Have a fabulous 2012


Gaga: Rest in Peace (b.2002 - d.2010)

Monday, April 30, 2012

Stalkers of Islamabad !

"Stalking" is defined as repeated and persistent unwanted communications and/or approaches that produce fear in the victim. According to Dr. J. Reid Meloy, author of Violent Attachments and editor of The Psychology of Stalking,  an expert on stalking behavior says that stalkers are psychopaths.

Stalking is something that is mostly associated with men because according to the estimates 95% of the victims are women (females of all age groups) harrassed by men. If we zoom out - almost every country has a fair share of this disease but by zooming in - South Asian men have a special place in their heart for stalking irrespective of their social, economical or geographical divide - this is one aspect that unites them and where we see solidarity. I am sure that Pakistan will turn out to be among the leaders in stalking behaviour. According to Dr. Meloy's , stalkers only threaten harm BUT many carry out their threats and we all know that acid attacks are one of the methods used in South Asia.

I am confident that not a single woman in Pakistan can say that she has never been stalked. Stalking has also evolved with time like everything else. With Internet and mobile phones things have gone a little out of hand and its old tradition.

Why all of a sudden I ended up with this topic. The reason is that we have a Girls High School nearby and one can imagine! What is different today from times when I was a school girl is that almost every girl is accompanied by somebody (usually a father, brother, mother or servants) or else they walk in a big group while coming to school. All girls are wrapped in chaddars and scarfs from sixth grade onward and nothing has helped them to feel protected on their way to school in Islamabad, Pakistan.

Watching these girls pass by my house always bring a moment of delight and is quite nostalgic as well and hence I routinely had my cup of morning tea on terrace while watching these young, brave girls coming to school despite all sorts of odds they come across living in Pakistan. During the recess I witnessed them playing cricket or running around each other - their only moment of becoming a child again - free of liabilities and responsibilities at home. School time is their freedom time - no carrying of young siblings, no cooking, no household chores - heavenly moments.

During all this, I saw two young men almost every other day running back and forth on their motor bike around this school and the school bus and sometimes saw them standing really close to our house since it is uphill and one can see the school very clearly. These young men did all their planning in front of my house on who to stalk and how while a tree in the yard obscured me from their sight. Witnessing it was really sad and without even thinking about what can happen to me I went out to hush them away and in so doing risked myself. I wrapped myself in a  chaddar (a huge shawl for hijab/ to cover onself from head to toe), hold my camera and went down to encounter them when I reached there - one of them was gone already and the other was turning his bike. I took photos of him and the bike and told him that if I will see them one more time in the streets around the school - they will find me at their house with police to talk to their parents. The young man saw me in surprise and sped away on his bike.

I haven't put the mug shot here because Pakistan is a violent place and any such attempt can be quite dangerous and can risk a life but at the same time, I am frustrated that girls and women in general are constantly harrassed in Pakistan. Life is NOT easy for a common woman in Pakistan - it is dangerous, almost always and for all age groups.