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The solemn case of Kashmiri women

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We enjoy support of 220 million Pakistani people in this regard, says Sardar Masood. PHOTO: REUTERS/FILE

The use of sexual violence as a weapon of war has been prevalent throughout history. It has been, and continues to be used by participants on both sides of intra-state conflict — the state, and the rebels or non-state actors. While international law covered rape and sexual violence as a war crime under the umbrella of violation of a person’s dignity and humiliation by an enemy group, it was only in 1949 that rape and forceful prostitution were categorically included as war crimes in the Geneva Convention. Moreover, despite the widespread use of sexual violence in numerous conflicts, the International Criminal Tribunal for the former Yugoslavia (ICTY) was the first war tribunal to try for such crimes. Even then, most narratives focus on the number of casualties or displaced people due to a conflict, while barely brushing over the extent and nature of sexual violence. The motivation for rape is often summed up as greed along with the opportunity that soldiers (state or non-state) took advantage of, as they were in a position of power. This simplification of the brutality committed, disregards the psychology and logic behind such acts. It also degrades the trauma of the victims as acts of sexual violence are attributed to lust, lack of control and........

© The Express Tribune