KARACHI: The police officer who has been widely praised for arresting a suspect in a rape case that earlier this month shocked Pakistan says the real heroes are his wife and daughter who risked their lives by helping him nab the rapist.
"They are my heroes: my daughter and my wife. They did a noble work," the officer, Mohammad Bux Buriro, told Arab News in an interview earlier this week.
The gruesome assault took place in the remote district of Kashmore in southern Sindh province, when a woman from Karachi — some 600 kilometers away — arrived with her four-year-old daughter to take a job offer. A man who was supposed to help her locked and reportedly raped both of them. He only allowed the mother to leave after making her promise she would bring him another woman. The daughter was then held hostage while he awaited the mother's return.
Both of them were reportedly raped. The man only allowed the mother to leave after making her promise she would bring him another woman. The daughter was then held hostage while he awaited the mother's return.
Once free, the woman reported the crime. Buriro was sitting at his police station in Kashmore when she arrived in tears and narrated her ordeal.
Without hesitation the assistant sub-inspector decided to risk everything to find the woman's child, even though it required putting at stake the lives of his own wife and daughter.
"I told my wife to trap him. If I’m home, I will guide you, otherwise keep talking to him," he said as they established contact with the rapistThe move was dangerous, also because the ultraconservative tribal region bordering Balochistan and Punjab is notorious for honor killings.
“Our district has no policewoman but even if there was one, I would have not put her life in danger," Buriro said, explaining that a woman can be killed for merely speaking to a man who is not her family member.
"Ours is a dirty society where a woman is viewed with dirty eyes, she is seen as inferior. They don’t consider woman anything."
For two days Buriro's wife was talking to the rapist but could not catch him. On the third day, on Nov. 9, their teenage daughter Reshma, lured the man, Rafiq Malak, into a trap by acting as bait.
Reshma told the rapist that she would come from Karachi and the next she met him at a park in Kashmore. She was talking to him for 15 minutes while Buriro was observing, ready to act.
He told Reshma that if the man tried to flee, she must hold him.
"When he asked her to remove her hijab, she grabbed his neck," Buriro said.
His team members were at the scene and immediately arrested the man.
During interrogation, the rapist told them where he had hidden the child. But when they started searching different parts of the house, they still could not find her. Then in one corner Buriro saw that a dirty cloth was moving. He came closer and burst in tears when he realized it was the girl.
"I couldn’t see the child, my whole team was crying."
After the rescue operation, Buriro received countless praises from top police officials and the public. It was a special moment for him when the prime minister himself called with congratulations.
"I was very happy as the prime minister called a small employee and gave him that importance," Buriro said as he remembered Imran Khan's call. "He stood up and saluted me with both hands."