Mukhtaran Mai, colleagues facing militant threats for educating females

Last Updated: Sun, Oct 14, 2012 07:20 hrs

Pakistani victim of a village council-sanctioned gangrape, Mukhtaran Mai, has said she has been facing death threats recently, and that her female students and fellow teachers have been facing the same threats Malala Yousufzai had faced before the attack on her by the Taliban.

"I have been voluntarily operating in Meerwala which is a vocational institute. My teachers and I have been continuously receiving death threats to close the school to female students of the area and the vocational institute. They have accused me of spreading vulgarity and prostitution in society," The Express Tribune quoted Mai, as saying.

Mai alleged that four days ago, militants attacked her senior teachers, and because they could not find Mai, they just attacked the building and destroyed the rooms and windows instead.

She also revealed that the percentage of female students who were initially encouraged by her efforts since 2002 have dropped by half in the last two years, mainly due to death threats from militants and extremists.

She said the Mukhtaran Mai Girls High School and Vocational Institute currently has 700 female students enrolled.

Mai blamed the local police for failing to provide security despite being informed of the situation. Earlier, police officials had ordered a police check post for the security of Mai's school in 2002, following which 18 police personnel were posted at the school. A total of 36 personnel were deployed in different shifts.

According to Mai, there is currently no security available.

Mai has also been running a women's crisis centre in the same area which is near closure due to lack of funds. She has pleaded for a grant to keep it open as well as security for the centre.

Mukhtaran Mai blamed Zeeshan Asghar, DPO Muzaffarhgarh, for failing to provide security to the female residents and students of the area. She said that she had informed Asghar about the all the threats to her and her staff, but she received no response. (ANI)

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