Pakistan’s government has vowed to punish some 400 men involved in the shocking sexual harassment and robbery of a female TikToker in public on the country’s Independence Day, in an event which has “shamed” every Pakistani.
On Wednesday, spokesman for the Pakistani Government of the Pubjab Fayyazul Hassan Chohan said the authorities were doing everything in their power to bring hundreds of men, who groped, harassed and stole from a single woman, to justice.
“The incident of assault on a woman in Greater Iqbal Park is a shameful act which has brought shame to the society,” Chohan said in a statement.
The incident, which took place on August 14, Pakistan’s Independence Day, only came to light after a video went viral on social media.
The video, which has been widely shared, shows the moment a female TikToker was approached in Greater Iqbal Park, Lahore, by a huge group of men. The men can be seen touching her before picking her up and carrying her through the crowd.
About 400 men are Sexu@lly harassing one woman in #Pakistan.Most tragic is that this happened on #Independence day of P@kistan#SwaraBhasker will u question ur brother #ImranKhan about this, remarks please.#MinarePakistanpic.twitter.com/mIH1MPLBdn
An extended video has been shared on Pakistani television while some people on social media have posted additional footage from the evening in an attempt to assist police identify those involved in the shocking harassment.
The lady was apparently making a TikTok video in the park when she was attacked. Reports claimed that the men groped her, tore off her clothes, beat her and threw her in the air. She also had her phone, rings and money stolen.
On Tuesday, Pakistan’s Geo News reported that the police had opened an investigation against some 400 men allegedly involved in the incident. The agency reported that they were yet to identify any perpetrators.
Saturday’s event in Lahore has provoked widespread condemnation with many claiming the horrific harassment has brought shame on the whole country.
Bilawal Bhutto Zardari, chairman of the Pakistan Peoples Party, called on the authorities to do their job, adding that “the assault of a young women by a mob at #minarepakistan [Independence Day] should shame every Pakistani. It speaks to a rot in our society.”
Zardari’s colleague, Senator Sherry Rehman concurred, stating all those involved should be put in jail, adding that she was “disgusted” by the misogyny she had seen, presumably online, with some people questioning the girl’s “clothing, life, right to public spaces” following the “heinous” attack.
Pakistani actress Mahira Khan also condemned the events, ironically noting “Damn I’m sorry…I keep forgetting – it was Her fault!! Poor 400 men…they couldn’t help it.” Other celebrities including singer Asim Azhar demanded action from the Prime Minister Imran Khan, saying the government needed to make an example out of the men. “We’re headed somewhere very scary, please stop this Mr. PM,” he added.
sir @ImranKhanPTI i know people around you must tell you, that you have ‘more important’ issues to deal with but if these 400+ men aren’t arrested & made an example out of, the nation will be heartbroken & very angry. We’re headed somewhere very scary, please stop this Mr. PM 🙏🏽
Ruling party Senator Faisal Javed Khan responded to the incident and growing calls for action on Twitter stating that the prime minister will not tolerate such “violence and barbaric acts against humanity.”
The video has also been widely shared in India, where sportsman and former Special Forces officer Surendra Poonia was quick to admonish their perennial foe. “Shocking beyond imagination!” wrote Poonia, adding “This is Naya Pakistan..Shameful,” a snide reference to Khan’s new vision for the country.
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