'Sexual terrorism, not harassment': Celebrities, politicians horrified at woman's assault near Minar-e-Pakistan

'Sexual terrorism, not harassment': Celebrities, politicians horrified at woman's assault near Minar-e-Pakistan

"We only speak of religion when it comes to women’s clothes and what about these perverts?" asks Sanam Jung.
Updated 18 Aug, 2021

Public figures, including politicians and celebrities, have renewed their calls for the protection of women in Pakistan following the horrifying assault of a woman by over 300 men in Lahore on Independence Day.

The female TikToker was assaulted by a massive crowd at the city's Greater Iqbal Park — the video of which started circulating on social media on Tuesday, leading to an outpouring of rage.

Lahore police registered a case against hundreds of unidentified persons for assaulting and stealing from the woman and her companions. The FIR was registered at the Lorry Adda police station against 400 unidentified assailants under sections 354 A (assault or use of criminal force against woman and stripping her of her clothes), 382 (theft after preparation made for causing death, hurt or restraint in order to commit the theft), 147 (rioting) and 149 (unlawful assembly) of the Pakistan Penal Code.

Azhar Mashwani, Punjab chief minister's focal person for digital media, on Wednesday said that non-bailable clauses have now been added to the FIR and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar has taken notice.

Meanwhile, PTI leader Zulfi Bukhari announced that Prime Minister Imran Khan personally spoke to the Punjab IG to arrest the men involved in the incident.

He also mentioned an incident where a statue of Ranjit Singh was damaged at the Lahore fort and called both of them "gross violations of laws and social norms". The government won’t spare a single person involved, he vowed.

The steps taken by the government, however, did little to calm members of the civil society, who highlighted not just the assault but also the need to protect the women of the country without any more delays.

Bilawal Bhutto Zardari

PPP Chairperson Bilawal Bhutto Zardari said the assault "speaks to a rot in our society". "The women of Pakistan feel insecure and it is all our responsibility to ensure safety and equal rights to all."

Shehbaz Sharif

Leader of the Opposition in the National Assembly and leader of the PML-N Shehbaz Sharif was "deeply disturbed" by the incident. "What is more worrying is the direction our society is headed in. The recent anti-women incidents are a reminder that malaise is deep-rooted."

Chaudhry Sarwar

Punjab Governor Chaudhry Sarwar said, "The incident of the violence against a woman in the Greater Iqbal Park is shameful and condemnable. Whoever is involved will not be able to escape justice. Women are the honour of our nation and they will be safeguarded, no matter what."

Aseefa Bhutto Zardari

Pakistan is not safe for women or children, wrote Aseefa Bhutto Zardari. "This is the disgusting shameful reality," she said, echoing the words of thousands of other people across Pakistan.

Jibran Nasir

Lawyer and activist Jibran Nasir pointed out that laws alone can't fix Pakistan's moral and social degeneration.

Mahira Khan

Actor Mahira Khan called for an example to be made of the 400 men who assaulted the woman.

Farhan Saeed

"Ashamed of being a man today," tweeted singer Farhan Saeed, "ashamed that the men of this country keep doing these horrible acts every other day and ashamed that the law does not hang these predators so that this doesn't happen again."

Senator Afnanullah Khan

PML-N Senator Afnanullah Khan called it a new low for Pakistani society.

MNA Aliya Hamza

PTI MNA Aliya Hamza asked how many more women have to be condemned to this fate and promised to personally look into the case.

Nabeel Qureshi

Filmmaker Nabeel Qureshi said this is the real face of our frustrated and desperate society. "How many more women will have to be harassed, abused or attacked before the government makes this issue a top priority?" he asked.

Fatima Bhutto

Author Fatima Bhutto said there shouldn't be any delay in the prosecution of the assaulters given that many filmed themselves and uploaded that footage online.

Mehreen Jabbar

Filmmaker Mehreen Jabbar said we must not insult animals by comparing the Minar-e-Pakistan assaulters and Zahir Jaffer to them. "They are the worst depraved form of humanity."

Adeel Husain

Actor Adeel Husain called the incident a continued sign of our failures.

Dino Ali

Musician Dino Ali said it is the responsibility of the state to arrest the perpetrators. "They cannot be allowed to get away with this."

Sanam Jung

Actor and TV show host Sanam Jung called it "extremely disappointing and scary at the same time that women are openly harassed in pubic".

"We only speak of religion when it comes to women’s clothes and what about these perverts? 400 people with a sick mindset! They all should be behind bars! Everyday a new story makes headlines. This won’t stop until they’re published," she wrote.

Aagha Ali

Actor Aagha Ali called it sexual terrorism, not harassment. "My heart goes out for that girl who went through this hideous experience and I want to tell her that we as a nation are sorry. We are extremely sorry behen [sister]," he wrote.

Mawra Hocane

"I want to hear what the 'not all men' brigade has to say this time!" challenged actor Mawra Hocane. "[I] hope this incident is dreadful enough to open your least this time there will be no judgement about the girl and how she could have avoided the situation!" she wrote.

Osman Khalid Butt

"Another moment we find ourselves collectively hanging our heads in shame," wrote actor Osman Khalid Butt on Twitter. He called for action, not just condemnation.

Shahveer Jafry

YouTuber Shahveer Jafry said he was ashamed, embarrassed and sorry.

Mansha Pasha

"This whole drama of why was she there and what was she wearing is getting really old and no one is buying it anymore," wrote actor Mansha Pasha.

"Just say that we don't want to do anything to protect women and we want to keep stripping you of dignity because we can."

Adnan Siddiqui

Actor Adnan Siddiqui said that since there is ample evidence, he hopes the culprits will be jailed. "Is this too much to ask for our women?" he asked.

Imran Abbas

Actor Imran Abbas apologised to Quaid-i-Azam and said he was "disgusted, petrified, ashamed and speechless".

As public ire grows, we hope that these celebrities and politicians use their power to make Pakistan a safer place for women. Tweeting is not enough. As members of our legislative assemblies and people who have the ability to influence public opinion, they have a responsibility to protect the people of Pakistan.

Condemnation is only the first step. We need concrete action to make sure that women in Pakistan are safe.


M. Saeed Aug 18, 2021 01:34pm
This is not a point scoring issue for all the stake holders. A sou motto action by the CJP is required to establish a special body like NAB, to address such issues on very urgent basis.
Dr. Salaria, Aamir Ahmad Aug 18, 2021 01:45pm
Too little, too late. Where were they or their party members and millions of supporters, fans, backers, admirers, financers and voters (as claimed by them), when this tragic, shocking, grisly, grave, gruesome, grim, gross and horrible incident was happening in the world famous Iqbal park, formerly known as "Minto Park" in Lahore, Islamic Republic of Pakistan?
Say no to political correctness Aug 18, 2021 02:29pm
Half of these shameful celebs and politicians welcomed the Taliban. For most of them, it's about getting likes, retweets and more followers; nothing more.
JBashir Aug 18, 2021 02:44pm
Shameful, disgusting. Reflective of the collective moral degeneration
Imran Sz Aug 18, 2021 02:45pm
If a woman commits Zina then stoning. When 400 men assault a women only media coverage, messages of support, FIR, arrests, court case then a couple of years jail for some….. and everybody goes home until the next time. These 400 men need to receive 100 lashes each in public on live TV. No one will dare doing something similar again.
kash Aug 18, 2021 02:45pm
obviously what these 400 people did is bad and they should be punished but the lday in twitter photo seems to have done well for herself going by the versace cushions etc
A. ALI Aug 18, 2021 02:47pm
Mawra... you're name pronounced like Maura, or mavra? Secondly, its brigade of few hardly known celebrities who are famous on tiktok rather than quality work like shagufta ejaz, shahbaz sheikh and marina khan or u belong to done lije harrem shah etc
Uddin Aug 18, 2021 02:49pm
Bhuttai your fathers corruption shames us Pakistanis everyday
Khaled Aug 18, 2021 02:55pm
Shame on Lahoris, none of them could come to the rescue of their sister.
Sane Mind1st Aug 18, 2021 02:58pm
Scared to read tomorrow's newspaper or watch news on TV, in the fear that yet an another like this incident happening in Pakistan will make news.
Khaled Aug 18, 2021 02:59pm
@M. Saeed. How would that address the damage already inflicted?
AHAQ Aug 18, 2021 03:01pm
It takes to hands to make a clap
Ga Aug 18, 2021 03:07pm
Bring back 10 lashes.
Dr. Asim Maqbool Aug 18, 2021 03:27pm
This nation is crazy. On the other side also why is so much craze about tick-toking - just waste of time and rubbish trend in society.
ST Aug 18, 2021 03:33pm
Women shouldn't go in crowded areas. Predators take advantage.
A. ALI Aug 18, 2021 03:34pm
@Say no to political correctness ... you are insane in bringing Taliban into equation. You must be scared Indian.
Najam Aug 18, 2021 03:46pm
What is the point of habing a govt in punjab if imran has to speak to the IG himself? This is mimicromanagement in the extreme. Is buzdar good for anything at all?
A. ALI Aug 18, 2021 03:59pm
@Khaled ... please dont start lahorite vs other cities. Am sure no Lahorite will approve of this heinous act.
Erum Aziz Aug 18, 2021 04:18pm
There are many poor women in our society making vulgar videos to earn money. Tiktok snatch videos etc are allowed in Pakistan. Go to the root cause and don't just hold the tree leafe. Money even women men are making horrible mistakes selling their respect, shame for just few bugs. My question to PM Imran Khan. Where are those 5 million jobs you promiss before you came into power? See today how women are selling their respect easily to earn few bugs. If no action take against 5 million jobs media will publish more such stories. So stay tune. Pakistanis will ruin soon the name of Pakistan for money.
Shahid Aug 18, 2021 04:19pm
Who actually is responsible for immorality, lack of ethics and inhuman behavior leading to all kinds of social evil in this land of the Pak ('pure')? Ever thought about it 'honestly' and 'out of your box'? Without genuine soul searching you will NEVER get anywhere. Have you even read Constitution of your Nation? What stops you applying those laws? Why cannot you stop those who stop you from applying those laws? What specific 'purpose' names on your list serve? Are they more important than the Constitution? Make up your mind b/c you cannot have it both ways.
hussain Aug 18, 2021 04:32pm
a certain sectipn of our society have no decency or morals, what has occured is repugnant to say the least, its not just a matter of just capturing those that carried out this despicable attack on this young lady, but making examples of them.
hussain Aug 18, 2021 04:36pm
@Imran Sz agree, for me as a conservative Muslim, I am sickened by this attack, we need to analyse and in reality our society has become corrupt where many know that they can getaway with such despicable behaviour, and it's because our police, judiciary and politicians are corrupt.
A. ALI Aug 18, 2021 05:10pm
Sanam Jang.... you said " we only speak of religion when it comes to women’s clothes and what about these perverts?" whatever you said is correct. Islamic laws and values should be for both genders. However, am wondering when gals are making and uploading luring videos for tiktok or other platforms, why dont you speak that certain video is not good or may bring anxiety in society?. Is it allowed in our customs? Or you want complete freedom where no taboos are applied?. If so, then remember part of French Revolution started with women harassment and now we see nude or half nude girl doesn't bother anyone in that society?. What's your choice, as most of celebrities are showing support for such freedom, directly or indirectly. Many female pundits will argue, whatever a woman want to do let her do. There are many around who support such theory. What's your intake?
A. ALI Aug 18, 2021 05:12pm
All have become philosophers and delicious pundits. No one dare ask judiciary to implement strict and speedy justice in such cases. All evidence for noor mukadam is with courts, why dont toy write this much to force judiciary and get him hanged asap. Why not?
Wasim Jaweed Aug 18, 2021 05:31pm
@M. Saeed are you serious, a suo moto notice by cjp.. dont we already have laws in the country to stop attacks
SKK Aug 18, 2021 05:43pm
And the world is worried about how he Taliban would treat women?
Hasan Aug 18, 2021 05:48pm
Why have the Policeman posted at Minar e Pakistan not been arrested for letting this horrific sexual assault happen and continue for 15-20 minutes? The excuse that NADRA office is closed for 4 days also makes no sense because what if this was a terrorist incident?!!
Cameo Aug 18, 2021 05:52pm
Improve criminal justice system and punish perpetrators. Unless that happens, all rhetoric is useless. Our society is replete with filth and poor justice system and institutions embolden the criminals to act with impunity.
Ali (CA) Aug 18, 2021 06:09pm
Speechless and heart broken. Beyond imagination and below animal level. Strict harassment laws need to be implemented without delay. Justice delayed, justice denied.
Usman Fayyaz Aug 18, 2021 06:18pm
Sahiwal highway murder, Sialkot mother raped in front of kids, Noor Mukadam or minar e Pakistan. Last 3 years there isn’t any bill pass for women protection. Pakistan needs laws
Tariq Aug 18, 2021 06:32pm
I hate to say, there should be swift taliban style punishment for such culprits. incident like these will keep on happening if culprits have no fear of law. There should also be an emergency number dedicated for women and children victimisation , where case should be registered online and passed on to area police station rather than victim attending police station convincing police for FIR.
Arif Tahir Aug 18, 2021 06:34pm
Women and civil society need to get together for a peaceful sit-in at Minar Pakistan for a a new Pakistan resolution to protect the rights of Women and minorities. The sit in should continue till the Government and Judiciary sentence the culprits and the sentence is executed. Who is with me ??
zarmina Aug 18, 2021 06:44pm
The best form of security for an Islamic woman. Chaadar aur chaar dewari. As women we can create miracles in society by raising good and moral children from our homes. Focus on their education, and their development. Filter their exposure to film and media and teach them the true meaning of Islam, our heros and our great women, Fatima( PBH)
korakagez Aug 18, 2021 06:49pm
@Say no to political correctness What Taliban has to do with this? There is no reason to drag them in here. Did they assaulted women when they take over Afghanistan?
S. Nasheed Ahmed Aug 18, 2021 06:51pm
Taliban should come to Lahore to fix this problem.
korakagez Aug 18, 2021 06:52pm
These are the results of when a society cross the boundaries of Islam.
S. Nasheed Ahmed Aug 18, 2021 06:54pm
Taliban should be installed in the Punjab to fix the law & order problem.
Nasir S. Aug 18, 2021 06:56pm
We need the Taliban to provide security to our women and laso to provide quick justice in cases like these. This would not happen on Afghanistan. Our police and rulers are also good for nothing as are the lahori mards who stood around and did not come to her rescue.
NACParis Aug 18, 2021 07:09pm
Shame, no comment from Maulana Fazal, the leader of PDM?
Khaled Aug 18, 2021 07:22pm
@A. ALI. So where were the Lahoris when this act was taking place?
Sana Shah Aug 18, 2021 07:48pm
@A. ALI The intake, my naive fellow citizen, is that women are molested within the boundaries of their homes, babies are molested and little girls and boys are raped. This has NOTHING, I repeat, NOTHING to do with how they dress or how lure or if they go out. This is ONLY to do with these vultures who will burn in hell!
Ali da Malanga Aug 18, 2021 08:49pm
Despicable, aberrant, horrible...There are no words to describe this incident. Unless law and order take its course, incidents like this will keep happening. Justice should be carried out swiftly and not after years when people have a hard time even remembering the background of the case.
Imran Aug 18, 2021 09:01pm
All those getting on the ban wagon from previous Governments created this society.
Truth Seeker Aug 18, 2021 09:21pm
@Imran Sz based on?
Ibrahim S Aug 18, 2021 10:38pm
It’s all talk to gain public sympathies Can we arrange another gathering of women with protection provided by public and police and show these cowards that they can not continue to intimate women
Faiza Aug 19, 2021 12:35am
@AHAQ and it takes ppl like you to do such horrifying crimes
Fastrack Aug 19, 2021 01:05am
Why is anyone surprised? Sharia law is the answer.
Ibrahim S Aug 19, 2021 04:47am
Damage had been done . PM IK succeeded in sending a clear message to women to behave
Kaavan Aug 19, 2021 06:09am
@AHAQ: Which was the other hand in this 400- man assault?
Kaavan Aug 19, 2021 06:11am
@ST predators have been identified.They should be isolated and not allowed in public places for some years! Jail!
Kaavan Aug 19, 2021 06:13am
@A. ALI: Leave Indians out ! They are not relevant here!
Kaavan Aug 19, 2021 06:15am
@ST : Women should arm themselves suitably and be prepared to trounce criminals! But...PLEASE---educate men!
Kaavan Aug 19, 2021 06:17am
@ST Why is it ALWAYS women's responsibility to bring about peace--by restraining themselves. Why not men's?
Kaavan Aug 19, 2021 06:21am
@hussain : Yeah! Women's fault, right?
Kaavan Aug 19, 2021 06:22am
Are fathers, brothers, and uncles responsible for teaching morals to BOYS?
Piri piri Aug 19, 2021 07:15am
NayaPakistan and independence!
A Aug 19, 2021 07:32am
These are madrasa educated people and IK says adopt madrasas? Why would anybody do that?
A Aug 19, 2021 09:28am
Punjabi are known to be indecent. But this has crossed all limits.
Fiaz Aug 19, 2021 09:30am
Despicable acts or behaviour can't be defended in any forms or shape at the same time you can't stereotype whole nation or mankind,because of a few retarded group of men,who will be caught and made example of in the mean time lesson should be learned that this kind of behaviour is not repeated.a true Muslim and pakistani treats women with love respect dignity that is their right.
Silent Observer Aug 19, 2021 11:48am
All these politicians and celebrities are only commenting for PR exercise. No one is suggesting a solution !!!
Sam Aug 19, 2021 02:10pm
Government should ban entry of bachelors in to public parks and recreational spots. Only families should be allowed entry.
Jamshed Hashwani Aug 21, 2021 12:27pm
If there is no public punishment they and others will become more bold and do worst.