March 16 - March 19 , 2023

Interview | The Asifa Bano Story

fdiff April 08, 2024 4 min read

What made you take up this sensitive topic?

Our world is full of heartbreaking stories and innumerable injustices. We should all try to do our part by shedding light on them in whatever way possible. This was ours.


What are the challenges that you faced while making this documentary?

It was a very difficult subject to deal with emotionally because of the nature of the crime and the age of the victim. We struggled a lot with coming to terms with that tragedy. Also, the distances between the US, India, and Pakistan. But we had a wonderful team, both in India and Pakistan, who helped make this happen.


Why do you think that this girl was targeted and not anyone else in her place?

She was very young and trusting and vulnerable, so she made an easy target for people with bad intentions. Since she was a hard-working young girl from a poor family, she often went out on her own to graze the horses, which gave the opportunity for the tragedy.


Do you think the world is a safe place for women?

In all honesty, no. We constantly hear horrific stories of rape, abuse, murder all around the world. It’s a dangerous and terrifying time to be a woman.


Do you feel that there is only one Asifa Bano or are there several other unknown and untold stories similar to hers?

Unfortunately, Asifa is not the only little girl to have suffered such a horrible fate. Crimes like this aren’t particularly uncommon and there are many other little girls whose stories remain untold.


What do you think women can do to protect themselves from rape and then getting murdered?

The only thing would be becoming more aware of one’s surroundings, teaching young girls about the dangers that dwell outside, and not to be so trusting.


Asifa was not a woman, but an 8-year-old killed. Do you think the rape, torture and murder were just for the sake of driving her people away or was there any other intent?

The primary motivation was to terrify the Bakerwal people and drive them from their homeland. This was a way of asserting dominance over them and instilling fear. Even after Asifa’s death, they continued harassing these people, from the time of the funeral and very likely continuing.


Do you think Asifa Bano and such cases like hers get the justice they deserve?

Very often justice is delayed and even denied in these types of cases where the accused have powerful connections. In my opinion, there can never really be justice for a crime so horrific and so heinous, but everyone expected capital punishment at the very least, which did not happen.


What do you think should be the punishment for rape and murder cases that involves children and women?

I firmly believe in cases like Asifa’s, capital punishment, because these people will continue being a danger to other innocents and an example needs to be set.


As a woman, what’s your take on Asifa Bano’s unfortunate incident? How can such things be avoided in future?

Unfortunately, until more protections for women and children are put in place in these regions, there is not much that can be done except for remaining vigilant and avoiding high risk situations by educating and guiding our young ones on the dangers that exist. However, even then, these horrific incidents still happen and action needs to be taken.


What do you think can instill fear in the hearts of men? Do you think these rapists are regular men or wolves in disguise?

The types of crimes these people commit can’t be considered human. There is something seriously wrong and I firmly believe capital punishment as the only viable deterrent when proven guilty without a shadow of a doubt.

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