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Ms AUGUST 26, 2012


Traditional Trousseau meets modern glamour Mishal Peshimam’s formal wear


not worse than death Surviving the trauma of rape


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inside what she said -

a letter to the other woman

domestic goddess -

parcels of happiness

HM Naqvi




the buzz

by Mariya Karimjee & Filza Naveed



Not worse Rape is euphemistically called ‘a fate worse than death’ but those who’ve suffered this horrific trauma need a way to move forward with their lives. When the worst happens, know what recourse you have.

than Death Last year, Pakistani television viewers watched Geo TV’s drama Mora Piya in horror as the heroine, a new bride, was raped by a goon soon after her wedding. Ujala and her husband decide to keep quiet about the incident, but Ujala’s misery is heart-wrenching — she jumps with fright when her husband hands her clothes, screams after waking from a nightmare, and sobs after seeing her father. The rape becomes a central point in the drama’s plot, and viewers watch Ujala as she attempts to move forward with her life, a slow, fraught process. Despite the taboo, it’s no secret that acts of sexual violence take place every day. The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan estimates a rape occurs every two hours and a gang rape every eight hours. According to an Aurat Foundation report, there were 4,069 incidents of violence against women in Pakistan in 2010, a number that seems to be increasing. War Against Rape reported that there has been an eight per cent increase in the number of registered cases of sexual violence in the last year. Though Ujala and her husband decided to keep the rape a secret, victims do have other options. Here’s what you should know if someone you know has been a victim of sexual violence.



Get her to a safe place It’s important to get the victim away from the perpetrator, to a safe place.

Get her medical attention It’s imperative that victims of sexual assault get medical attention as soon as possible, says Rukhsana Siddiqi, head of War Against Rape’s Survivor Support department. If she thinks that she wants to press charges, make sure you get her to a medico-legal officer who can also collect forensic evidence, a crucial factor if she decides to contact local authorities. You don’t have to make her go see a medico-legal officer right away. Medical professionals can check for possible injuries, as well as for sexually-transmitted diseases, and give her the information necessary to prevent pregnancy. Encourage her to see a doctor she feels comfortable with. If she’s most comfortable calling her khala, who’s a doctor, do that instead.

Help her decide whether she wants to report the crime In order to report an instance of rape in Pakistan, the victim has to file a First Information Report (FIR) at a police station. Filing an FIR is a complicated process — and needs to be done correctly in order for police and lawyers to prosecute the case. Remind your friend that she can use the resources of non-profits and NGOs like WAR to place pressure on police to follow-up on the crime. You can also reach out to your local CPLC office for help and advice. A rape victim needs to be examined by a medico-legal officer immediately after the assault. The medico-legal officer will collect physical evidence of the sexual assault and question her on the details. Going to a medico-legal officer at this stage may be difficult for the rape victim but collecting this forensic evidence is necessary since she may want to report the crime later on. Remember, reporting the crime without having collected the forensic evidence would not only be pointless, it might actually land the rape victim in trouble as her complaint may be construed as an admission of fornication. Once the evidence has been collected, the victim of sexual assault has the option of reporting the crime, or not, as she sees fit. By seeing a medico-legal officer she keeps her options open. Here’s what WAR recommends: Take the clothes that she was wearing. Make sure she avoids bathing, urinating, or doing anything that could jeopardise evidence against the perpetrator. Unfortunately, not every government hospital has medico-legal officers who can examine rape victims—MLOs are transferred to other hospitals in the province based on need. Check to see which hospitals in your city or area are actively processing rape cases at the time. In Karachi, WAR can assist you with this process. Private hospitals usually do not have medico-legal officers, and are rarely able to use their examinations as evidence in prosecutions.Remind her that she doesn’t have to file an FIR immediately after being examined by a medical professional. If the evidence has been collected, it can be used later to catch the perpetrator. Other things to keep in mind: Have the police officer read the FIR out loud to you, so that you can make sure that all of the facts have been recorded correctly. Take a brother or father with you to the police station to make sure that the FIR is lodged in the proper place. It’s not necessary for the person who has been raped to file the FIR, as long as the person filing the report can relay all of the details. Here’s the most important thing to remember: If the victim wishes to press charges, make sure that she requests a copy of the FIR report, and checks to see that it’s filed under Zina-bil-Jabr, and not under Zina. The latter means that she could be charged with adultery instead of rape. However, according to WAR, often women do not report rape to authorities — let your friend know that choosing not to prosecute the crime is okay as well. “The criminal justice system and the police in our society are not trained or sensitised towards the problem and prevalence of rape in Pakistan,” explains Siddiqi. Women do not want to share their personal trauma and intricate details with men and the paucity of women police stations adds to their hesitation in reporting the crime. Even when women do press charges, the reality is that even after fighting for years, most do not get justice, says Aasia Munir, the in-house lawyer for WAR.

Let her know that what happened is not her fault Often, victims feel as though they are the ones responsible for rape and sexual assault, especially in Pakistan, where women are blamed for bringing it upon themselves. Regardless of what your friend was wearing or doing, it’s important for you to remind her that she is not responsible.

Encourage her to seek help, but recognise that healing takes time Being the victim of a violent crime can cause immense physical, psychological and emotional upheavals and it is important for you to remind your friend that she is not alone. Make sure that you’re available to listen to your friend whenever she needs. Be patient; rape and sexual violence are crimes that render their victims powerless, and it is important not to add to their feelings of helplessness by pressuring her to do something she’s not ready to yet. Keep in mind that it’s not just the victim that needs counselling. According to WAR, counselling is vital for the family as well. “These families suffer from persecution and are ostracised by neighbours,” Siddiqi explained. “They also need to rehabilitate themselves back in society and they need to understand the plight of the victim in order to give her support.” However, there is still stigma attached to seeking psychiatric help. “Fortunately, people are becoming more aware of the significance of such therapy which helps rape victims immensely, and there are many who get jobs and start leading relatively normal lives,” said Siddiqi. “It is important that you talk about the horrifying experience instead of bottling it up — even if it means just talking to a close friend or family member.” If she’s unable to see a psychologist about her trauma, point her in the direction of NGOs like WAR, who make counselling available for rape survivors, or toward online support groups who will respect her anonymity.

Where to turn to for help War Against Rape:

Provides legal assistance to victims of rape, gang-rape, attempted rape, incest and male rape. Tel: +92 21 35373008

The Panah Shelter home:

Gives aid and shelter to women as well as medical and psychiatric counselling and therapy. Tel: +92 21 36360025, 36360028

Aurat Foundation:

Connects women to lawyers, shelters, and offers legal aid and sensitisation training. Karachi: +92 21 35824694 Lahore: +92 42 35959027-9 Islamabad: +92 51 2608956-8

APWA Legal Aid Call Centre:

Provides a helpline that helps you find advocates who fight against violence against women. Tel: +92 21 32225854

Madadgaar helpline:

Serves as the first point of contact for victims of violence, abuse and exploitation through guidance and referrals. Tel: +92 21 111911-922



en vogue


Traditional trousseau meets modern glamour Designer Mishal Peshimam weaves the best of both worlds together in her formal wear line.

Styling and coordination: Ehtesham Ansari Label: MP by Mishal Peshimam Hair and makeup: Rana Khan Photography: Ayaz Khan Model: Marvi





what she said

The end of a relationship can be hard, but the heartbreak is compounded when your partner has been unfaithful. Here, the woman betrayed confesses her thoughts to the woman who stole her man.


To the other woman

I Googled you up again today and sat staring at your Facebook picture for hours. I spent torturous minutes comparing every one of my features, body parts and personality traits to yours. I won some battles; I lost the others. I sent your picture to my friends to find out if they could see what he had seen in you. They all told me you were “ugly” and for a few minutes that eased my insecurity and still-broken heart. But none of the battles I win compare to the one you won two years ago. A battle you launched against me without my even knowing. A secret war you started despite knowing me — and knowing me well. I keep wondering whether you Google me too? But you’re too smitten to care about the mess you left behind. I can’t help but imagine you and him laughing together about how easy it had been to play me for a fool. I was one-dimensional to you, a figure who he told you was supposedly “neurotic”, and all you were doing was helping him stop wasting his life with me. Sometimes I want to hear a rumour about the end of your relationship with him. I wish for another woman to do to you what you did to me, just so you can feel the bitterness I did for two years. And then I realise, that would be the best thing that happens to you. Then you would be free of him — like I am today. Free to pursue goals, meet friends and have a semblance of a life. Something he made me give up on completely. So the real revenge would be to see you married to him forever. To be caught in his trap forever. To see you wilt away like I had wilted. To have nothing but a toxic love that takes and takes but never gives. To love a man who betrays so easily and wickedly. From, The woman you betrayed P.S: One day, I will try to forgive you — that day isn’t today.

I keep wondering whether you Google me too?

domestic goddess 7


recipe Pomegranate, cottage cheese & green chilli samosas Sumayya Jamil is a lawyer-turned-food writer and cookery teacher in London, who is on a mission to promote the love of Pakistani food in the UK. She blogs at

These healthy samosas are a far cry from the deep fried little parcels of flavour we bought back in our schooldays from the road-side vendor. I have brushed these canape samosas with butter and baked them. There is a fusion of Iranian and Pakistani flavours — the tart sweetness of fresh pomegranate, the simplicity of cottage cheese and the distinctive depth of saffron. Great served at parties or savoured with your afternoon chai, these are busting with flavour, even without any dip or sauce!

method 1. Heat oven to 200o C. 2. Prepare the mixture by combining all the filling ingredients in a bowl. 3. Melt the butter. Place a sheet of samosa pastry and using a basting brush, brush the pastry with a small amount of melted butter on both sides. Place 1 tsp of the filling on one side of the pastry and fold to the opposite to make a triangle. Continue by folding to opposite sides until the end. Seal end to close the samosas. Place on a baking try covered with a baking paper sheet. Repeat with all samosas. 4. Sprinkle poppy seeds and salt on top of samosas and bake for 10-12 minutes until light brown. If you wish to deep dry you can sprinkle the topping after frying. 5. Enjoy hot! Preparation time: 20 minutes Cooking time: 15 minutes Total time: 35 Makes about 12 samosas

ingredients Soft cottage cheese, salted 1 cup Pomegranate 1/2 cup Green chillis, chopped 2-4 Dry roasted whole cumin seeds 1 tsp Chopped coriander 1 tbsp Saffron pinch Sea salt flakes Samosa pastry leaves cut

into half, 12

Black poppy seeds 1 tbsp Butter, softened 1 tbsp Oil 1/4 cup


hottie of the week 8 Status Married to Aliya Iqbal-Naqvi Born London Birthday 1974

Who is he

Author of Home Boy, H.M. Naqvi is as flamboyant in his writing as in his personal style. Born on the day Zaheer Abbas scored a double century against England at the Oval, Naqvi’s been writing since he was 5-years-old. After he graduated from Georgetown University in 1996, he pretty much subsisted on a two-dollar budget and began writing short stories. Soon after, he was running the only slam poetry venue in Washington DC, the Fifteen Minutes Club. And with his talent, it didn’t take long for his poems to be broadcasted on NPR and BBC. When Home Boy came out in 2009, it was an instant literary success, winning the first DSC Prize for South Asian Literature at the Jaipur Literature Festival in 2011.





Why we love him With shirt unbuttoned to navel and head closely shaved, Naqvi exudes flamboyance and daring, and one might be led to believe he has an exhibitionist streak. On the contrary, this writer is so private that even finding what his initials stand for is a challenge! Ladies, you can scour the internet all you like but you’ll find little on his personal life. Because for Naqvi, it’s all about penning beautiful stories and creating intriguing characters. A strictly nocturnal creature, Naqvi works away at his art all night, rather than waiting for inspiration to strike. “Inspiration is whimsical,” he says. “But inspiration doesn’t get books written. You have to sit down every day and work like a carpenter.”



What you didn’t know about him Besides writing, he enjoys playing table tennis and cooking. He finds solace in “slicing onions so fine that they melt in the oil.” If Naqvi wasn’t a writer, he would be a doctor. “There are enough writers in the world. There aren’t enough doctors,” he says. The “H.M.” in his name stands for Hussain Murtaza. His ideal woman is “attractive, sharp as a knife, and endowed with a sense of humour.” We can safely assume Aliya is all three.

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The Express Tribune hi five - September 9  

The Express Tribune hi five for September 09th 2012