Survivor stories

Iqbal, Pakistan

Iqbal with ASF-Pak fieldworker Jatoi

Iqbal was a passionate dancer who performed dance with his family during wedding processions. One night, after rejecting the sexual advances of another man, Iqbal had a bottle of acid emptied over his head. Iqbal was left without eyesight and his lips and neck were so badly burnt that eating was agony. He was just 15 years old.

Iqbal with ASF-Pak fieldworker Jatoi

Through the notification system, ASF fieldworker Sardar Jatoi learnt of Iqbal’s case and took him for treatment at the ASF-P centre in Islamabad. This was five years after the attack, and up until this point he had not received any treatment. ASF-P, ASTI’s partner in Pakistan, helped Iqbal through grafting to his lips and neck, allowing him to drink and eat more easily and with less pain.

Iqbal with ASF-Pak fieldworker Jatoi

He was a very good looking boy. Someone, a man, approached Iqbal and asked him to be friends with him: ‘intimate friends’. Iqbal made clear he was not interested.
Iqbal’s parents are very poor woodcutters, and all three of them would dance at weddings. One night they were all asleep when Iqbal was attacked with acid by the man.

“Iqbal is now blind. His sight is gone. The poor boy says that hopefully with treatment his eyesight will come back. We are trying our best.”
-Sardar Jatoi, ASF-Pakistan Fieldwork.

Iqbal

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