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Pakistan: Armed men rape girl in Islamabad's park

Islamabad: In a shocking incident, two armed men raped a girl in Islamabad's F-9 area at gunpoint, police said on Saturday, reported Geo News.
The incident took place Thursday night when two armed men approached the victim at a park in F-9, who was there with her male colleague, according to the first information report (FIR). A forensic checkup of the victim confirmed bruises consistent with sexual assault. Meanwhile, suspects are being traced through CCTV footage and Safe City cameras, said police, reported Geo News.
The gun-toting aggressors took the two to a nearby thicket at gunpoint and separated them, according to the FIR. The attackers beat the young woman up when she pleaded with them to let her go and even offered them money in exchange for her safety, the FIR reads.
The victim, when she tried to raise her voice, was beaten and threatened by the attackers they would call their "friends" to join them. Her attempts to run away were also foiled by the attackers, the FIR stated.
As they were leaving into a nearby thicket, the alleged culprits returned "all our things and gave us Rs 1,000 to stay quiet" while also telling the victim that she should not be in the park at this time of the night, according to the FIR, reported Geo News.
The incident has caused national outrage and activists are demanding swift justice for victims. People have taken to Twitter to express their shock and disgust at the attack in the country's capital.
One user wrote: "News about a heinous incident in Islamabad. A girl is raped by two armed men inside F9 park who told her after rape not to go for walk after sunset. What country Pakistan has become? How armed men entered Park & why no staff caught them @ICT_Police? please find them & arrest them."
Another user said that those responsible for the "heinous incident" should be immediately arrested and brought to justice. "What is happening?"
Others expressed concern about whether the culprits would be discovered and punished for their crime, and professed a lack of trust in the police department of the capital city.
"The incident of alleged gang rape of a woman in Islamabad F-Nine Park is very worrying. Will this case be investigated on its merits? Will the accused be traced?"
One user also wrote of the responsibility of the government in ensuring that justice is severed swiftly for such criminals.
"The government should not be a party to such cases and severe punishment should also be meted out, otherwise powerful people are easily acquitted. Usman Mirza's case is an example of this."
Violence against women in Pakistan has become a problem that cannot be neglected, as it has become a social norm in households. The country is regarded as the sixth most dangerous country for women to live in.
Analysts have observed that hitting a woman or exercising domestic violence is much more prevalent in Pakistani households where men consider it a tool to control women.
Rights activists suggest that a woman in Pakistani society faces multiple threats because of her gender. She is seen being publicly harassed, raped, or killed in the name of honour by men who commit such crimes without having fear of being punished and charged guilty, Mehmil Khalid wrote for Dunya news.
The Human Rights Watch in its Annual World Report 2022 cited allegations of extensive rights abuses against women along with children in Pakistan, which ranks 167 out of 170 countries on the Global Women, Peace and Security Index.
"Violence against women and girls, including rape, murder, acid attacks, domestic violence, and forced marriage is endemic throughout Pakistan. Human Rights defenders estimate that roughly 1,000 women are killed in so-called honour killings every year," said the HRW report. (ANI)

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