Musharraf throws more mud at Mukhtaran Mai

Shame

He personally instructed Pakistan’s government machinery to bully Mukhtaran Mai and prevent her from traveling abroad. He has ranted against the NGOs who have taken up the cause of Pakistan’s rape victims, to the point of branding them terrorists. And now, even as he claimed Pakistan’s record on women’s rights is comparable to that of developed countries, he took potshots at rape victims.

“You must understand the environment in Pakistan,” Musharraf added. “This has become a moneymaking concern. A lot of people say if you want to go abroad and get a visa for Canada or citizenship and be a millionaire, get yourself raped.” [Washington Post]

So who should be shivering in fear after this? Rapists or their victims? The significance of making such crass statements is obviously lost on image-obsessed dictators. Mr Kristof, where are you?

Related Link: Raven over at Reality Cafe writes that if were not for the international attention recent rape victims received, Musharraf would probably claimed ‘they were asking for it’. Coincidentally, today’s edition of Pakistan’s Dawn newspaper carries an op-ed on the state of women’s rights.

18 thoughts on “Musharraf throws more mud at Mukhtaran Mai”

  1. Pingback: DesiPundit
  2. I am aghast at Musharraf’s remarks. My only excuse is that he is not our President of Pakistan but the United States’ President of Pakistan.

  3. Nitin: You have zeroed in on the same para that caught my eye as I read the Daily Times ” chest thumping” account of Gen.Mush and his day in NYC.
    Do you recall his statement in Feb-Mar 2002 ( During this period, Sheikh Omar Ahmed’s arrest in Lahore was “PR” timed to sync with his arrival in Wash DC ) in the weeks after the killing of Danny Pearl? He said something to the effect that Danny Pearl had been too adventurous(we all know that Danny was trying to dig up the dirt on the ISI- jihadist-911 connection) and thus paid the price for his aggressive forays into the snake pit ( my reading between the lines ).

    I have since dug up one link on what Mush said in 2002/Danny Pearl ( The Pakistani press accounts incldg the one from Jang might have add more details ):

    qqq
    Pakistani President Pervez Musharraf says that the murdered US journalist Daniel Pearl was “over-intrusive” in his pursuit of a story.

    …But the president said the reporter had become over-involved in the story, which he said he should not have been.

    http://news.bbc.co.uk/1/hi/world/south_asia/1860009.stm
    yyy

    Kutte ki poonch tedi ki tedi hi rahegi .Mush’s ISI/Commando brain’s twisted reasoning is like the twisted tail of a dog.

    sw

  4. Hardly like me to be defending Musharraf… but the man is personally incorruptible (which is saying a lot given the state of Pakistani politicians). Sometimes, I even think he means well. But he sees the world in blunt, soldier-like terms. NGOs are the enemy, so he’ll just come out and make a completely disgraceful statement like this one. Of course, that ego doesn’t help either. I suppose he feels women are getting themselves raped, just to give him and his Pakistan a bad name.

  5. I could bet a lot of money that he is gonna be the mark of someone’s bullet in the not so distant future.

    He is getting cornered, just like his stateside pal Bushie is. Bushie is safe bcos all said and done US is a democracy. But in a dictatorship like Pakistan, it wont be very difficult for some crazy lunatic to shoot him, military notwithstanding.

  6. Musharraf’s comments are execrable, but I think it’s worth pointing out here that an Indian Express online poll taken not too long ago had a majority of respondants saying agreeing with some college official’s remark that a woman’s choice of clothing can lead to rape. Not as bad as Musharraf’s comments, but still disturbing, particularly since the poll was on the web site of a fairly enlightened, English-language Indian newspaper. The idea that a woman often bears some responsibility for getting raped still appears to be quite widespread in South Asia.

  7. I have to agree with Eric. It is quite common for people, including women, in India to comment that a girl invites trouble because of the way she dresses or behaves. It is the blame the victim mind set that permeates into other aspects of Indian (and apparently South Asian) life.

  8. I too found the poll results (and the statements from the authorities at colleges in Bombay, Delhi and Chennai) quite disturbing (sadly, the Chennai university in question has instituted the dress code), particularly since Delhi seems to be happy hunting ground for rapists– to say that the best way to address this is to get women to “cover up” is a sign of regressive attitudes towards women continue to be, even in the halls of higher education.

    BUT, to all those who posed the above question: what does that have to do with Musharraf? Seems like a classic “false choice” to me; I mean, what is to prevent us from condemning BOTH the blame-the-victim mentality of many in Indian society, as well as the blame-the-victim & shoot-the-messenger mentality of the man who represents the Pakistani state? Moreover, the comparison is not a fair one: whether rightly or wrongly, most expect better from a head of government/state (i.e. we like to see them represent our better natures, not our baser ones) than from random people (certainly we expect more from educators, which is why the noises from the academic puritan Taliban were dismaying to me). My point is that the comparison would have been fairer if India’s PM had said something about women needed to dress more decently in order to minimize the incidence of rape. He didn’t (though of course the likes of George Fernandes are always around to embarrass me). Plus, Musharraf went further than extreme sexism (which is bad enough); he introduced a sordid mercenary angle to the whole thing, which is just sick (as well as coming up a philosophical conundrum that would have stumped Aristotle: how does one consent to rape?).

  9. I agree that Musharraf said something wrong but we should keep in mind the reference in which the statement was made.
    RAPE is a problem in most parts of the world that includes even the highly civilized societies as well, but if a victim stands up and start blaming the country and start calling bad names for the country in media and everywhere, that is a big concern for the Government.
    The social problems in south asia are quite known to our Indian brothers as well (who have commented over here) but they have really mastered the art to exploit any situation against Pakistan for their own motives

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