife, Michalle Obama thought about the Iranian nuclear weapons program. Continue reading
We at Pak Tea House congratulate Ms. Mukhtar Mai for her recent marriage to Mr. Gabol. She is a daughter of Pakistan whose efforts for women’s rights in this country have made her a symbol and inspiration for millions around the world. May she now have marital bliss and all the happiness that was denied to her. We quote here a story from the New York Times on Mai’s marriage. Continue reading
Isa Daudpota writing for The Friday Times (current issue)
On the rare occasions when courage and perseverance triumph in the face of tragedy and overwhelming odds, the occasion revives your faith in humanity. In the face of such heroic successes, lesser mortals are encouraged to excel in our own small ways. The media should therefore regularly highlight such stories to help reduce our national depression.
The bitter seed of one such heart-warming story was planted in 2002. I have just learnt that Mukhtar Mai, a Pakistani rape victim who waged a legal battle against her attackers and the justice system that sanctioned the crime, will be the subject of a feature Hollywood film. Funding is partly through ARY Digital, an independent Pakistani TV network, which will show this controversial movie nationally. Continue reading
EXCERPT: House Of Women
The book explores tribal traditions and lifestyles in Pakistan and tries to reconstruct both sides of the story to unearth the truth behind the alleged gang-rape of a Pakistani village woman.
November 2005, Mirwala
‘She was his bride!’ the old widow hollers in autumn sunshine, surrounded by rag-clothed grandchildren.
Gold studding her bulbous nose, the matriarch of the house where Mukhtar says she was assaulted rocks, sobs, and pulls on the tattered corners of a thin purple floral shawl pyramiding her face, and wipes her raging tears.
‘We never took their girl! They are telling lies to you and everyone! To take a girl and do such things to her does not exist in Islam. Muslims and Islam know no activity like this.’
Taj Mai Mastoi, somewhere in her 60s, cries on a charpoy in her dust-blown courtyard.
‘No-one realises we also are Muslims!’
She clutches her knee to her chin between outbursts of spitting rage.
‘There was no rape!’ she fires. ‘There was not even a panchayat! She came as a bride.’ Continue reading