Skip to main content
The Globe and Mail
Support Quality Journalism
The Globe and Mail
First Access to Latest
Investment News
Collection of curated
e-books and guides
Inform your decisions via
Globe Investor Tools
Just$1.99
per week
for first 24 weeks

Enjoy unlimited digital access
Enjoy Unlimited Digital Access
Get full access to globeandmail.com
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
Just $1.99 per week for the first 24 weeks
var select={root:".js-sub-pencil",control:".js-sub-pencil-control",open:"o-sub-pencil--open",closed:"o-sub-pencil--closed"},dom={},allowExpand=!0;function pencilInit(o){var e=arguments.length>1&&void 0!==arguments[1]&&arguments[1];select.root=o,dom.root=document.querySelector(select.root),dom.root&&(dom.control=document.querySelector(select.control),dom.control.addEventListener("click",onToggleClicked),setPanelState(e),window.addEventListener("scroll",onWindowScroll),dom.root.removeAttribute("hidden"))}function isPanelOpen(){return dom.root.classList.contains(select.open)}function setPanelState(o){dom.root.classList[o?"add":"remove"](select.open),dom.root.classList[o?"remove":"add"](select.closed),dom.control.setAttribute("aria-expanded",o)}function onToggleClicked(){var l=!isPanelOpen();setPanelState(l)}function onWindowScroll(){window.requestAnimationFrame(function() {var l=isPanelOpen(),n=0===(document.body.scrollTop||document.documentElement.scrollTop);n||l||!allowExpand?n&&l&&(allowExpand=!0,setPanelState(!1)):(allowExpand=!1,setPanelState(!0))});}pencilInit(".js-sub-pencil",!1); // via darwin-bg var slideIndex = 0; carousel(); function carousel() { var i; var x = document.getElementsByClassName("subs_valueprop"); for (i = 0; i < x.length; i++) { x[i].style.display = "none"; } slideIndex++; if (slideIndex> x.length) { slideIndex = 1; } x[slideIndex - 1].style.display = "block"; setTimeout(carousel, 2500); }

Members of civil society groups take part in a rally to condemn the incident of rape on a deserted highway, in Karachi, Pakistan, on Sept. 12, 2020.

The Associated Press

Pakistani police said Monday they have arrested one of the two assailants suspected in the gang rape of a woman on a deserted highway after another person was wrongfully detained in the case the previous day.

The assault, which happened near the eastern city of Lahore last week, has shocked Pakistan, even though attacks on women are common in this deeply conservative Muslim country. The incident drew scores of protesters to the streets in several cities, including Islamabad and Karachi, denouncing attacks on women.

The woman in the case was raped by two armed men after her car broke down late at night on a highway in the province of Punjab, where Lahore is the capital. The police said she had locked her car doors when she ran out of fuel and dialed for help but the attackers broke a car window and dragged her outside where they raped her before her terrified children.

Story continues below advertisement

Last Thursday, police detained 15 people for questioning. On Sunday, a man was detained but later denied involvement in the high-profile crime, though he remains in police custody. The man, Waqarul Hassan, said he was wrongly named in the case because his mobile phone’s SIM card was being used by one of his friends, who later turned out to be one of the suspects.

Punjab’s chief minister, Uzman Buzdar, announced Monday’s arrest, identifying the suspect as Shafqat Ali, and pledging that his accomplice and the second of the two suspects, Abid Malhi, will also soon be arrested.

Ali was taken into custody during a police raid on his home village in Punjab. Buzdar said raids were underway to catch Malhi.

On Monday, Prime Minister Imran Khan in an interview with local TV station 99 NEWS condemned the gang rape, proposing public executions for convicted rapists and even going so far as to suggest surgical castration so that “they can do nothing.”

Khan said, without elaborating, that Malhi – the second suspect in last week’s assault who remains on the run – had also been involved in another gang rape in 2013. The prime minister said the country needed new legislation to permanently sterilize those linked to such crimes.

Human rights activists have also demanded the removal of the Lahore police chief, Umar Sheikh, who blames the victim for travelling alone with her children after midnight without checking whether her car had enough fuel. The police chief later apologized for his remarks, saying his comments were not aimed at blaming her for the incident.

Gang rape is rare in Pakistan, although sexual harassment and violence against women is frequently reported. Nearly 1,000 women are killed in Pakistan each year in so-called “honour killings” for allegedly violating conservative norms on love and marriage.

Story continues below advertisement

Our Morning Update and Evening Update newsletters are written by Globe editors, giving you a concise summary of the day’s most important headlines. Sign up today.

Follow related topics

Report an error
Due to technical reasons, we have temporarily removed commenting from our articles. We hope to have this fixed soon. Thank you for your patience. If you are looking to give feedback on our new site, please send it along to feedback@globeandmail.com. If you want to write a letter to the editor, please forward to letters@globeandmail.com.

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff. Non-subscribers can read and sort comments but will not be able to engage with them in any way. Click here to subscribe.

If you would like to write a letter to the editor, please forward it to letters@globeandmail.com. Readers can also interact with The Globe on Facebook and Twitter .

Welcome to The Globe and Mail’s comment community. This is a space where subscribers can engage with each other and Globe staff.

We aim to create a safe and valuable space for discussion and debate. That means:

  • Treat others as you wish to be treated
  • Criticize ideas, not people
  • Stay on topic
  • Avoid the use of toxic and offensive language
  • Flag bad behaviour

Comments that violate our community guidelines will be removed.

Read our community guidelines here

Discussion loading ...

To view this site properly, enable cookies in your browser. Read our privacy policy to learn more.
How to enable cookies