Rape at gunpoint in Islamabad’s Margalla Hills shakes social media

Rape at gunpoint in Islamabad’s Margalla Hills shakes social media

People are asking what the government is actually doing about the safety of women in Pakistan.
15 Jul, 2023

A rape reported on a hiking trail in Islamabad’s Margalla Hills has sent shockwaves through the country and social media, with people calling — once again — for safety for women.

An FIR was filed on Friday after a woman reported being raped on one of the hiking trails. According to the FIR, the victim is a resident of Muridke and was lured to the city with the promise of a job.

She told police that the suspect also asked her to come to Rawalpindi and she reached there on July 12. The suspect picked her up from a bus stop in Rawalpindi and took her to Margalla Hills’ Trail 3 — an old hiking track that starts from Margalla Road in F-6 and leads to Viewpoint — on July 13 on a motorcycle. “He then took me to the jungle and raped me at gunpoint around 3pm,” she said.

Just a few months ago, Islamabad was shaken by reports of a woman being raped at gunpoint in the F-9 park. Before that there was another case and before that another. People are sick and tired of hearing of acts of violence against women and want something to be done.

The news that this is the second case in 12 days is even more disheartening.

Even “safe cities” aren’t safe for women anymore.

People rightly pointed out that we need to address sexual violence and ensure safety.

Hearing of yet another act of violence against a woman makes us sick to our stomachs. The problem is that safety of women just isn’t prioritised. This isn’t an issue that can be solved with the snap of your fingers — it’s one that requires willpower, dedication and an understanding that women deserve to feel safe in their own country.

How long can women be expected to stay hidden inside their homes in fear of what lurks outside? Pakistan belongs to everyone and everyone should feel safe enough to be outside — whether in a park or on a hiking trail or while looking for a job.