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The Lahore motorway rape has gripped the attention of the whole country with many demanding swift justice for the victim who was raped in front of her children. When an official raised eyebrows at the woman’s behaviour instead of focusing on the criminals, people balked against victim-shaming and spoke up. Now, celebrities are also raising their voices in support of the woman, calling not only for justice but also for a movement to cull out misogynistic belief systems so endemic in society and reformation.
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Actor Feroze Khan urged Prime Minister Imran Khan to approve public execution. He tweeted: - I will always count on your statement that Pakistan will be “Riasat e Madina” and if you don’t hang these monsters raping and killing children and women in the open nothing can ever be changed ... just make one example. Public execution is what I demand @ImranKhanPTI'.
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Taking to Instagram, ‘Chhalawa’ star Mehish Hayat reacted strongly to the incident, comparing the state of affairs at home to those abroad. She said: “How come in Singapore women are safe to walk home alone even at 4am? Why can’t we have the same sense of security here?!” “Are we living in a civilised society or a jungle? Scream all you want abt #PublicHangingOfRapists - nothing will happen till the mindset changes! #motorwayincident,”
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Urdu cinema and television actor Ushna Shah wrote: "The irony that I tweeted "I'm okay with this" to a video of a rapist being stoned to death an hour prior to news of mother raped in front of children on motorway and to (sic) days after news of five-year-old Marwah, shows how deep in trouble we are as a society," Shah said.
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Mahira Khan said the incident and the response to it by an official who wondered why a woman ventured out without a man so late at night just goes to show how deep-rooted the problem with Pakistani society is. ‘’Hang them! Kill them! Publicly shame them! - It won’t change a thing. The problem is so deeply ingrained within our society,so deep rooted that even the officer said - ‘she shouldn’t have left at that time. This is the way our society is’. We are immune to it. We are ok with it. Why should we accept this mindset? Why should we question the victim yet again and not the those who commit the crime?’’
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"One day it’s a 5 year old child. The other, a 4 month old baby. Today it’s a transgender activist, who was asking for protection a year ago. What do we have to say about ourselves as a nation. We can’t protect anyone. Except our egos. #JusticeforGulPanra," Pakistani actress, model, singer, and painter Ayesha Omer said.
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Armeena Khan noted that such incidents make her feel unsafe in Pakistan. "This piece of news has suddenly made every woman (including myself) feel unsafe," Khan said.
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Meanwhile, Sanam Saeed felt that hanging is ‘nothing’ and an easy way out for the criminals. The ‘Cake’ actress tweeted ‘’Why hang them when we can castrate them? Why let them go so easily when they can live with the pain, shame and guilt without their genitals? Why wait to make this the law till God forbid it happens too close to home? No counseling or rehabilitation needed here. #cuttheirweapon.’’
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Sajal Aly, reacting to the incident of gang rape, demanded the authorities to hang these people. Taking to Instagram, the ‘Alif’ actress raised several questions saying, “How long do we as a nation have to deal with this pain and embarrassment. When will we start protecting our women so that they can feel safe? These questions must be answered NOW.” She further said with hashtag #protectwomen, “Will this ever be stopped. These people should be hanged.”
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Adnan Siddiqui felt we have failed as a nation, He posted on twitter, ‘’Numbed, outraged, horrified. We have failed women as a nation. This MUST stop. Make them feel safe. @ImranKhanPTI #motorwayincident #PublicHangingOfRapists’’
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Famed celebrities, including actors Ayesha Omar, Faisal Qureshi, Momal Shiekh, and Ushna Shah posted on Instagram, urging people to join the protest launched by the media fraternity at Karachi Press Club on September 14.
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