The many worlds in Pakistan

Nicholas Kristof, the Op-Ed Columnist of New York Times had an article on Aisha Parveen, a 20 year old Pakistani woman, who faces a terrible future because she ran away from a brothel. When she was 14, she was kidnapped and woke up in a brothel where she was sexually abused for about 6 years.

This went on for six years, during which she says she was beaten every day. The girls in the brothel were forced to sleep naked at night, so that they would be too embarrassed to try to escape. Ms. Parveen says she believes that two of them, Malo Jan and Suwa Tai, were killed after they repeatedly refused to sleep with customers. In any case condoms were never available, so all the girls may eventually die of AIDS.[A Woman Without Importance (TimesSelect subscription required)]

A man working in the brothel helped her escape and married her. Now she faces charges of adultry and the courts are planning to hand her over back to the brothel owner. She cannot go back to her parents since they could kill her for protecting the family honor. Now she lives in hiding.
That was one world. In another world within Pakistan, the Air Force has inducted four women as fighter pilots for the first time.

The women were part of a batch of 36 cadets who were awarded flying badges after three years of gruelling training at the PAF academy at Risalpur. Being a fighter pilot has until now been a purely male domain. Women could join the armed forces but only for non-combat jobs like the medical corps. Three years ago the PAF decided to allow women to train as fighter pilots.[Pakistan gets women combat pilots]

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