Last week, we witnessed how power and privilege can make people go blind as they think they can break the law and get away with it.
Videos of armed guards and three women breaking and entering the house of actor Uzma Khan went viral on social media.
The three women belong to the family of all-powerful property tycoon Malik Riaz. Two are said to be his daughters while the third is related to his wife. Pakistani media, with a couple of honourable exceptions, did not even air the news.
We can well imagine why.
The clout Malik holds over those running the affairs of the state is quite evident so it is inevitable that the media, which is already going through a financial crunch, will not alienate him.
There are many angles to the story. Many in our society latched on to the ‘cheating husband’ and ‘gold digger’ narrative about Usman Malik and Uzma Khan. What they failed to acknowledge was the criminal and vile aspect of this whole incident.
Those videos were made to humiliate Uzma Khan and this is why they were released and circulated by the very women who broke the law. How can someone enter another’s house with armed guards, breaking and vandalising everything in sight, asking one of the guards to sexually assault Uzma, threatening the girls that ‘we’ will get you picked up by the ISI, throwing alcohol or some other liquid on them (we don’t know yet what exactly was thrown on them) and threatening to burn them, taking away their clothes/bags/shoes and other valuables, beating them up, breaching their privacy and much more?
Usman Malik’s wife, Aamna Usman, had the audacity to make another video where she is admitting to the crime but says she did it because she had no other choice. Well, she did have a choice: she had the choice of confronting her husband and if he did not want to end the relationship, leaving him should have been her obvious choice. And if she did not want to leave him, even then the family should have resolved the issue among themselves instead of bringing Uzma into disrepute. What Aamna Usman chose to do was not a choice. It was a decision taken because she knew she wields more power, has more money and more privilege than an actor/model in this society.
We hope that justice will be served. These three women and their armed guards should not be allowed to get away scot-free. Some say an out-of-court settlement is possible. We cannot rule it out but we would still like to say kudos to Uzma Khan and her sister Huma Khan for braving this out and standing up to privileged brats. Our society hardly ever does it. More power to Uzma and Huma!