Transcript

Outlawed in Pakistan

NARRATED BY
Habiba Nosheen

WRITTEN, PRODUCED AND DIRECTED BY
Habiba Nosheen
Hilke Schellmann

ANNOUNCER: Tonight: Kainat Soomro says she was gang raped at 13.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] My life is a living hell.

ANNOUNCER: These accused men insist they’re innocent.

PROTESTERS: [subtitles] We demand justice!

ANNOUNCER: Inside one of the most well-known and complicated rape cases in Pakistan. Was it rape, or a love affair?

WAQAR SHAH, Attorney for the Accused: Because the system supports the aggressor, she will be the loser

ANNOUNCER: FRONTLINE takes a harrowing journey through Pakistan’s tribal customs and broken justice system to tell a story of love, lies and mysteries from a faraway place.

FAISAL SIDDIQI, Kainat’s Attorney: Why will a 13-year-old girl lie?

ANNOUNCER: Is her very life in danger?

FAISAL SIDDIQI: She’s an outcast. She will never get married. She’s destined to be killed by someone from her own family because she’s impure now. So why will this girl lie?

ANNOUNCER: Tonight on FRONTLINE, Outlawed in Pakistan.

HABIBA NOSHEEN, PRODUCER: [voice-over] This is Pakistan. We traveled here to meet a young woman who had a story to tell.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] My name is Kainat Soomro. I was an 8th grade student. One day, I was returning home from school. I stopped by a store to buy some things for my niece. While I was busy shopping, someone put a handkerchief around my face. I became unconscious. They were raping me. There were three men.

Then they took me to an unknown place. There, a fourth man came and raped me. They were keeping me drugged. Then they threatened me. They had weapons. They threatened that they would kill me or sell me.

Somehow, I managed to escape. I escaped without my headscarf and my shoes. Then I got on a bus. The bus driver knew my dad. He gave me a headscarf and brought me home. I was gone for three days.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: After her escape, Kainat says she told her family about what had happened during those three days.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] After I escaped and returned home, my brother took me to the police station to file a complaint and get these men arrested. At first, the police sided with the village leaders and refused to act. In our village, we have a tribal justice system run by powerful village leaders. They said they wanted to declare me an “outlaw.” Then they warned my brother and father that they should kill me.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: The first time we met Kainat, we found her family surrounding her, defying their local traditions.

SABIR SOOMRO, Kainat’s Brother: [subtitles] I am Kainat’s older brother. They’re threatening me because I’m a male member of the family. They thought that whatever I say, my family will do. They think if they can convince me, then others will comply. They told me I am not a real man. They said, “You failed to follow your traditions.” “You failed to kill your sister.” “You should have followed our customs!” They wanted us to kill her and declare her an outlaw. I got really angry. But my dad said that we do not follow the gun culture. We are educated people and we will get legal help.

KAINAT’S FATHER: [subtitles] We condemn this! We do not believe in the tribal justice system. We will die before we follow this system. We will fight until Kainat gets justice.

KAINAT’S MOTHER: [subtitles] I am really afraid the village leaders will kill you in the name of honor. They’re in a conspiracy with the accused men. I am afraid that they will kill you. We are just living day by day. All I want is justice. I want you to get justice. They have ruined your life. They should be sentenced to death. Then I will be satisfied. All I want is justice for you.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] It’s OK, Mom. It’s OK.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: From the start, there was another side to the story.

HABIB-ULLAH SHAIKH: [subtitles] My name is Habib-ullah Shaikh. I’m Shaban Shaikh’s uncle. Kainat accuses him of rape. We have nothing to do with this crime. My nephew is wrongfully accused.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: This is his nephew. He owns this shop. Kainat says she was raped here by him and the other men.

SHABAN SHAIKH, Accused Rapist: [subtitles] My name is Shaban Shaikh, and I’m a shop owner. They have accused us of rape. With the Quran as a witness, I say that I am innocent.

GIRL AT THE STORE: [subtitles] Can I buy that lace?

SHABAN SHAIKH: [subtitles] Ask any store owner around here, “Was there a rape in this store?” This is such a busy street. Kainat says she was raped here. How is that possible? I’m from a respectable family. I pray five times a day. I’m a married man. Could I rape someone?

HABIBA NOSHEEN: Besides Shaikh, Kainat accused three other men of the rape. All of them denied the crime. A month after Kainat alleged that she was raped, the family fled to Karachi, fearing for their lives. By then, Kainat’s story had started to gain major media attention. A woman’s organization, War Against Rape, had decided to help her.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] When this incident happened, the village leaders said they wanted to declare me an “outlaw.” But my dad said, “I won’t kill her because it’s not her fault.”

SARAH ZAMAN, Director, War Against Rape: These tribal councils, which are called jirgas here, they’ve got a couple of elders of that community who have been proven to be wise and impartial or whatever.

And they sit and they look into cases or complaints that any member of that community has against a person or a couple of people from within that community. So these people essentially have the power to not just summon people to come and explain what has happened, but they can also pass judgments without the aggrieved or the complainant ever actually entering into the formal criminal justice system. These guys have been proven time and again to really give bad decisions.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] It is really common there. Men from the powerful families of the village rape any woman they please and then simply kill her or declare her “outlawed.”

BARI AWAN, War Against Rape: [subtitles] Nothing happens to these men?

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] Men get away with it because they are powerful. And the woman is always blamed. That’s how these influential men behave. They say, “Either listen to the tribal council or get out of here.”

SARAH ZAMAN: [subtitles] But your dad stood by you and said that he won’t allow you to be killed.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] Yes, my family supported me.

SARAH ZAMAN: [subtitles] And then you guys even decided to go to the courts.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] We want them to get punished through the courts, so that what happened to me won’t happen to someone else’s daughter.

[www.pbs.org: The stigma of rape]

HABIBA NOSHEEN: The family said that back in their village, they owned a house and two cars. But here in Karachi, they now lived in a two-bedroom apartment.

*KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] Here, we sisters sleep with my mom and dad. This is the room of my brother and his wife.

KAINAT’S FATHER: [subtitles] Eighteen of us live here.

KAINAT’S SISTER: [subtitles] We owned two vans, two stores, land, lots of gold. It’s all gone because of these fights.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: [subtitles] Do you like this home?

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] No. It is so small. Everything is so expensive─ water, electricity, gas.

KAINAT’S SISTER: [subtitles] Our brother can’t go out for work. So we women are trying to earn money. We do embroidery. It’s barely enough to feed the family. We often have to get food through charity.

KAINAT’S FATHER: [subtitles] We are at war. We will not be scared of anyone. We have lost everything. We have nothing to lose now. Our whole family has lost everything. Those village leaders, their police, their mafia, have kicked us out of our home. Now our only refuge is the courts. We hope the courts give us justice.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: The War Against Rape organization helped to find Kainat a prominent attorney to take on her case.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] I want you to come to court with me to get those men punished.

FAISAL SIDDIQI, Kainat’s Attorney: [subtitles] There are two main hurdles here. The first hurdle, your first test is that when you come to the court, you will be asked tough questions. These questions will be very humiliating, so you will have to prepare for that.

The second hurdle is that this is a very long battle. I think this case will go on for at least 5-10 years. Because those men you have accused don’t want you to fight the case quickly, they will try to either run away or escape the charges. So are you willing to face both these hurdles?

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] Yes, sir.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: [subtitles] I can promise you that I will fight for you as long as you want to fight. As you know, I’ll do this pro bono. So it all really depends on you. The day you get tired, I will get tired too, OK? But if you keep me on my feet, I will keep marching to your orders.

[in English] There is not a single rape case I’ve done in Pakistan which doesn’t have massive loopholes. And the reason for that is very simple. There is never any oral evidence. The evidence which is there, the police does not have the ability to collect that evidence. They have no forensic ability. They can’t even secure a crime scene.

So whenever I take a case, the only thing which is important to me is, why would this girl lie? Why will a 13-year-old girl lie that she has been gang raped by four people in a traditional Sindhi society? I mean, she’s an outcast. She will never get married. She’s destined to be killed by someone from her own family because she’s impure now. So why will this girl lie? She must have a very strong motive. Or she must be mad. That is the legally valid question. Why will this girl lie?

[www.pbs.org: Watch on line]

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] We won’t let them go. We constantly push our case in court. On days we don’t go to court, we protest on the streets or go on a hunger strike to get justice as soon as possible.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: What one sees in society is the rise and rise of women’s rights. That is why there is so much violence against them. That is why there is so much conflict against all these issues in Pakistan. I mean, you have these rape victims, gang rape, these small girls who come on TV and say we’ve been raped, you know? They’re not ashamed. This kind of public confession is difficult to imagine maybe a decade, two decades, three decades ago. These girls are what I call grass roots feminists, women who have suffered, you know? And out of that suffering, they have gained the feminist consciousness.

KAINAT’S FATHER: [subtitles] The press has always been on our side.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] “Kainat Soomro goes on a hunger strike.” “She protests on Friday outside the Karachi Press Club.”

KAINAT’S SISTER: [subtitles] When people ask what happened to us, we show them this as a proof of our struggle.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] I have kept my hopes for justice alive. God will give justice. They will be punished. That’s all we want.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: As the weeks wore on, Kainat’s case continued to draw attention.

NEWSCASTER: ─a kidnapping and a raping, gang raping.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] We are asking the chief justice for help.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: So much so, that the four men were arrested and thrown into jail without bail.

HABIB-ULLAH SHAIKH, Uncle of the Accused: [subtitles] Our children were thrown into prison like cattle. And there is no bail for them. Why? This is a grave injustice! Grave injustice! The first time in history! I’m not saying that my nephew is innocent. That’s for the courts to decide when they look at the evidence. But here even murderers get bail. Serial killers get bail. Kidnappers and serial rapists get bail. So why were we denied bail?

HABIBA NOSHEEN: Habib-ullah Shaikh turned to a leading defense attorney, Waqar Shah, who agreed to represent all of the four accused men.

WAQAR SHAH, Attorney for the Accused: I’ve got 20 years experience in criminal trials. I have conducted number of cases which are very much famous in Pakistan. A very famous case nowadays which I am contesting nowadays is the case of Mr. Zardari, the president of Pakistan.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: And any other high-profile cases?

WAQAR SHAH: [subtitles] Well, nothing can be bigger than a case against the sitting president.

[in English] Gang rape is a offense which is a very heinous crime here in Pakistan, and the conviction and the sentence is death. So the courts are supposed to take all the cases likewise with very care and caution.

2009, Karachi Court

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] After months of struggle, I finally have a court date. I hope I get justice.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: These are the four accused men. The shopkeeper, Shaban Shaikh, and three others, including a father and a son. Habib-ullah Shaikh was determined to win. On this day, he brought dozens of supporters from his village to the court.

PROTESTER: [subtitles] Our child travels in an air-conditioned car and works in an air-conditioned store. Can you imagine his condition behind bars?

PROTESTER: [subtitles] We demand justice!

PROTESTER: [subtitles] Kainat is a whore!

HABIBA NOSHEEN: When testimony began, all cameras were ordered out of the courtroom. Kainat took the stand and told her story in court. She recounted that she was drugged and raped by four men. She testified that they had weapons. But her testimony had a serious problem─ there had been little supporting evidence collected to back her story.

WAQAR SHAH, Attorney for the Accused: She was put in the witness box and she faced lengthy cross-examination, a very, very typical cross-examination by me. And I have put almost 200 or 300 questions from different angles.

FAISAL SIDDIQI, Kainat’s Attorney: She just couldn’t go on because the questions were very nasty. So sadly, the judge didn’t stop those questions, which he should have, things like, you know, “Which part of your clothing were removed?” “Who raped you first?” “Who raped you again?” In very nasty language.

WAQAR SHAH: On the one hand, there was expert person, and in a witness box, a village girl. There was no comparison at all. But system demands so.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: In Pakistan, the entire burden is on the rape victim to make sure that the investigation is done properly, the medical examination is done properly, the trial takes place properly. A medical examination of Kainat did take place. And the report holds that there was sexual intercourse. But no sperm testing took place. Why didn’t the sperm testing take place? In rape cases in Pakistan, it doesn’t take place. And the reason is because the facilities are not available all over Pakistan.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: There was also no DNA testing. And the police investigation was flawed.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: The investigation officer didn’t bother to collect any evidence because according to his own version, he didn’t believe the─ that she had been raped. So he never really made an effort.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: As Kainat’s trial wore on, with little evidence on her side, it became increasingly difficult to make her case.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] There is nothing left in my life. I feel like killing myself. But if I die, then people will say, “She died because she was a slut.” I will not die before I get them punished.

KAINAT’S FATHER: [subtitles] This case has engulfed our lives. But we will fight our enemies until our last breath. We will not rest until they are sentenced to death. This is a war! We will finish our enemies and then we will rest. God is with you. Don’t lose strength. Your mother, father, brothers, sisters, everyone is with you.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] [looking at family photographs] When we remember those days, we feel sad. We hope those days come back.

KAINAT’S SISTER: [subtitles] Look at our life then, and look what has happened to us. We had never imagined that our lives would take such a turn.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] This is me and my friend. This is a school photo. I wanted to study and prosper in life. And I wanted to be a doctor. But I never imagined that such injustice and torture would happen to me.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: During the lengthy trial, the defense would also present their case, saying that there was no rape. Instead, they argued, there was a marriage between Kainat and one of the accused rapists, Ahsan Thebo. Their evidence─ a marriage certificate, photographs and a story of a love affair.

HABIB-ULLAH SHAIKH, Uncle of Accused: [subtitles] They were in love with each other. Everybody knew about it. Kainat used to openly meet with Ahsan. Then, one day they eloped. And Ahsan’s dad took them to a nearby town and they got married in court.

WAQAR SHAH, Attorney for the Accused: [subtitles] Then why did she file such a big complaint? If she didn’t want to be married, she could have divorced. Why did she file a complaint that she was gang-raped?

HABIB-ULLAH SHAIKH: [subtitles] That’s because Kainat’s parents didn’t approve of the marriage.

WAQAR SHAH: [subtitles] This is the marriage certificate. Here is Kainat Soomro’s name. This is her address, and this is Ahsan’s name. These are the thumb impressions. And this is the seal of the registrar. All these documents have been verified.

HABIB-ULLAH SHAIKH: [subtitles] See this photo? He has white skin and great build. She fell in love for the obvious reasons.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: We asked Kainat about the photos. She said she didn’t remember having her picture taken with Ahsan.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] They drugged me. They showed those photos in court and in the media. I don’t know how they made these photos.

FAISAL SIDDIQI, Kainat’s Attorney: As far as the photographs are concerned, you just can’t look at them and say, “Oh, I see these are two happy people. OK. There’s no rape.” You can’t do that. There is a procedure laid down in law of how those photographs are really proved. That was not followed.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: He presented this argument at the trial, saying that the negatives of the photos were never presented. But there was also the marriage certificate. We asked him how Kainat’s fingerprints and signature got onto the document.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: She says that, “I signed some documents.” She vaguely recalls that she was in some courtroom.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] They took my thumb prints at gunpoint. I did not want to give them. I had no idea what those documents were about.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: Defense of marriage is a very common defense because that is the usual practice, is that you rape a woman in the night or gang rape her and then force her to get married so that it can be justified. There are judgments by the supreme court where the same defense has been taken─ like, “Look at these photographs. Look at this marriage certificate.”

I think the rapists in Pakistan are not very creative about their defenses. They keep on coming up with the same defenses.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] They are making this story up to escape the death penalty. I was only 13 back then. If I wanted to marry, I would have told my dad.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: The thing about the marriage is that the key witnesses who could have validated the marriage did not come and give evidence.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: From the court documents, we found the name of the cleric who says he married Kainat and Ahsan. We traveled to a nearby town to find him.

SHABBIR AHMED, Cleric: [subtitles] I conducted the marriage of Kainat Soomro. I am licensed to conduct marriages. With God as a witness, I asked the girl, “Are you marrying under your own will or under the pressure of gun and force?” She said, “I am marrying of my own will.” It didn’t seem like she was kidnapped or forced or threatened with guns.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: We had learned from her school and birth records that Kainat was 13 years old at the time.

INTERVIEWER: [subtitles] According to the school records, at the time of her marriage, Kainat was only 13. Did you know that she was 13 years old?

SHABBIR AHMED: [subtitles] No. And she looked 18, 18 years old.

INTERVIEWER: [subtitles] While conducting the marriage, do you have to check the age?

SHABBIR AHMED: [subtitles] I’m not a doctor. I wouldn’t put my hands on her and check.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: According to Pakistan’s secular laws, a woman under 16 cannot consent to marriage. But there is a loophole. As an Islamic state, Pakistan also follows Islamic law, known as sharia law, which states that a girl who has reached puberty can be married even if she’s a minor. And here in Pakistan, when there’s a conflict between the two sets of laws, the courts tend to side with the Islamic law.

[www.pbs.org: Sharia law in Pakistan]

2010, Karachi Court

HABIBA NOSHEEN: After years of hearings and delays, the judge finally summoned the accused to the court for the verdict.

WAQAR SHAH, Attorney for the Accused: All the accused persons, as well as myself, the prosecutor, the judge─ all were present in the courtroom. My clients were behind the bars since last three years. So there was great apprehension.

WAQAR SHAH AND SUPPORTERS: [subtitles] God is great! Long live Pakistan! Long live Pakistan! Allah is great!

HABIBA NOSHEEN: After a three-year long trial, the judge would side with the men.

WAQAR SHAH: [subtitles] I salute our court, which upheld justice today. After three years, my clients finally got justice as described by God and His prophet in the Quran.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: After years in prison, on this day, Ahsan spoke publicly about Kainat.

AHSAN THEBO: [subtitles] I’m going to be with Kainat. I’m going to get her. Even after four years in prison, I still want her. She’s my wife and I want her with me.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: In the end, the judge believed the marriage story, ruling that Ahsan’s marriage to Kainat was valid despite the fact that she was only 13, following Islamic law rather than secular law. He went on to say that another reason he had decided against Kainat was because she had accused a father and a son of a gang rape. In his view, he said, that would never happen in Pakistan. He concluded that Kainat’s accusations were a product of her own fantasy.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: [subtitles] The judge ruled against you. I’m disappointed that he didn’t believe you. He wrote that your story is flimsy, like a James Bond movie, and he also believed in the marriage certificate. I was very sad when I read that. It was as if he made fun of us.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] We have been fighting for justice and now we didn’t even get that. We want justice.

FAISAL SIDDIQI: [subtitles] I am not a magician. I tried my best. I used all my strength and knowledge to fight this case. After all, the verdict depends on the judge. In my view, the verdict was wrong.

So that’s the way it is here. Here, justice doesn’t come easy. It takes a lot of struggle. And you are doing that.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] My life is destroyed. My education is destroyed. My family is destroyed. I don’t care what the judge says. I know I was wronged. Everybody knows that. We left our home, everything. My life is a living hell now. Why did they do this to me? When I think about my home and those moments of laughter we had, my head explodes. I never tell anyone how I feel. I keep it all in. I don’t even tell my mother or father.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: With the men freed, Kainat and her family told us they now fear for their safety.

KAINAT’S SISTER: [subtitles] It was 11:00 in the morning and no one else was home. Kainat and I were cooking in the kitchen. Some men knocked on our door. They said, “Open the door.” But we didn’t answer. They said, “We want Kainat.” We’ve had several threats like this, saying, “Give us Kainat.” But we said, “We won’t give you Kainat.”

SABIR SOOMRO, Kainat’s Brother: [subtitles] We live in Karachi because of Kainat. I had my own store in the village, but they forced me to close it down. Life is completely upset. It’s the gun culture. They know how to kill. They say I should kill my sister. Everyone has become our enemy.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: Then, just months after our interview with him, a tragic turn of events. He was found dead. Kainat and her family believed the four men she had accused of rape were responsible.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] Sabir Soomro was my brother! He was taken by those four men! Those people killed him!

KAINAT’S MOTHER: [subtitles] My innocent child!

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] My brother is dead! He was shot three times. We have nothing left! Your government is not doing anything!

WASEEM AHMED, Police chief, Karachi: [subtitles] Kainat Soomro is the daughter of Sindh. She will get her rights and justice.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] We were four brothers and four sisters, but now I have just three brothers. Today they killed my brother, tomorrow they’ll kill my father. Then what? I’ll never forget my brother’s murder! Never!

KAINAT’S SISTER: [subtitles] My innocent brother is dead. We didn’t even get justice and we also lost our brother. We got nothing in the end.

NEWSCASTER: [subtitles] Kainat Soomro is an example of the grave injustice in our society.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: Kainat’s brother’s death put her story back into the national headlines.

NEWSCASTER: [subtitles] Kainat Soomro’s brother died because of the injustice of the village leaders.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] Those people said, “We are not done with you yet. We will kill you all.”

HABIBA NOSHEEN: Famous politicians came to her side.

MARVI MEMON, Politician: [subtitles] You should appeal to the government for justice.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: From the start, the men denied playing any role in Kainat’s brother’s death.

SHABAN SHAIKH, Accused Rapist: [subtitles] Kainat Soomro is on every channel. Everyone talks about her. Marvi Memon and other influential people showed up.

HABIB-ULLAH SHAIKH, Uncle of Accused: [subtitles] Kainat and her father have wronged us. They wrongly accused us. It’s a publicity stunt by her father. They’re famous for no reason. Why couldn’t Kainat just sit at home and keep quiet? We’re businessmen, respectable people. We can even forgive them. We can even forgive them if they shut up. Kainat does not have good character. If she was a decent woman, she wouldn’t have gone to court and the media. She would have simply sat at home, silently.

MEN: Kainat is characterless! She has no honor! No honor.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: The police investigation into the brother’s death would be closed after four months due to lack of evidence in the case.

HABIB-ULLAH SHAIKH: [subtitles] Right now, the waters are quiet before the storm, and those waters are very dangerous. Understand? Now Ahsan will kidnap his wife Kainat. I don’t know what’s brewing in his head, what’s his plan. Now there will be murders! Don’t you read the newspapers? These things lead to a chain of murders.

AHSAN THEBO: [subtitles] I married her. She’s my wife, my honor. I won’t let her go. I suffered a lot in jail. My house was ruined. I lost everything. I will take her from them whenever I get the chance, no matter what. If Kainat marries anyone else, I’ll kill him and I’ll kill her.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] My brother used to say, “Kainat, no matter what happens, never lose hope.” “Don’t let them go.” “We’re with you. The whole family is with you.” I’m scared to leave the house. Our home in Karachi was attacked. I hope God and the courts will someday give me justice.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: Since her brother’s death, Kainat lives under police protection.

KAINAT SOOMRO: [subtitles] The people who’ve tortured me, raped me, the people who’ve displaced me, I’ll get them the death penalty.

HABIBA NOSHEEN: The story we had come to hear still had no ending. Like other cases in Pakistan, it would remain at its heart a mystery with no clear end in sight.

2013

FAISAL SIDDIQI, Kainat’s Attorney: They want to go ahead with the case. I will keep on representing her. I cannot even imagine that people who are so vulnerable are willing to risk their lives, the lives of their family. They are willing to be displaced, and even then want to fight.

In their struggle, there is so much hope. Ultimately, I think it’s very difficult to stop this tide of the assertion of women short of some kind of a counter-revolution in Pakistan. I don’t see these rape victims being put back in their homes and told to shut up. I frankly don’t see that happening.

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