Mukhtar Mai being pressured by Federal Minister to drop case

Mukhtar MaiMukhtar Mai is due to appear in the Supreme Court of Pakistan tomorrow on 11th February for a hearing on her outstanding case. Since a few days reports have been emerging that she was under pressure from high level authorities to drop the case, specifically Federal Defence Production Minister Abdul Qayyum Jatoi elected from Muzaffargarh to drop the case and maybe even not appear in court.

Just now members of the Aurat Foundation, a womens rights watch group, have talked to Mukhtar Mai and she in turn has confirmed the reports of high level pressures to have been true. The womens rights groups have urged Mukhtar Mai to stay resolute and proceed to Islamabad for the hearing with full support to be extended to ensure her safety and perusal of the case

Mukhtar Mai is from the village of Meerwala, in the tehsil of Jatoi of the Muzaffargarh District. Mukhtar Mai suffered a gang rape [BBC Timeline] as a form of honour revenge, on the demands of tribesmen on the orders of a panchayat of a local Mastoi Baloch clan that was richer and more powerful than Mukhtaran’s clan, the Gujjar Tatla.


39 responses to “Mukhtar Mai being pressured by Federal Minister to drop case”

  1. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja

    She is fighting all the way to Supreme court.I am extremely humbled before this woman.

    She might not be educated ,she might not be sophisticated , previliged and that is why most probably ,why she faced this brutality.

    To survive this savage behaviour and to stand against the system where one knows,Lawyers are not your advocates,Judges are friends with the Lords ,you still stand up for yourself.

    This is what is called a Personality.

    I will urge the JUSTICE DEPARTMENT for once at least consult Shariat Laws of punishment while deciding a sentence for men involved in this particular case .

    It is such a HIGH PROFILE CASE I am sure there will be huge presuure on the Judges ,so why should not it be kept annonymous who is sitting on the Bench and who is making the dession.

  2. Asad Ali Avatar
    Asad Ali

    @ A woman victim of feudal oppression and gang rape

    by feudal's dogs, now pressurized by a Federal Feudal

    Minister of donkeys to renounce her demand to obtain


    Is this Govt. of goons for or gainst the justice ?

    Mukhtar mai,never give up, force them to grant you

    justice, you will be making history. speak on forums,

    to religious people, laywers, students, Professors,

    Doctors, Engineers, poets, mobilize evryone, but keep

    on moving till you get the JUSTICE.

    They have even pressurized the Human Rights buffoons

    in Pakistan, even Amnesty INt. was " advised " to

    stay away from you ! etc etc .

    Teeth, please bring some details on jatoi !!

    if you can.

  3. guYasir Avatar

    The 1st sight i seen on heading of this article it was like

    Mukhtar Mai being pressured by Federal Minister to drop DRESS

    but i read again then it was drop CASE or more precisely dress/rape case under duress

    MMai got international fame and awards on rape. I wonder soon goin to be her fan and will follow her footsteps BUT i guess

    M,mai shud've committed suicide so pk image wouldn't be twisted more which is already rotten.

    sindhi-balochi-jatoi clan do marriages to their women with Koran and they've no faith in Allah and they do seek pir-fakeers,taveez-gunda and go maazars and ask them rather askin directly to Omnipresent who listen to every1 but do His own.

    Karokari is also very popular ritual in sindh-baloch. it means black male and black female but i'd say black magic.
    M.mai forgotten case shouldn't be highlighted again its worth nothing except tarnishing pk image.

    Whatever has had happened im against it and i dont want it to be happen again with any woman and i don't wanna talk about MAI HIGH PROFILE CASE which was contrived and prerequisite for feminism in pakistan.

    Note: I'm fully against Karokari becuz one cannot do love and marriages outside of his/her clan or Baradari.

    if it was only for adultery then it could be bearable but its against Pyar and shaadi so its a wrong act.

    2nd Koran se shaadi is also another black magic of those stupid sindhies who dont wanna give inheritance shares to their women or dont want them 2 get marry of her choice.

    it happens both in sindh and punjab and they are very close to indian borders. Thats why I do often call them K@K@ and dis word I even say in front of my 'Saas' who are punjabun and wanted her daughter must go with her bro son means within her 'baradari' instead of me despite her daughter herself denyin her cousin and wanted to marry me

    so I use this word in front of my mother-in-law and say

    Do ye wanna give my love to your Kaka? (punjabi use dis word for their cupid-boys which means parrot) but if ye convert dis same word into english then it gonna be a SH*T. sordid-saso still deny but her daughter marry me.

    its all SH*T duniya bani b isi shiiittt ki waja se thee so we ain't kaka rather do kaka so dun mind

    have fun and do k@k@ daily i mean do em@il daily to ur luv ones…

  4. guYasir Avatar

    I want these types of "harlots" should hang on spot and also those who claim self-divinity like Zevi.

    There's Hadith which says there's no prophet after Me but there'd be 30 false prophets/messiah would arise and claim self-divinity and didn't say to convert them into Islam or anything like I found in Hadiths
    Zevi was among them and claim messiah in order to ruin an Islamic Empire rather ruin to Islam itself.

    The last sultan of Ottoman Empire did convert him under duress and let Islamic empire end from his own hands.

    So we are goin towards destruction aka Armageddon from our own hands let DROP Yahweh and His laws means you led to yourselves into the abyss.
    Zevi was satan in human face whose dynasty is ruling ON our heads. He subverted Islam by being pretended to be Muslim

    I'd rather say that he spoiled Islamic system and Muslim Brothhood in btw Turkey and Saudi peoples and tarnish Islamic system and bring Secular Enlightenment a.k.a Age of Reason i.e Talmudic/Zevi laws.

    i'LL WRite on Sabbatai Zevi later and his malevolence malpractice with religions and society.

  5. Junaid Avatar

    i am really surprised how we were able to tolerate these feudal bastards for so long before.

    Minister jatoi belongs to a clan who lively hood historically is theft, robbery etc and still wherever this clan lives in number you would find theft, robbery kidnappings in that area.

    PPP calls itself a peoples party but in actual it is feudals, rotten and fuc??? up party full of thick heads.

  6. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar

    this is the reason we need a bloody revolution.

    i swear by God if i got the chance i will kill them all.

  7. Imran S Avatar
    Imran S

    I wish this court was heard under islamic laws. Those would have been hanged or have there penis cut.

  8. Touseef Ikram Avatar

    Not again. I really wish that this should never happen with anyone and she get justice but commercializing everything which is related to it is just not good.

    read this article, in the mid way there are some references on M,Mai and Aurat Foundation and the gains they have accumulated along with the negative image they have portrayed of Pakistan.

    Did anyone ever think of why Islam did impose the 4 witness condition in a case of zinna? Well, justice apart, Islam did never mean to advertise these kind of events and if it gets in the knowledge of few, the punishment is so swear that would teach lesson to everyone.

  9. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja


    I find your comments,

    "I wonder soon goin to be her fan and will follow her footsteps BUT i guess

    M,mai shud’ve committed suicide so pk image wouldn’t be twisted more which is already rotten."

    I find your comments extremely disgusting as you are suggesting that women first of all should not speak for her rights,second line where you say ,Mai should commit suicide to save Pak image.

    If those animals ,after degarding themselves to the levels of pigs have a right to live a life I think M.Mai has every right to live as well.

    Justice of an Islamic society demands NOT a Woman die of Shame ,instead the Culprits should die with shame.

    These men are dangereous any way and should be sentenced to prison at least 30 years.

  10. Asad Ali Avatar
    Asad Ali

    @ Tauseef Ikram,

    its not the question of who would think about us ?

    we know that all anti-islam and anti-Pakistan jump

    on any occasion to attack, but their "publicity"

    will be like this for another 300 years, as they

    have some genetic problems. Try to understand that

    We, in Pakistan, are still living under Brit/Indian

    savage inhuman laws, where Feudals were considered

    as bread and butters, of suffering " Awaam ".

    We must always use Islamic argument to defend our

    women, no other system can give any protection than

    Islamic system ( authentic).

    @ Guyasir,

    Farrah is right !

    me too I am perplexed on your conclusions which are

    nothing but escapism and helplessness. Those who order

    gang rape, induce others, participate should be

    flogged in public…………..or !

  11. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja

    Hi Touseef

    Thanks for posting the link.Justice system around the world is based on evidence as presented in the court.

    It is not only the matter of Shariat law ,rapists around the world are difficult to be convicted.

    DNA is a big help,in providing this evidence.

    Sharia Law regarding "Zina " is the main clause,there should be sub clauses to it.

    Like witness does not mean in 21st century to be a human being but DNA is a better evidence.

    Justice depends on many things.Evidence in Pakistan is difficult in such cases ,Many men and women would not like to stand on the witness stand and even the questioning of Lawyers to built the case is a harrasment in itself.

    It is no doubt Shariat Law was implemented with good wishes but unfortunately it did not work out for the benifit of women.

    Every law in itself is a guideline and a lot is left to the wisdom and judgement of the Judge.

    Unfortunately Shariat Law fell into the hands of people who had no sense of Justice,compassion,education of foundations of Islamic principals or civil society.

    Pakistani society failed at delivering the Justice through Shariat Law,it does not imply ,Shariat law is incompetent ,it only means it was in the hands of ignorant people.

    We must get rid of feudals,they are advoctes of pre-historic traditions and they are the biggest hindrence in the way of Islamic values and civil society.

  12. guYasir Avatar

    if we really wanna get rid of feudals then we must appreciate MQM slogan that WE are seeking eradication of feudalism.

    This slogan of Altaf Raja i really appreciate but I'd say that they are also playing in the hands of feudal.s.

    The world power is based on feudalism since Pharaoh times which spawned fascism, communism, zionism, feminism, secularism in short Americanism.

    Feudal system should've been revived after Partition like Indians did but few hidden-hands didn't let it happen and Urdu speakers were suppressed after Partitioned otherwise they would've eradicated it nowadays to get rid of feudals is as hard as 2 get rid of blood-cancer.

    The world is for super-rich/mammon which gives Power and Power corrupt and absolute power corrupts absolutely

    so feudals and politicians are corrupts themselves and make corrupt to Judiciary so no Justice no where

    I like Imran Khan when he talks about for Independent Judiciary but alas corruption is our [isms] and Imran himself is not able to do sumthing for and for except supporting CH movement.

    I will meet Imran Khan b4 Long March and will discuss him on this matter how to get rid of isms so we'll able to get Independent Judiciary

  13. guYasir Avatar


    I find your comments so disgusting when u said in ur 1st comment that

    It is such a HIGH PROFILE CASE Acha but it is no longer a high profile case, being gang-raped by 20 men has give it a label of High Profile Case

    Normally, many rural women commit suicide after this accident but if Mai stands and went courts even got North-South Prize/Awards but Did she get justice? what has she gotten from courts nothin i want the wrong-doers/rapers shud vanish and she gets insaaf but it has gave us nothin except bad-fame.

    I'd rather say that her case was contrived and used for Feminism in pakistan remember Rafia Zakaria a product of feminism and Jewry feminism is a gift of gulag for wo-men

    I'll write soon on feminism and its side-effects for wo-men.

  14. farrah, k.raja Avatar
    farrah, k.raja


    This happens ,an innocent women not used to be photographed,not educated ,what do you expect?

    NGOS and Journalists ,run away fast from them.They use you and dump you like a corpse.

    None the less it is our struggle for Justice,we will make mistakes ,but mistakes does not mean we should commit suicide.

    You know actually many women do so and it is sad.Why the victim should pay the price with life for someone else Lust.

    Such person even not convicted in court should live with a KALA MOUN in society.

  15. readinglord Avatar

    The case was to be heard on the 11th instant. What happened? The latest judgment in this case was given by the Multan High Court which had held this case as totally contrived. So that judgment would perhaps stand if MM withdraws her appeal now in the SC. In fact it was nothing but the biggest media fraud of the century and thge silliest thing done by CJ Iftikhar by putting a cap on it.

  16. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar

    M.Mia is a true face of our society, a real picture which tells us that our society resembles to a decomposed body. nothing but filth and stink.

    in our society poor can not get the justice.when oppressed stand against oppressor,all the brothers and sisters of that oppressor gather like a crows and start doing "kaen kaen kaen"

    we need a bloody revolution.i am dying to see the days when mutilated bodies of our fudels turned politicians,ex army generals, elite and corrupt class and panchayat members will be hanged by every pole of the street.

  17. farrah k raja Avatar
    farrah k raja

    Working Chain of Pakistan System:

    an incident happened;nobody gives a damn

    people gather;cry ;sympathise ;disperse

    if the name of a powerful or wealthy person is mentioned

    before the victim gets to police

    the wealthy person would directly approach to Higher Up

    let us say ,the Minister,the DSP or SP will get a call ;this has happened in your area,

    deal with it in this way ;do not write the FIR

    Sp will say,sir how can we not write FIR ?

    People are not leaving Thanna ?

    Than let us assume that minister is from party A which is an opposition party at present

    Now the Chief Minister of party B will contact you this case must go ahead ,take down the report,

    Of course no one knows what to do and what not?

    The SP gets moving,adverse ACR,Bad Press ,than Human Rights get involved .

    Police is Badnaam,the man who committed crime is sitting in the airconditioned room with top most Judges and Lawyers discussing the options.

    So the plan is made OK.ask them to take FIR,write these charges,that Judge is in our favour ,let us move him there.

    The agressor Knew he is untouchable.


    The biggest injustice is FIR is only written when the culprit has sorted out all the details,from FIR to lawyer to the Judges.I am not surprised if this case is hijacked by press,they know exactly which cards to use.

  18. Akshay BAKAYA Avatar
    Akshay BAKAYA

    Do not hesitate to phone minister Abdul Qayyum Jatoi directly at home or on his mobile to tell him what you think of his pressure tactics against this extraordinary, brave woman Mukhtar Mai.

    His address:

    Abdul Qayyum Jatoi

    Ward No.1, Jatoi

    District Muzaffargarh, Punjab

    Phone (home): 06906-591777

    (i.e +92-6906-591777 from outside Pakistan)

    Mobile: 0300-6323239

    (i.e. +92-300-6323239 from outside Pakistan)

  19. Akshay BAKAYA Avatar
    Akshay BAKAYA

    Call the 'VIP's directly and protest:

    Asif Ali Zardari

    President of Pakistan

    President's Avenue

    Islamabad, PAKISTAN

    Phone: +92-51-9206069

    FAX: +92-51-9203297 & +92-51-922 1422

    Mr. Yousuf Raza Gillani

    Prime Minister of Pakistan

    Prime Minister House

    Islamabad, PAKISTAN

    Phone: +92-51-9206111

    Fax: +92-51-9206907

    Rehman Malik

    Advisor / Minister for Interior

    R Block, Pak Secretariat

    Islamabad, PAKISTAN

    Email Address:,

    Tel: +92-51-9212026

    Fax: +92-51- 9202624

    Sherry Rehman

    Minister for Women Development

    1/F, State Building: 5

    Ministry of Women Development

    Islamabad, PAKISTAN

    +92-51-920 1083

    Mr. Salman Tasseer

    Governor of Punjab

    Governor House

    Lahore, PAKISTAN

    Fax: +92-42-9200077,


    For more background on the Mukhtar Mai case please see here:


    and here:

  20. Asad Ali Avatar
    Asad Ali


    I don't understand your anger on Iftikhar, insisting

    the case to be contrived, Huzoor, we have British

    judiciary system prevailing in Indo/Pak, any case

    can linger on to 5,8,12,15,20 years, amazingly,

    civil courts, High courts, Supreme courts, Session Bench

    you name it, we have them, its a chewing gum, that

    can be streched from Multan court to Islamabad.

    Where are you living, Sir, Who wants quick, efficient &

    impartial justice ? only Asma jehangir ?? if she does ?

    What about you, me and others,

    please don't follow the Jahil and backward Talibans.

  21. Asad Ali Avatar
    Asad Ali

    @ Farrah k raja,

    A judicial system must provide justice to all

    without distinctions,

    for an uneducated,or a professor,

    for a healthy or unhealthy,

    for man or woman, young, old, infants,

    even those in wombs,

    rich or poor, Banker or chapprassi,

    raped and rapers,

    a farmer or poet,

    Go and find out the victims and give them justice,

    other wise its pure tyranny, and sheer oppression,

    its is said to be quoted in Quran

    " DON'T BE OPPRESSED " the revolution of the all

    revolutions. No one on this earth, can give us lessons.

  22. KarimG Avatar

    guYasir, we will have zero credibility as people if we do not openly and vigorously address and deal with the injustices the we do against our daughters, sisters and mothers. The plight of women in countries like Pakistan is unacceptable, it must change.

    True, certain forces are and will use these incidents for their own political gains and to taint all Muslims BUT I would rather take that chance than let this kind of practice go unpunished.

    So Mukhtar Mai, you go girl, get'em bastards and lets hang them high and dangling!

  23. readinglord Avatar

    What more justice she wants now btw. Sh enjoyed rape by half a dozen Mastoies and encashed it even handsomely.

  24. Asad Ali Avatar
    Asad Ali

    @ readinglord,

    now this is a Qadiani-zionist appriciation,

    Imagine if it was your own daughter, or

    your Khalifa's. A Qadiani woman will enjoy being

    gang raped by khalifa's half a dozen of Muballighs ?

    what a pendoo approach ??

  25. readinglord Avatar


    Her brother, father and all the biradari was there watching the scene. They did not protest and kept silent for full nine days.

    For your information pendoos, however low cast they may be, won't tolerate such an outrage. But it appears actually to be just an unbelievable NGO-cum-media fraud.

    Btw, why she refused to go to the Shariat Court. Because apparently she had no witnesses as required by Sharia. If Sharia law is enforced here you would also be liable to receive 80 lashes, quite justifiably.

  26. Asad Ali Avatar
    Asad Ali

    @ readinglord,

    it is absolutely wrong !

    in feudal panchayat, the family of victim is forced

    to watch, this is the pendoo laws in your

    Punjab and Sindh ex-Hindou culture. Please go and

    learn first the shariat laws (muslim) then pass

    judgement, your wrong judgement can cost you

    180 lashes, quite logically.

  27. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar

    @asad ali!

    180 lashes?…oh my god

    180 lashes can turn our reading lord into lasheslord.

  28. KarimG Avatar

    I dunno why some of you guys insist on acting like horse's ass!

  29. readinglord Avatar

    @Asad Ali

    You mean Mai and her family did not react violently to the unbelievable outrage because they had accepted the 'justice' done under what you call 'pendu laws', but later on started raising hue and cry against it on the instigation of some interested parties. Btw, what do you say about the decision of the Multan High Court? Was it pendu law court also?

    Excuse me, Sir, you are insulting all Punjabies if you think that they have no sense of honour when the whole affair is stated to be the result of an alleged dishonour of a Mastoi girl by Mai's brother.

  30. Aysh Avatar

    I understand this need for everyone to see her side of the story but the recent dawn article featuring the interview of the mother of the men in jail has added a strange sense of reasonable doubt in my mind. I am not sure what the truth maybe any more. I believe it needs to be judged and judged fairly in a court of law. However perhaps not in Pakistan, maybe in Hague. Remember this you weren't there the truth will never be known no matter how much the media tries to paint a picture for us.

  31. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar


    would you please share the link of that article or date of printing?

  32. readinglord Avatar


    The problem is no impartial and independent inquiry has been held in the case. What strikes me is the silence of Mastoies. I sometimes begin to doubt whether they are conniving with Mai to share the Dollars and the publicity she is getting as a result of the scandle. As it is it seems to be a one-sided show by feminist NGOs and the media, all oblivious of the bad name it is bringing for the country.

    I would also try to see the dawn article referred to by you if you please give its date.

  33. readinglord Avatar


    It is perhaps this story as I traced from google which gives the Mastoi side of the story which Aysh referred to in her post of 20.2.09:


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    Jinnah and Ataturk: Comparison in leadership models

    Accepter la responsabilité

    September 19, 2008…4:34 pm

    Into the Mirror – Mukhtaran Mai

    Jump to Comments

    EXCERPT: House Of Women

    The book explores tribal traditions and lifestyles in Pakistan and tries to reconstruct both sides of the story to unearth the truth behind the alleged gang-rape of a Pakistani village woman.

    November 2005, Mirwala

    ‘She was his bride!’ the old widow hollers in autumn sunshine, surrounded by rag-clothed grandchildren.

    Gold studding her bulbous nose, the matriarch of the house where Mukhtar says she was assaulted rocks, sobs, and pulls on the tattered corners of a thin purple floral shawl pyramiding her face, and wipes her raging tears.

    ‘We never took their girl! They are telling lies to you and everyone! To take a girl and do such things to her does not exist in Islam. Muslims and Islam know no activity like this.’

    Taj Mai Mastoi, somewhere in her 60s, cries on a charpoy in her dust-blown courtyard.

    ‘No-one realises we also are Muslims!’

    She clutches her knee to her chin between outbursts of spitting rage.

    ‘There was no rape!’ she fires. ‘There was not even a panchayat! She came as a bride.’

    This is a house of women now. All of Taj Mai’s menfolk are in jail: two of her sons are accused of raping Mukhtar, another son is convicted of raping Mukhtar’s brother. Four of her brothers and two sons-in-law are accused of sanctioning the gang-rape of Mukhtar. Taj Mai’s husband Imam Baksh Mastoi passed away before 2002. Aged and small, she has been left in charge of a family of 18 children and women.

    The old lady and her two daughters-in-law — their husbands in jail — pick cotton on the fields of landlords, for 15 to 75 cents a day. Sometimes they rope in the older children to work the fields.

    In the Mastois’ wildly different version of events, Mukhtar Mai and Abdul Khaliq were married by Maulvi Abdul Razzaq in an on-the-spot verbal ceremony at nightfall on June 22, 2002.

    They say she spent three nights in Abdul Khaliq’s room as his bride.

    ‘That was their room,’ yells eight-year-old Tariq Mohammad, Khaliq’s youngest brother, pointing to the middle of a three room hut.

    The instant marriage, the Mastois say, was to compensate for Mukhtar’s brother’s ‘rape’ of their girl Salma. A Gujjar girl’s hand was given in exchange for the dishonouring of a Mastoi girl. That’s why we never pressed charges for the alleged rape of Salma, the Mastois say.

    On a Sunday visit in November 2005 to the residential compound of the Mastois, only the children are at home. The old lady has gone to the jail to see her sons. Her daughters-in-law are in the fields picking cotton.

    When we return the following morning, with two armed policemen and a plainclothes officer from Mukhtar’s

    12-strong permanent police guard as escorts, the old lady and the wife of one of her jailed sons, Maqsooda, are expecting us. They move across a barren field to meet us. Accompanying them is a male relative from a neighbouring house, thick lines of kohl under his eyes, his feet bare on the cold cracked earth of the barren field.

    Taj Mai explodes in fury. She curses the foreign media for glorifying Mukhtar. She lambasts the publicity surrounding Mukhtar’s case as one-sided.

    ‘You come here to talk to me, but I don’t want to talk to anyone! There is no justice for me. My conditions are terrible. My sons are in jail,’ she rants. ‘No-one wants to hear or tell our reality.’

    She fires at the police accompanying us. ‘What kind of police are you? Our little girl went past Mukhtar Mai’s house the other day and the police ordered her to get lost. Our little girl is not a terrorist!’

    Eventually placated by my translator’s insistence that we want to hear her story, the old lady relents and beckons us over the dry field into her dull mud-walled compound.

    Poverty stalks this home of no men. It is a stark contrast to the local media portrayal of this family as powerfully- connected wealthy landowners. Only two emaciated goats and two skeletal cows make up their livestock.

    Bone-thin dogs and cats saunter through the courtyard. No tea is offered. No food is cooking on any fire. No one is kneading any dough for roti bread, the basic item of village diets.

    Unlike Mukhtar’s home, no paved road leads to this house and no electricity lights their nights. Cracked dirt trails run between fields and irrigation ditches to the Mastoi home. The door to Taj Mai sits dislodged inside her room.

    ‘I have no door to my own room. The dogs and cats come in here at night,’ she says.

    Maqsooda, the wife of Taj Mai’s second son Allah Ditta grabs her own little daughter’s arm and shoves it at me. It is stick thin and covered in thick protruding lesions.

    ‘Do you have any money for me to fix her arm? I can’t afford to take her to a doctor for treatment.’

    She sticks a thumb through her daughter’s worn mud-soaked tunic. ‘Look at these rags! We can’t buy any clothes.’

    On the night Mukhtar says she was gang-raped in this house, all the Mastoi women — Taj Mai, her six daughters, a daughter-in-law — and an assortment of grandchildren were at home.

    The Mastoi women say a sharai nikah (verbal marriage) ritual took place between Mukhtar Mai and Abdul Khaliq, witnessed by Mukhtar’s father, brother and uncle.

    ‘It was a traditional nikah, from the early days of Islam, when nothing was written. There were just witnesses and the Maulvi pronounced them married, without writing any certificate,’ says Taj Mai.

    For the Mastois, June 22, 2002 began with prayers for the dead. A relative in another Mastoi home had passed away. All the adults had gathered at the home of Khair Muhammad Mastoi, several fields away, to offer prayers and condolences. Only Maqsooda stayed at home with the children. In the middle of the hot mid-summer day, Maqsooda says, she heard Salma, then in her late teens, screaming in the sugarcane crop. She looked over the wall and saw Salma beating Abdul Shakoor with a sickle.

    ‘I ran and grabbed Abdul Shakoor and dragged him back here,’ she says, pointing to the far corner room the three-room hut. ‘I threw him in that room.’

    A padlock hangs broken above the room’s door. Inside rafts of dusted sunlight fall on turquoise-brushed walls and a shelf lined with tin bowls and cups. ‘That lock was broken when Shakoor tried to escape.’

    The bricks that once blocked one of the high air vents are still smashed.

    ‘That’s where he smashed his way out. He broke these bricks and climbed through the hole and escaped,’ Maqsooda says.

    Maqsooda caught Shakoor again, dragged him back inside and locked him away. She sent for the menfolk to come home from the mourning gathering at

    Khair Muhammad Mastoi’s compound. When they reached home Maqsooda told them she had caught Abdul Shakoor ‘raping’ Salma and had locked him up.

    Shakoor’s father and uncles turned up at the Mastoi home and asked them to let Shakoor go. With them were Maulvi Abdul Razzaq and the police, Maqsooda recalls. Shakoor’s father, brother and uncles persuaded the Mastois not to file charges with the police over Shakoor’s alleged action.

    In return, the Mastois demanded the hand of one of Shakoor’s sisters.

    ‘Their son raped our daughter, that’s why,’ says Taj Mai. ‘We were upset because Abdul Shakoor raped Salma.’

    Shakoor’s family offered up Mukhtar Mai. Shakoor was let out of the room and given to the police. In the night Mukhtar was brought to the Mastoi home by her menfolk and a sharai nikah was performed between her and Abdul Khaliq, some time after Isha, the last evening prayer, Maqsooda and Taj Mai say.

    ‘No one wrote a nikah certificate. We just collected witnesses. Then the marriage was confirmed. Early Islam required no official statement of a nikah. On that day nothing was written, we just did as they did in early times, Maqsooda says.

    Mukhtar stayed in Abdul Khaliq’s room for three nights as his bride, according to the Mastoi women.

    The floor of the ‘bridal’ room is hardearth. Like the room next door where Shakoor had been locked up, the walls are painted turquoise. Alcoves and shelves are carved into the mudbrick. Iron bars fill two window holes on either side of the door.

    On peeking inside, I find Taj Mai’s two unmarried teenage daughters, Parveen and Zarina, huddled in the shadows behind the door. Forbidden to be seen by strange men, they are hiding from the police guards who have accompanied me. They have been watching us through the barred windows.

    With the nikah, our quarrel was resolved,’ says Taj Mai. ‘We said to them: ‘Our families are now joined in marriage. Let there be no more quarrel between us’.

    ‘But after 11 days, Mukhtar went to the hospital for a medical test,’ Taj Mai recalls. It was the semen test Mukhtar underwent on the instructions of police after filing gang-rape charges.

    ‘In our minds our families were joined in marriage, but she went and got a medical.’

    A fresh quarrel had erupted between the neighbouring families after the alleged marriage between Mukhtar and Abdul Khaliq.

    ‘Maulvi Abdul Razzaq. Mukhtar’s older brother and her father came and started fighting with us about Abdul Shakoor and Salma,’ says Maqsooda.

    After Mukhtar’s medical test, which found positive traces of semen, police swooped on the Mastoi clan.

    ‘The police recorded an FIR (First Investigation Report) from Mukhtar’s side and arrested people without any reason,’ says Taj Mai.

    Among the first to be taken in by police were Taj Mai and her daughter Salma.

    ‘Then did a medical test on Salma too,’ Taj Mai says. She doesn’t know what the result was.

    The mother and daughter were moved on to another, bigger jail, in the district capital Muzaffargarh.

    Mukhtar Mai’s family actually had some of the best connections in Mirwala village. They had the backing of the wealthiest, largest and oldest tribe in the tehsil (sub-district): the Jatois. They were also backed by the most powerful figure in the district: the preacher of the biggest mosque in Mirwala, Maulvi Abdul Razzaq. His tribe: Jatoi.

    More arrests came in waves until 14 Mastoi men were shackles, awaiting trial.

    ‘They wrought tyranny on us,’ Taj Mai spits. ‘The real sin was by the other side. Their boy molested our girl. But everyone says it’s us who did wrong. The police should start a new inquiry and collect all the neigbours and find out the truth.’

    ‘If Mukhtar’s family comes here I will tell them what really happened. If Mukhtar thinks something wrong has happened to her, she should just keep quiet. But instead she tells everyone. She even goes to the US.’

    Taj Mai spends her days now reading the Quran, picking cotton and cutting wheat — the crops of other landowners

    ‘I work daily on the lands of other men. What I earn each day, I spend. I can save nothing. Ask Mukhtar Mai whether we are wealthy or not. We work on the land of landlords. All our men are in prison.’

    Taj Mai pulls her knees closer and sobs.

    ‘Mukhtar’s family doesn’t realise how much I worry about my sons, my grandchildren. We have only children in the house. No young men,’ she rages.

    ‘I’m the only one earning money for my house. I’m a poor woman.’

    The embittered Mastoi women’s fiercest venom is for the local preacher Maulvi Abdul Razzaq and his role in bringing Mukhtar’s case to the police.

    They call him the ‘architect’ of the case.

    ‘The root of all this is Abdul Razzaq,’ breathes Maqsooda.

    ‘He got involved in this case because of the money he gets from Mukhtar Mai’s family, and because of land.’ The Mastois told the trial court in August 2002 that Razzaq had grudges against them because they reported him for trying to occupy land they had paid for at a public auction.

    They had also accused him of harbouring fanatics from the banned extremist group, Sipah

    ‘He’s a Wahhabi, a Deobandi,’ Taj Mai and Maqsooda charge in chorus, invoking extremist Islamic sects.

    From the charpoy where Taj Mai vents her rage, the walls of Mukhtar’s home are visible across the field, over the heads of the cotton plants. With a twist of the head one can glimpse the sideof Mukhtar’s girls’ school, shining with a fresh coat of maroon paint.

    For the Mastois, the new school is a forbidden world. The little Mastoi girls stay at home.

    ‘Mukhtar Mai doesn’t allow our girls to get admission,’ Taj Mai asserts. ‘We never tried to send our girls to her school. No-one listens to us, so who would support us in sending our girls to her school? They would never allow it. They didn’t even allow our boys.’

    Taj Mai says her eight-year-old son Tariq joined Mukhtar’s boys’ school for just a few months, but was driven out. Tariq, the little brother of accused rapists Abdul Khaliq and Allah Ditta, stopped going to the school after one of Mukhtar’s nephews threw stones at him and told him to never show his face again.

    My visit to his mother and siblings, told me seven months later that on the day I visited, the children had not eaten in three days.

    The tale which many had never questioned started to unravel when I met the family of the accused rapists. Salma was their little sister.

    Instead of the influential, well-connected and land- owning family they had been portrayed as, they floundered in some of the worst poverty I’d seen.

    Mukhtar Mai’s family actually had some of the best connections in Mirwala village. They had the backing of the wealthiest, largest and oldest tribe in the tehsil (sub-district): the Jatois. They were also backed by the most powerful figure in the district: the preacher of the biggest mosque in Mirwala, Maulvi Abdul Razzaq. His tribe: Jatoi.

    Inconsistencies in both sides’ recollections were plenty, but that would happen among any group of people — be they educated Westerners or illiterate villagers — asked to recollect an event three years back.

    I sought out the preacher. He had a murky past. He belonged to Pakistan’s most murderous gang of Sunni Islamic extremists, the Sipah (Army of the Companions of the Prophet) — outlawed in 2001 for its links to the murders of rival Shias.

    One person emerges pivotal in bringing to light the gang-rape of Mukhtar Mai: the softbearded mullah of Mirwala’s biggest mosque.

    The Mastoi family harbours their fiercest venom for Maulvi Abdul Razzaq. Without the cleric’s June 28, 2002 sermon, and without the cleric by Mukhtar’s side, police may never have registered charges of gang

    The cleric was the first to go public with the allegations of gang-rape in a fiery Friday sermon on June 28, the first Muslim Sabbath after the Mastoi-Gujjar feud.

    Over the following two days, the mullah drafted a statement to police in the name of Mukhtar Mai. He was one of the people who persuaded Mukhtar Mai’s father to file gang-rape charges.

    ‘I registered the case,’ he admitted in an interview in 2006.

    ‘I drafted the statement of Mukhtar Mai on her behalf.

    One of the police officers who handled the case said that police later summoned the mullah to persuade Mukhtar Mai’s reluctant father to file charges.

    ‘Maulvi Abdul Razzaq was called by police to convince the father of Mukhtar Mai to register a case, because the father was not prepared to go ahead with charges,’ said the police officer, who has asked not to be identified.

    The mullah’s motivations for publicising rape claims and then ensuring charges were filed with police became a major source of contention in the trial that convicted six men in August 2002, and in the High Court appeal hearing two and a half years later that acquitted five of them.

    In the days following the June 22 Mastoi-Gujjar feud, as anger quietly subsumed Mukhtar’s suicidal state, the men of her family tried to douse any will to fight.

    ‘My brother Hazoor Bakhsh said: ‘If you go to the police, I will kill myself,’’ Mukhtar recalled.

    The Mastoi braderi will kill us, her father and uncles counseled, if you make this public.

    Only Mukhtar’s mother was on her side.

    For six days after the assault Mukhtar stayed in her room, the discomfort of the suffocating 40-plus heat drowned out by her own agony.

    For those six days, Maulvi Abdul Razzaq says he tended to his followers, teaching the Qur’an to his students in the Farooqia madrassa (religious school), nine kilometres away in the bustling centre of Mirwala, on the other side of the humid cropfields. He insists that no-one told him for six days that the gathering he had walked away from on the night of June 22 had ended with the alleged eye-for-an-eye gang-rape of the Gujjar woman — despite his key role in trying to broker a compromise between the tribes.

    The Maulvi’s brother Haji Altaf Hussain testified in the court that he witnessed Mukhtar being dragged into the Mastoi home by four men. He told the court that he heard her frenzied begging to be saved from dishonour. He said under oath that he saw her emerge an hour later in torn clothes.

    The brothers Haji Altaf and Maulvi Abdul Razzaq lived in the same house. But Razzaq insists that his rother never told him of the brutal outcome of the feud he himself had tried, and apparently failed, to resolve.

    ‘It is further contended that if such a heinous offence had been committed, Altaf would have narrated it to his brother, who was an arbitrator on behalf of the complainant party and had left the panchayat/meeting as the accused party had not acceded to his proposal of exchange marriages between the parties,’ the judges of the Lahore High Court noted at an appeal hearing in March 2005. Haji Altaf has never explained why he apparently kept from his brother what he allegedly saw on June 22. I met the mullah of Mirwala’s biggest mosque in August 2005.

    He entered an antechamber of the Farooqia mosque compound, facing a swollen canal, flocked by young followers with kohl under their eyes — students of the madrassa. Through the open door one could see water buffalo wading slowly through the canal, their large docile eyes skimming the muddy water’s edge. Bicycles glide along the banks.

    The mullah spoke softly. His sombre eyes were large and gentle. His beard was long and ashen. He sat crosson the floor, leant feebly against the wall. His student followers huddled around him, eager to be near.

    His expression was deadpan as he recalled the night of the gathering to resolve the feud over Shakoor’s alleged rape of the Mastoi girl Salma.

    ‘I went to the Mastoi home after Hazoor Bakhsh came to me and complained that Mastois had kidnapped

    Shakoor. When I got there the Mastois said to me: ‘Shakoor raped our daughter and should be punished’. They asked me: ‘What is your decision?’

    ‘I replied: ‘If this is true, Shakoor must marry your daughter. This is the Muslim way.’ It was around evening prayer time. When I proposed marriage between Shakoor and Salma, the Mastois refused… They said: ‘He has done this to our sister, we must do the same to his sister.’

    ‘They refused my proposal to marry them, so I left. As I left, the Mastois said: ‘We will consider further.’

    The mullah says the gathering was a panchayat, an informal village council, attended by 200 to 250 men. He says the panchayat dispersed after he left.

    ‘When I left, the panchayat dissolved and everyone went home,’ he told me.

    ‘Then the Mastois summonsed Mukhtar and her uncle. Mukhtar’s uncle brought her to the Mastois’ house. When she got there they raped her. I was not present.’

    I asked him when he was told of the assault.

    ‘I heard of it after one week,’ the Maulvi replied.

    According to Razzaq, no had rushed any earlier to tell him that his efforts to strike a compromise were shattered and that a Gujjar woman was violated to avenge her brother’s violation of a Mastoi woman. The Maulvi was the man Mukhtar’s family had first turned to when Shakoor was locked up for violating Salma Mastoi. Yet according to the Maulvi, none of Mukhtar’s family or her supporters sought the mullah’s counsel after Mukhtar was attacked.

    According to Razzaq, an informer came to him on the first Friday following the feud and told him that the feud resulted in an eye-for-an-eye rape. Razzaq says the informer was himself a Mastoi. However he refuses to give the man’s identity.

    ‘A Mastoi man came to me and said: ‘Bad things have happened.’ It was Friday, before prayers. I replied: ‘I shall tell the people in the mosque of this at Friday prayers.’

    The book explores tribal traditions and lifestyles in Pakistan and tries to reconstruct both sides of the story to unearth the truth behind the alleged gang-rape of a Pakistani village woman.

    Bronwyn Curran is a Pakistan-based journalist and one of the first to report the gang-rape of Mukhtar Mai.

    Excerpted with permission from

    Into the Mirror

    By Bronwyn Curran

    Gosha-e-Adab, Quetta

    503pp. Rs650

    Bronwyn Curran is a Pakistan-based journalist and one of the first to report the gang-rape of Mukhtar Mai."

  34. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar

    thanks @ reading lord.

    very informative.

  35. KarimG Avatar

    Things like this is a reminder to me to get FULLY informed before opening my mouth or in this case applying my fingers on the keyboard!

  36. dr.jawwadkhan Avatar


    sounds like you have some thing important to share?

    would you please share with us?

  37. KarimG Avatar

    Oh no, not really, its just that reading the above post, if true, gives this story a completely new twist that makes one wonder how much of what we hear is the pure truth. I hate dogmas and I hate political correctness. If what is stated above is true, then this saga has more victims than Mukhtar M.

  38. readinglord Avatar


    Oh dear there is nothing moral about this affair. The tribal vendetta can cross any limits. There was a news report sometimes ago that some young men killed their real mother to implicate their enemies in a village near Rawalpindi. Is it in any way worse than what is going on in the Pakiland today at the highest level in the name of Islam, justice and politics?

    The time will tell that Mukhtar Mai's scandle was no doubt the Media-NGO-Mullah fraud of the century.

  39. the believer Avatar
    the believer

    I can't believe that some people actually doubt the story of Mukhtar Mai's rape based on one article by readinglord.

    Not many rapists actually openly admit to raping others.

    Not many rapists' mothers or families will admit to such crimes.

    They will support their offspring.

    That is called good old fashioned denial. Covering up ones track.

    Any woman who claims to have been raped in Pakistan should be taken seriously. The record on womens rights is not exactly up to standard.

    There is no gain for women to cry rape. In fact the social stigma, the shame, the blame-the-victim-, the honour as manifested in the purity of a female does not exactly invite women to step forward. There is much to lose and not much to gain.

    And for those who may not be aware, the courts of Pakistan are not exactly a place where we would like our daughters, sisters, mothers, wives or any woman to go.

    So to base ones prejudice on a case, assuming from day one, that this woman, is lying based on the denial of a poor rapists family is not really very credible. The doctors report did establish that Mukhtar's brother, Shaqoor aged 12-14 was in fact raped/sodomized by 3 men of Salma's clan and one was her brother. To cover up this crime they claimed Salma was raped by Shaqoor. A woman more than twice his age. That is credible? Seriously?

    The reports and accounts to support Mukhtar by far outweight the denial of this ruthlessly vile an heinous rapists family and clan. Of course they will cover up. That is what rapists and any criminal will do. especially when they count with the lenience which rape is treated in Pakistan both under Hudood Ordinance but generally speaking to the corruption which has penetrated and infested the government, politicians, police, courts and the system. They just did not anticipate that Mukhtar would actually be heard. And she only got heard because it was shortly after 9/11 and the terror law had set and with foreign press present the story was difficult to cover up.

    For a woman to stand up and demand justice after being raped, you should be saluting her and embraching her rather than doubt and reject her.

    I recommend that you read her book as well as follow the writings of Nicolas Kristof for New York Times. He neither hates Pakistan or Pakistanis. But he does highlight the flight of human beings.

    Poverty is not blue stamp for innocence. Rapists are not all rich nor literate. On the contrary. They can turn up in any shame and form. In Pakistan's major cities girls and women are kidnapped by rapists, in their mercy sometimes for days, weeks and even months. When they are done with them, they casually drop them off somewhere public and that is that. They proceed with their human lootings, while the girls get scarred for life.

    My heart broke when I saw the father of one such girl stand outside the court or parlement demanding justice. He was crying and our government awarded his just demand by forcibly removing him. Sweep under carpet once again accomplished.

    His daughter had been abducted while standing outside her college waiting for the bus or van. She was at the mercy of her rapists a gang of several men, who raped her day and night for about 1 month.

    So before you take one account in the face of multiple others and think you now have all th facts, then remember that a Pakistani female has nothing to gain from accusing anybody of rape because she lives in a society where such things are better left unsaid and forgotten. You don't "flaunt your dirty laundry".

    There are no rape crisis centres as such, no rape hotline, no special forces. Women like Dr Shazia Khalid, Mukhtar Mai are a pride. They stood up, spoke and lost considering the lack of impact when judging from above comments but rape laws in Pakistan in general today.

    If a woman gets raped, what do you want her to do? Shut up and keep this a secret?

    Because clearly when she goes out and accuses somebody, files a report/FIR this will bring attention to her and her phlight, and somehow attention is seen by many as negative as if one is looking to become a star. Conspiracy theories are all over; israeli agents are behind it, she was paid, she is propogating against Pakistan, calling everthing from liar to whore. Kindly treat rape as it is: a gross offence and rapists as the vile animals they are. They deserve to be castrated.

    If this was your sister, daughter or wife, would you also then believe her rapist over her when puts forward a kid with a damaged arm? Would you also question her motives? Would you ask her if this is a quick way to fame? Would you ask her to prove herself? Would you ask her to remember, if not what she really means is that she entered into a quickie marriage with a man whom you have never heard of instead of being raped? Would you look into her background looking for US/Israeli/Western affiliations that might suggest her being an anti patriot and playing for the other teams?

    I hope not.

    There are many Mukhtar Mais then you know. The news papers daily report cases, those that are filed, that is.

    The unreported cases are estimated to be much higher.