August 10, 2017
It’s been more than a year since young law student Khadija Siddiqui was stabbed mercilessly by her class fellow Shah Husain. The incident took place on May 3rd, 2016 in broad daylight on Davis Road, Lahore where Khadija had gone to pick up her younger sister from school. Despite 23 gashes to her body, including the neck, she miraculously survived. Khadija courageously fought for justice and late last month, a court in Lahore sentenced her attacker, who happens to be son of an advocate, to seven years in prison. She sees her survival and legal victory as a chance to live a more meaningful life.
They call court proceedings a trial, and a trial it was. Not only was it a trial for the law to give due recompense for my ghastly wounds, but it was also a trial for my soul, a trial of my patience and, above all, a trial of my honour, dignity and character.
On the 13th and 14th of July, I was cross-examined by the defence council. Waves of nausea swept over me as I stood in a courtroom roiling with men, each day for six exhausting hours at a stretch.
As hard as it is to believe, the defence actually resorted to hiring men to stand behind me to giggle and heckle whenever the opportunity arose. Their base mentality and rotten souls were on display for all to see. Adrenaline rushed through my body, pushing me to flee.
But their hideous tactics only hardened my resolve in standing up to this lawyer boys club, and the voice inside my head steadied me: The truth shall prevail.