Even though the recent movements have initiated a discussion on gender disparity, social equality and impartial treatment of all human beings, we still have a long way to travel to convert these theoretical phenomena to reality in Pakistan.
Society drenched in male superiority will take quite someone to normalize the ideas of women having opinions. One of the incidents that unfortunately verifies the said statement is of Asma Yaqub. Asma was a Sialkot-based Christian woman who was subjected to brutality at the hands of Rizwan Gujjar.
Rizwan was a friend of Asma’s younger brother Nabeel and wanted to marry her. He kept insisting with his proposal and was forcing her to convert to Islam for the purpose. However, Asma denied his proposal and refused to denounce Christianity as her religion. The refusal incited Rizwan, who murdered her in vengeance.
Asma went to Pak Pura area on April 10th to prepare a bride. She was informed at 11 pm that her brother is looking for her. But later she found out that Rizwan deceived her by using her brother’s name and bathed her in patrol after seeing her. He then set her on fire, fleeing.
The bride’s family put the flames out, transporting Asma to the Civil Hospital, Sialkot.
She sustained 90% burn injuries, later succumbing to her wounds. She fought with her injuries for 12 days and lost her life in Mayo Clinic Lahore, where she was shifted due to the absence of developed specialized burn unit in the previous.
“The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) reports that 143 women were victims of acid attack or were set on fire in 2017, an action that has unfortunately become a possible response for spurned suitors after having a marriage proposal declined. Another incident happened in Punjab province to 3 Gujrat University students just days ago” (Source: Britishpakistanichristians.org)
Rizwan was arrested and confessed to his crimes. He is in jail, pending trial.
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