A Pakistani pop star is gaining fans around the world after he stopped a concert mid-song to save a woman who was being sexually harassed in the audience.
Atif Aslam was performing at a concert in Karachi, Pakistan, on Saturday when he silenced his band and walked to the edge of the stage toward a group of men who appeared to be harassing the woman,as seen in the above video of the confrontation.
Have you ever seen a girl before? Aslam, 33, asked the men he confronted, according to a translation by The India Times. Your mother or sister could have been here as well.
Aslam then ordered concert staffers to bring the woman on stage, saying in English, Rescue her. Rescue her. Rescue her.
After the woman was removed from the audience, Aslam rebuked the men while people in the audience cheered for the singer.
Enjoy the concert with discipline. It will be a long show, otherwise it will [finish] soon, Aslam said to the harassers.
Try to act like a human being, he added, before continuing on with the show.
That woman wasnt the only one at the show who needed help.
Local reports say that many other females were victimized during the concert. According to Pakistani news site Images.com, the venue was crowded with trespassers and many women in attendance were harassed and molested by menthroughout the show.
One witness at the concert told Pakistani news site MangoBaaz that Aslam had also told the bouncers to help several other women in the front row who were being harassed.
Atif did the right thing, which any other human being would do, the singers brother and manager told NBC News. We dont want this to be blown out of proportion and hope that folks continue to believe in Atifs music.
The incident highlights a larger problem in Pakistan that the country has been trying to manage: violence against women.
A 2011 poll by the Thomson Reuters Foundation ranked Pakistan as thethird most dangerous country in the world for women and it was only in 2016 that Pakistani lawmakers criminalized all forms of violence against women.
Aslams heroic rescue is bringing attention to theKarachi Eat Festival 2017and its controversial no stags policy also known as a family only policy which restricts any single men from purchasing tickets to the eventto protect women from harassment.
Whats really at stake in this conversation about policies at Karachi Eat or Atif Aslams intervention is patriarchys power, Images.com chief editor Hamna Zubair wrote in an editorial Tuesday.
People in Pakistan view gender equality as a zero-sum game where universal protection for women enshrined in the law decreases the scope of unchecked male power, she added. And that, to them, is a problem.