[I shall take up the roll of Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and other NGOs in Pakistan at a later date. Today only violence against women as reported by Human Rights Watch (HRW)]
Below are seven relevant excerpts from HRW Report 1999 based on reports of HRCP.
(1) During 1997, the Lahore press reported an average of more than four local cases of women being burnt weekly, three of the four fatally. Police follow-up on these cases was negligible, with only six suspects taken into custody out of the 215 cases reported in Lahore newspapers during the year.
(2) The Sindh government has reported an annual figure of 300 for such killings. HRCP’s own findings reveal that in 1997 there were eighty-six karo kari killings in Larkana, Sindh, alone, with fifty-three of the victims being women.
(3) HRCP estimated that in 1997 at least eight women, more than half of them minors, were raped every twenty-four hours nationwide.
(4) Estimates of the percentage of women who experience domestic violence in Pakistan range from 70 to upwards of 90 percent.
(5) The supremacy of the male and subordination of the female assumed to be part of the culture and even to have sanction of the religion made violence by one against the other in a variety of its forms an accepted and pervasive feature of domestic life.
(6) It is the structure of the family that leads to or legitimizes the acts, emotions or phenomenon that are identified as the “causes” of domestic violence under the causal analysis. This family structure is a “structure that is mirrored and confirmed in the structure of society, which condones the oppression of women and tolerates male violence as one of the instruments in the perpetuation of this power balance.”
(7) Honor killings – – – The practice of summary killing of a woman suspected of an illicit liaison, known as karo kari in Sindh and Balochistan, is known to occur in all parts of the country
As per (1) there were 215 cases of burns in Lahore during 1997. Population of Lahore was 2 million. Let us assume the same rate of this violence in whole of Pakistan. Population of Pakistan being 140 million, the total cases come to 15,050.
As noted at (2), there were 86 honor killing cases in Larkana which involved 53 women. Karo-Kari (honour killing) is practiced only by tribes settled in Northern Sindh, adjoining area of Baluchistan and some part of South-Eastern Punjab. Most of Pakistan is free from this evil. Very rare cases of honour killing do take place though. Let us be on high side and assume that the total figure for Pakistan is 6 times the figure for Larkana. That makes 318.
According to (3), HRCP had given figure of at least 8 nationwide rape cases in 24 hours during 1997. Let us give some more credit to HRCP and make it 10. This calculates to 3,650 cases in a year.
Now, adding up all the cases for Pakistan in a year, it comes to 19,018 for a population of 140,000,000 in the year 1997. The violence against women on population base in a year comes to 0.0136 %. Now compare it with sweeping figure of 70 to 90 % given in the HRW. Where do we go ? What are / where are the remaining 97,980,960 to 125,980,960 cases of violence against women ?
Some call it false reporting but I call it Hypocrisy.