Pakistani citizens and public figures are once again taking to their social media handles to condemn the rampant violence against women in the country as another gruesome murder of an Abu Dhabi resident takes place. Sara Inam, daughter-in-law of senior journalist Ayaz Amir and wife of Shahnawaz Amir, was murdered in Islamabad’s Chak Shehzad suburb, the police had informed.
The 37-year-old was living at a farmhouse in the area where she was found dead on Friday morning. Sara was reportedly murdered with a dumbbell and her husband is the prime suspect in the case.
News of her brutal murder has left celebrities and Twitter dumbfounded, with many expressing their grief and anger on the micro-blogging site. #JusticeForSarah has been trending on the platform as Sara’s friends and colleagues demand justice for the Pakistani-Canadian national. Shahnawaz is currently in police custody and as per officials, it was revealed on Sunday that he tried “tampering with the evidence.”
Now, many are comparing Sara’s case to that of Qandeel Baloch and Noor Mukadam’s, asking why it must always take a dead woman to become a top social media trend – which is eventually forgotten – for society to realize women in abusive marriages, households and relationships need a way out, instead of being shamed for attempting to escape death.
“Another woman brutally murdered. Another hashtag asking for justice,” tweeted Usman Mukhtar. “How long till women feel safe to leave violent situations and marriages? How long till they receive support before they’re killed? How long till we stop asking what she must have done to cause this? #JusticeForSarah,” he asked.
TV host and actor Ahsan Khan opined on his Instagram Story, “If only Zahir Jaffer was hanged and punished, perhaps, we wouldn’t have another Zahir Jaffer on the lose.” In February, Jaffer was handed down the death penalty for the murder of Noor Mukadam, however, the sentence is yet to be carried out.
“Horrified” and “disturbed,” actor Mawra Hocane pleaded for God’s mercy in a tweet about Sara. She then lamented, “Noor Mukadam’s murderer still lives. Motorway rape case is still unresolved. Khadija’s stabber is roaming freely. After what Usman Mirza, Danish Sheikh and ZahirJaffer did, why are we still surprised at Shahnawaz Amir’s case? My country is a playground for murderers, rapists, harassers!”
Lawyer and activist chimed in, “’Men are afraid that women will laugh at them. Women are afraid that men will kill them.’ This quote goes to the heart of the inherent inequality and injustice of our patriarchal society.”
Host Shaista Lodhi added, “Our society has chronic problems that go unaddressed, and aren’t even adequately discussed because of hypocritically brushing them under the carpet. Violence against women and children, gender-based violence, sexual abuse of women and children are gruesome realities.”
Soul Sisters Pakistan founder and show host Kanwal Ahmed suggested, “From ‘ghar basana hai toh bardasht toh karna paray ga,’ to ‘Aray toh uss ko dekh ke shadi karni chahiye thi,’ the complete burden and blame of sustaining an abusive marriage, even if it costs her, her life, always lies on women in our society.”
From: “ghar basana hai toh bardasht toh karna paray ga.”
To: “Aray toh uss ko dekh ke shadi karni chahiye thi.”
The complete burden (and blame) of sustaining an abusive marriage, even if it costs her – her life, ALWAYS lies on the woman in our society.#JusticeForSarah
— Kanwal Ahmed (@kanwalful) September 25, 2022
Social media personality Momin Saqib also acknowledged and highlighted the bitter truth about our society. “From Noor to Sarah and all the unreported victims of heinous crimes across the country, this is a bitter reflection of core realities, which proves the alarming need of strict legislation against perpetrators! #JusticeForSarah, may there never be another hashtag for any human!”
Earlier, actor Mahira Khan had tweeted, “How long before we get any sort of justice for any woman who has been killed at the hands of rage and privilege. Another hashtag. Another long wait for justice. Justice delayed is justice denied.” Mahira Khan tweeted. While PR mogul Frieha Altaf had called Pakistan “No country for women!”
“Another daughter-in-law, another Noor. The cases that are high profile make it to Twitter trends. The 12-year-old raped/hung just gets a column on page 5 and yet the horror of domestic abuse, misogynistic behaviour and harassment doesn’t stop.”
Usman Mukhtar’s wife Zunaira Inam Khan commented on the same. “Another day, another woman lost to senseless violence. Such a terrible shame. When will be able to stop having to change the name at the end of the “justice for…” hashtag? Also, please stop sharing the pictures of the murder victim. Let her have dignity in death.”
Another day, another woman lost to senseless violence. Such a terrible shame. When will be able to stop having to change the name at the end of the “justice for…” hashtag??
Also, please stop sharing the pictures of the murder victim. Let her have dignity in death.
— Zunaira Inam Khan (@ZunairaInam) September 23, 2022
Twitter users, too, condemned Sara’s brutal murder. “My sister is 35 and this morning in a moment of vulnerability she said sorry to my mom for not being married and the stress that has caused – my mom said ‘I thanked God yesterday that neither of you were married, because how can I make sure you’ll be safe,’” shared a user in an elaborate thread.
My sister is 35 and this morning in a moment of vulnerability she said sorry to my mom for not being married and the stress that has caused – my mom said “I thanked God yesterday that neither of you were married, because how can I make sure you’ll be safe.”
— Sabah Bano Malik (@sabahbanomalik) September 25, 2022
Another asked, “When will this stop? How will women protect themselves? Who is looking out for them? Everyday there is a new hashtag. And people forget. We need to stand up for ourselves. All these innocent women have been tortured, butchered, beaten and abused. It disgusts me.”
Shahnawaz Amir was arrested after fleeing from the crime scene. The police had informed earlier that an FIR will be registered against him after an investigation has been conducted.
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