False Reporting ? Or Hypocrisy ?

[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.

5 thoughts on “False Reporting ? Or Hypocrisy ?

  1. The figures from which you are extrapolating are only part of the picture. These give some examples the extreme acts of domestic violence like burning, rape, honor killing, karo kari. Domestic violence comprises much more than that. Plus this list is not supposed to be exhaustive in any sense.

    The relevant footnote about the 70-90% figure is as follows:

    HRCP as well as an informal study conducted by the Women’s Ministry concluded that at least 80 percent of all women in Pakistan are subjected to domestic violence. Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, State of Human Rights in 1996, p. 130; Women’s Ministry, Battered Housewives in Pakistan (Islamabad: Women’s Ministry, 1985). Amnesty International has reported that some 95 percent of women are believed to be subjected to such violence. Amnesty International, Women’s Human Rights Remain a Dead Letter (London: Amnesty International, 1997), ASA 33/07/97. Amnesty International has also reported findings by women’s groups in Pakistan that 70 percent of women are subjected to violence in their homes. Amnesty International, Pakistan: No Progress on Women’s Rights (London: Amnesty International, 1998), ASA 33/13/98.

    We’ll have to check the original reports to find out how they came up with these numbers.

    Also, assuming the numbers are wrong, we can say HRW reported incorrect numbers, but where’s the hypocrisy?

  2. All these reports are from HRCP. Copies of the referred reports are not available to a common man as those are not on the web.

    Domestic violence includes killing, burning, molestation, beating, etc. First three somehow come to be known. Beating has fifty-fifty chances of getting known or remain unknown. Should it be said that there are 69.986 to 89.986 % cases of beating of women by their husbands ? Does that appear to be logical ? Can such a high number remain hidden ?

    One should collect data who have been members HRCP and it’s satellite NGOs and what has been their own behaviour about the poor victims except for blowing up one odd case to satisfy their personal needs by pleasing foreign donor agencies and also getting a pat from anti-Muslim Western governments. The people who matter in these NGOs either belong to families of Waderas or wish copy them. Their treatment with the poor under their nose / at their homes is of master to slave. All their lives they have been finding faults with Islam. They are the people who want the type of Islam that allows free access to wine, women and dance. Didn’t Asma Jahangir, the first and till recently chair person of HRCP, during her visit to India, danced in the open and also issued statement against the ideology of Pakistan and Deen Islam ? Is the newly elected general secretary of HRCP, Syed Iqbal Hyder not known as one who drinks like fish ?

    However, HRCP is well placed now because it is being fully patronized by government of Pakistan headed by General Pervez Musharraf (a protégé of American administration) who got freed accused in Mukhtaran Mai case arrested without any legal authority because the case echoed in American Senate.

    Has anybody traced the history of Mukhtaran Mai, the poor simple villager who has been made a tool and a display item for providing food to mentors of some NGOs ? Why after all another about half-a-dozen similar cases which occurred during last two years have not received any NGO’s attention ? And for that matter why all these NGOs and their big brother HRCP failed to come to the aid of Dr Shazia Khalid who, just after the incident, was kept under tranquillizer for three days, there-after, under house arrest in the name of security during which nobody was allowed to contact her, and ultimately pushed out of the country ? Are other women including Dr Shazia creation of a lesser god ?

    HRCP always had experienced lawyers in it’s fold. Who doesn’t know Asma Jahagir, the former chair person and the new general secretary, Syed Iqbal Hyder (law minister in the cabinet of Benazir Bhutto). Then why it so happened that in the case of Mukhtaran Mai proper evidence was not put up in the Anti-terrorism Court and also no objection was raised against the pro-accused investigation report submitted by the police ?

    The NGOs did their part as such cases are their life-blood. Wherever they smell a kill, they rush out with slogans, banners and paid photographers. They are least interested in the human aspect. Had they been for human rights, rock-solid evidence would have been produced in the court and police report would have been objected to resulting in inquiry at a high level which would have brought justice to Mukhtaran Mai and the criminals such that, in future, these self-made lords/jurists would have not dared to indulge in such heinous crime.

    “Also, assuming the numbers are wrong, we can say HRW reported incorrect numbers, but where’s the hypocrisy?”

    Answering above statement, one definition of Hypocrisy is: “to claim a statement to be correct knowing that it is not correct”. However, it may also be covered under cheating / deceit / false reporting, etc. The title of the post was: “False Reporting ? Or Hypocrisy ?”

  3. The HRW report mentions the following:

    1. HRCP report which is not available on the web.
    2. An informal study by Women’s Ministry, Govt of Pakistan during the Zia era (1985).
    3. Two reports of Amnesty International. One of these reports does not mention any sources while the other attributes the 70% number to “findings by women’s groups in Pakistan.”

    Beating has fifty-fifty chances of getting known or remain unknown. Should it be said that there are 69.986 to 89.986 % cases of beating of women by their husbands ? Does that appear to be logical ? Can such a high number remain hidden ?

    Most cases of domestic abuse do remain hidden in the sense that they are never reported to law enforcement. This is true the world over and not just in Pakistan. If anything, I believe it is truer in Pakistan than the US. That is why victim surveys are done to assess the prevalence of these abuses. In fact, you quoted the US Department of Justice victim surveys in your original post on the topic.

  4. Miss or Mrs or Mr Muslim
    I have visited your blog “Beconvinced” and got convinced that it is a worth reading blog. Finding no place to comment on the blog, I am putting my comment here. Reading through the argument of self-cutting of tree, I recalled when I was a student (1955) and a college-mate argued, “If there is God who was before him ?” I asked him to first narrate his belief. He narrated the theory of Darwin. I, then, asked him, “You say that everything came in to being from some sort of cells. Tell me who created those cells ?” Finding him dumb, I told him, even if some one believes Darwin theory, then the cells were created by Somebody and that Somebody had to be God. However, why should we believe in the words of a creation and not what Creator Himself said in Qur’aan ?”

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