Lahore Most Unsafe For Women As Rising Trafficking Cases Worry Police

Lahore Most Unsafe For Women As Rising Trafficking Cases Worry Police
Lahore continues to be amongst the cities in Punjab with the highest reports of rapes, kidnapping, domestic violence and now worryingly, trafficking and honour killing, new police data has suggested.

Data gathered by the police for the first four months of the year regarding violent crimes against women, available with The Friday Times, shows that there were some 1,111 cases reported of rape and 5,551 women being kidnapped.

As per the documents, 53 women were killed in the name of honour, while 219 domestic violence cases against women were also registered during this period.

While these crimes are heinous and worrying in their own regard, the police are currently concerned about the spike in another category of violent criminal activity against women, trafficking.

"There were 613 cases of women trafficking in the first four months of this year, which is quite worrisome," said a senior police official who had shared the figures with The Friday Times. He refused to give his name since he was not authorized to speak to the media.

Lahore a hotspot

District-wise data for rape incidents shows that most cases were reported in Lahore, with 139 cases in the first four months of 2023.

Another 117 women were reportedly raped in Faisalabad, 41 in Sheikhupura, and 19 in Nankana. In Kasur, cases for rape of 38 women were lodged, 26 in Gujranwala, 13 in Hafizabad, 13 in Gujrat, 11 in Mandi Bahuddin, 14 in Sialkot, 8 in Narowal, 26 in Attock, 7 in Jhelum and Chakwal.

In Khushab, 52 incidents of rape were reported, eight were reported in Mianwali, 15 in Bhakkar, 30 in Jhang, 36 in Toba Tek Singh, 32 in Chiniot, 53 in Multan, 21 in Lodhran, 27 in Khanewal, 30 in Vehari, 21 in Sahiwal, 30 in Pakpattan, 41 in Okara, 22 in Dera Ghazi Khan, 17 in Rajanpur, 43 in Muzaffargarh, 24 in Layyah, 39 in Bahawalpur, 37 in Bahawalnagar and 49 in Rahim Yar Khan.

The least number of cases of rape were reported from Rawalpindi district, with five.

The only district where no rape cases were reported was Sargodha.

'Honour' killings

District-wise data for the 53 'honour' killings reported in Punjab showed that most incidents took place in Rahim Yar Khan, with eight.

However, the least number of 'honour' murders occurred in Lahore, Attock, Chakwal, Sahiwal, Pakpattan, and Bahawalnagar, where one case each was reported.

In Nankana, two incidents of 'honour' killing were reported, five in Gujranwala, two in Rawalpindi, three in Sargodha, two in Khushab, two in Mianwali, two in Faisalabad, three in Jhang, three in Chiniot, three in Okara, five in Rajanpur, and two in Bahawalpur.

No incidents of honour killing were reported from the remaining districts of Punjab.

Domestic violence

A district-wise break-up of cases of domestic violence against women reported to the police showed that Gujranwala was amongst the most violent, with 64 cases reported between January and April 2023.

The least number of incidents, one each, were reported from the districts of Jhelum, Khushab, Chiniot and Khanewal.

In Lahore, 38 incidents of domestic violence against women were reported, five in Hafizabad, five in Gujrat, 10 in Rawalpindi, two in Attock, 18 in Sargodha, five in Faisalabad, 14 in Multan, 22 in Vehari, two in Sahiwal, three in Okara, nine in Dera Ghazi Khan, 11 in Bahawalpur, five in Bahawalnagar and two in Rahim Yar Khan.

No reports of domestic violence against women were received from the remaining districts of Punjab.

Kidnapping of women

Kidnapping was the violent crime against women which was most reported from across the province.

Unsurprisingly, Lahore was again a hotbed of activity, with some 1,427 cases registered.

The district which reported the fewest cases was Chiniot, with 26 cases reported during the four months
A further 318 women were kidnapped from Faisalabad, 270 were kidnapped from Multan, 236 women were kidnapped from Rawalpindi, 216 were kidnapped from Kasur district, 250 were kidnapped from Sheikhupura district, 64 women were kidnapped from Nankana, 192 were kidnapped from Gujranwala, 52 women were kidnapped from Hafizabad, 96 women were kidnapped from Gujrat, 76 were kidnapped from Mandi Bahuddin, 191 were kidnapped from Sialkot, 61 women were kidnapped in Narowal during the first four months of 2023, 71 women were kidnapped in Attock, 66 in Jhelum, 39 in Chakwal, 196 in Sargodha, 34 in Khushab, 64 in Mianwali, 59 in Toba Tek Singh, 76 in Lodhran, 74 in Khanewal, 144 in Vehari, and 105 in Sahiwal.

In Pakpattan, 94 women were kidnapped during the period under review, 172 were kidnapped in Okara, 79 women were kidnapped in Dera Ghazi  Khan, 89 women were kidnapped from Rajanpura, 119 were kidnapped from Muzaffargarh, 81 were kidnapped from Layyah, 175 were kidnapped from Bahawalpur, 87 were kidnapped from Bahawalnagar, and 130 were kidnapped from Rahim Yar Khan.


With the trafficking of women identified by police as a worrying trend, with 613 cases reported across the province, Lahore was again a hot spot for criminal activity.

District-wise data for women trafficking from January 1, 2023, to April 30, 2023, showed that some 210 women were trafficked from Lahore.

Curiously Attock, which lies at the confluence of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa, reported the fewest cases of women trafficking with just three cases.

In Sheikhupura district, 27 incidents of women trafficking were reported, four in Nankana, 10 in Kasur, 27 in Gujranwala, 16 in Hafizabad, six in Gujrat, five in Mandi Bahauddin, 23 in Sialkot, eight in Narowal, 23 in Rawalpindi, six in Jhelum, five in Chakwal, 13 in Sargodha, six in Khushab, six in Mianwali, four in Bhakkar, 40 in Faisalabad, six in Jhang, four in Toba Tek Singh, seven in Chiniot, 42 in Multan, seven in Lodhran, five in Khanewal, 17 in Vehari, 10 in Sahiwal, five in Pakpattan.

In Okara, 16 incidents of women trafficking took place, five each in Dera Ghazi Khan and Rajanpur, 10 in Muzaffargarh, five each in Layyah and Bahawalpur, four in Bahawalnagar and 18 in Rahim Yar Khan.

Activists alarmed

The latest data was an "eye-opener" on the rising violation of women's rights, said women's rights activist Sarah Gandapur.

"It's an alarming reality that I believe we are not paying the kind of attention to that it demands," she said of the incidents of rape, 'honour' killings, kidnapping and trafficking.

"While our heads of state, and those in charge of public safety, are busy saving their political careers and government positions, the country's most resourceful agricultural and industrial hub is certainly going to the dogs," she said.

Gandapur said that human trafficking is one of the topics she has consistently highlighted. Still, it has not received the attention it deserves.

"We must take these statistics seriously before it's too late," she said, adding that as a country, we are already in deep waters with hundreds and thousands of reported cases of abuse in all forms against women in Punjab.

Gandapur advocated for public punishment for perpetrators of these crimes and to make an example out of rapists, murderers, lynchers, traffickers and pimps, otherwise, the issue will remain.

The writer is a senior correspondent at The Friday Times with a focus on politics, economy and militancy.