In May, a lower court in the Buner district of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa province sentenced 25-year-old Dawlat Khan to life imprisonment for raping a deaf woman. He was freed from jail on Monday after the Peshawar High Court accepted an out-of-court deal agreed upon with the rape survivor’s family.
According to Amjad Ali, Khan’s attorney, the accused and the victim are from the same extended family. Both families have reconciled after reaching an agreement with the assistance of the local jirga (traditional council of elderly men). Dawlat Khan was apprehended after the unmarried victim gave birth to a child earlier this year. He was identified as the child’s biological father via a paternity test.
Rights activists were furious with the outcome. According to them, this will legalize sexual assault against women in the nation. It can also result in a rise in rape incidents.
Rape is notoriously difficult to prosecute in Pakistan because women are viewed as second-class citizens. According to an HRCP report, more than 5200 women reported being raped in 2021. Activists claim that since the crime is frequently not reported due to fear, the figure may actually be far higher. In Pakistan, the problem is exacerbated by corrupt courts and law enforcement.
According to the Legal Aid Society, an NGO that helps the underprivileged with legal issues, approximately 60% of rape victims withdraw their claims owing to a lack of empowerment.
A Pakistani court released the murderer and brother of social media celebrity Qandeel Baloch from prison in February after three years behind bars. He murdered his sister, accusing her of bringing “dishonor” into the family. In Pakistan’s so-called “honor killings,” the accused is frequently a member of the family who believes they must endure disgrace due to the girl.