(ISLAMABAD) — A woman in Pakistan was arrested for allegedly throwing acid on a man who refused to marry her, police said Friday, marking an unusual case in a country where rates of violence against women are high.
Local police official Bashir Ahmed said the 32-year-old woman, Monil Mai, was arrested Thursday, hours after she attacked her boyfriend Sadaqat Ali when he went to her home in the Mukhdoom Rashid neighborhood of Multan, a city in central Pakistan.
Ahmed said that Mai had been having an affair with Ali for several years. She wanted him to marry her so that she could divorce her husband, he said.
Ali was being treated at a hospital in Multan, in the eastern Punjab province, Ali said.
Acid attacks and other so-called honor crimes against women are not unusual in Pakistan, but women are rarely the perpetrators of such attacks.
“It is a rare incident in which a woman has been accused of throwing acid on a man,” said Zohra Yusuf, who heads the independent Human Rights Commission of Pakistan. She urged the government to take steps to stop the sale of acid to unauthorized persons.
“There is a need to make checks on the availability of acid to common people to prevent such future attacks against men or women,” Yusuf said. Acid is easily available at markets in many parts of Pakistan, although the government says it was tightening controls to stop illegal sale of chemicals.