- Gang-rape on motorway shocks Pakistan, victim assaulted in front of her children.
- Victim faces victim-blaming, questions about her character.
- Drama serial ‘Haadsa’ triggers victim’s trauma, reliving the painful events, causing distress and anguish
The news of a gang-rape on the motorway sent shockwaves across Pakistan. A woman who was travelling with her children was targeted and was assaulted in front of her children.
If that wasn’t enough, instead of helping her by bringing justice, she was victim-blamed and fingers were pointed on her character with questions like ‘why would a woman of good character be out of her home so late at night?’
If that wasn’t enough, a new drama serial ‘Haadsa’ has now started on television which is an exact tale of all the traumatic events that took place with her and her children.
No one can imagine the pain the victim and her family are going through. Imagine living a nightmare for months and months and not being able to move on because of how some people want to exploit your life for some money and ratings, this is what is happening with her.
This is happening even though the identity of the victim was strictly hidden so that the family can be given privacy.
Journalist Fereeha M Idrees shares how she received a call from the woman and the horrific narration of how Haadsa has made her life a living hell. She writes:
When the phone rang, I never expected this to be Z’s call. Z was the person whom I had spoken to a couple of years ago post her traumatic experience on motorway.
Those were tumultuous times when everyone’s attention was focused on Z, while she was grappling to keep her sanity intact, identity protected, relationships intact, seeing children dealing with post trauma etc.
Yes, as she herself says she was a SURVIVOR. I was a bit taken aback seeing her call, so much had happened since then but culprits were still not given punishment despite her appearances alone in compensate coverings. All the while as she fought her case looking for justice that she deserved, her main concern had been to move on, take culprits to gallows, and to keep her identity protected.
“How are you Z, I hope Allah has been kind with you”, I said as I answered the call. There was silence on the other side. “ I am sorry that I didn’t stay in touch but I wanted to give you privacy and time to move on “, I said as the silence prolonged, suddenly there were loud noises of moans and painful shrieks. “Oh my God! Z, my dear are you okay? Are the kids okay? What happened?”, I was totally taken aback by this flood of tears , never heard such painful wailing and sighs in my life. They were cold but like daggers on my heart. “Can…. Can… can someone make a ddddrama on my life”? Were her first words.
I had no idea that a drama serial by name of “Haadsa” had been shown on Geo TV every weekday at 7pm apparently based on motorway rape story. Z told me about it. “They have made a drama on my life as if I am nothing, no one asked me, it’s same, they are showing the same things, oh my God! Why didn’t I die before reliving this again? You know , I didn’t sleep after the incident for many many nights and it’s all back now, I haven’t slept a wink since I saw this terrible, horrendous depiction of the most terrible moments of my life which I so want to forget.
It’s unbearable, I start shivering every day at 5 pm because I know the drama is coming at 7 pm. Why are they doing this to me?”. I was gobsmacked as I realised the dramatisation which has star studded cast has totally triggered Z’s trauma. It was as if she was going through trauma all over again. How could drama producers be so insensitive? Slowly as she kept on talking, my anger seethed at what was being done to her. Do the drama makers even realise what have they done to the poor victim?
I had never seen her so openly talking about her traumatic experience before. “The moment the drama episode goes on air, all comments start talking about motorway incident. Can’t they let me forget about this? They have followed my life. Isn’t this harassment? How they traced things in my life when I was so clear of keeping everything so private? My in laws must be watching it, my brother in law, my mother, my neighbours, oh my God! No one even cared to ask me? I am not dead yet! Do they want me dead? Can’t I just forget about this and move on? The drama shows the lady in hospital like I was, does she even know what it was like?
How can you act about something so cruel and awful when you know this happened with someone in real life? Oh my God I died watching that. I was numb. I was given a bath alive after the incident. Like they bathe dead bodies, that’s how I was bathed. I am dead inside already, what do they want to kill now? I was on injectables for three days after trauma , I was told I could not have any more injections and I still could not sleep. Why would actors act in such terrible things, they slightly changed a few things but ensured my life is shown.
So heartless! I am so hurt. I am so upset. Why have they repeated a story that was to be buried? If they cared so much they could look into the matter of why the culprits have not been given their punishment. Instead of opting for TRPs?
My friend said to me perhaps it’s a coincidence how they could know of details which only we knew about but I am sure they researched”…
I must share with all of you that throughout this call, Z was in extreme anguish and pain. I started crying myself as I listened to her and at some points I felt so hopeless and shameful at how our quest for good viewership can make us so selfish and heartless. Z told me she asked a viewer randomly on one of the many pages who were comparing the drama with her life story if she thought they took permission from the victim.?
And she said the viewer was sure that the permission was not taken. “My question is when everyone knew I never wanted to come in the limelight, why was I thrown into it again and again? So many known people, celebrities, politicians etc wanted to come and meet me or talk to me post incident, but I always declined because I wanted my privacy and didn’t want anything else but the culprits punished. Is it all about making money? Does no one care what I am going through by this triggered trauma? What my kids and husband will be going through? Do they even know how I am spending my life? Everyday is a struggle.
I am being thick skinned and staying alive only for my children. They didn’t even care for my children. Do you know my kids have not forgotten..”, at this point she wailed loudly. I couldn’t stop my tears either. “Every time someone knocks at door loudly my kids look at me with concerned eyes because they know I will be scared”.
Z informed me one of the investigating senior officers in her case had died unfortunately and but she is in touch with the new police officer and everyone in the force calls her their sister and tell her how “brave” she is. “ But that bravery is just a show to keep going, for my kids, for getting justice but drama makers didn’t even wait for justice, and spiced things up for their own benefit.
First time I watched the drama was the driving scene and I was totally traumatised, at that point I didn’t event realise they were playing my story”, Z said that she had not achieved an award that it was to be glamorised and made a drama into. She had struggled with a painful incident and Reenactment of it so sensationally into her face was mocking her pain, she said the drama writers should know such incident are “painful” and making money at someone’s pain is ferocious. They are not to be acted upon . This will not bring any sanity to the society, only more unrest as the realisation is that it’s done only for TRPs.
Amidst sobs , she continued, “ everyone is praising Hadiqa for her great acting skills, if only she knew what is this in real life? People don’t let me live, don’t let me forget. They are now taunting the kids in drama? What is this? Why would someone do this? The drama makers want a tag on me for the rest of my life, that I am that motorway wali.”As Z moaned , I also wondered why senior actors opted to act in a storyline which clearly was going to be so controversial. Especially students of psychology should have had some sensitivity. “Can you pls get this drama stopped? Can Pak pls help me stop this? It’s like whole world is watching my misery and pain as I am reliving it. Pls tell them to make this once I am dead, I am alive right now or did they think I would have died? And pls not even after my death as I have children, they can make this after we have all died”. Z kept on explaining what a massive struggle her life had been since the trauma and how people hindered her healing. How she has finally started moving on until the drama.
“You know how they deal with victims in our country. Even if I dress up, it’s a crime, even if I smile, people judge me, if I had died that night, they would have shown sympathy, now that I am alive, they are ensuring I die,” Z also told me she was thinking of starting sleeping pills again as she was unable to sleep these days. I shared this story with you in the hope that @reportpemra will take some action. Or organisations that deal with rape and women issues may come forward and look at the insensitivity of this matter.
When the phone rang, I never expected this to be Z’s call. Z was the person whom I had spoken to a couple of years ago post her traumatic experience on motorway. Those were tumultuous times when everyone’s attention was focused on Z, while she was grappling to keep her sanity…
— Fereeha M Idrees (@Fereeha) August 27, 2023
I really hope someone on her behalf (attorney) presents her case to Pemra, this is an extreme violation of someone’s privacy. Urdu1 did the same with Qandeel Baloch parents, I did a long thread after speaking to Azeem Baba (Qandeel’s father) seems like thread has been reported https://t.co/RdCHh7Z2Pf
— Nighat Dad (@nighatdad) August 28, 2023
We hope that the victim gets the justice she deserves and that she and her family are left alone to heal.
Stay tuned to WOW360.