Under their proof requirements, the burden of proof fell on the accuser.
If the rape victim was unable to furnish four ‘adult, pious, upright and honest Muslim male’ witnesses to the crime, the accused were acquitted, and the rape victim was prosecuted and punished for adultery by being publicly flogged or stoned to death.
The government was compelled to act as women’s activists demonstrated their street muscle, and their campaign garnered support from international human rights organizations like the Human Rights Watch and Amnesty International and popular politicians and human rights activists like Benazir Bhutto, Sherry Rehman, and Iqbal Haider.
Reflecting on this desire for tangible action, General Musharraf’s government passed the 17th Amendment to the Constitution in 2003 to make women’s reserved seats 17 percent of the total seats in the National Assembly. "Hundreds of Women Protest against Hudood Laws." Daily Dawn 2006, September 21, 2011 ed. Lawrence Ziring: Pakistan in the twentieth century: a political history.
First, Pakistan’s growing electronic media sector allowed private TV channels to emerge and broadcast without strict state censorship that had been imposed under General Zia-ul-Haq’s rule (1979-1988).
All manner of terrorist organizations - Tehreeek-e-Taliban Pakistan, Laskar-e-Jhangvi, Laskar-e-Taiba, Jaish-e-Muhammad, Tehreek-e-Nifaz-e-Shariat-e-Muhammadi, Hizb-ut-Islam and many others also opposed the campaign.
The movement was non-hierarchical, but prominent women’s rights activists included Asma Jehangir (Chairperson, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and founder of Women’s Action Forum (WAF)), Hina Jilani (Women’s Action Forum leader), Sarah Zaman (director of War Against Rape (WAR)), Anees Haroon (head of Aurat Foundation), Kishwar Naheed (poet), Farzana Bari (women’s activist from Pattan Development Foundation), Sheema Kirmani (Tehreek-e-Niswan leader), Nuzhat Kidvai (Tehreek-e-Niswan leader) All Pakistan’s Women’s Association, Actionaid Pakistan, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Sungi Foundation, Cavish foundation, Women’s Councillors Network, Alliance for Protection of Human Rights, Citizens Action Committee, Pattan, Shikatgah, Aurat Foundation, ASR (Impact) and Pakistan Women’s Lawyers Association, and Sustainable Development Policy Institute Syed Iqbal Haider: former minister for law and parliamentary affairs from Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and co-chairperson of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Benazir Bhutto, chairperson of Pakistan Peoples Party (PPP), and former Prime Minister Dr.
Shershah Syed, former President of Pakistani Medical Association, novelist and women's rights activist Dr.
Between 20, they organized several press conferences, discussion forums, seminars, public protests, and consultation sessions for parliamentarians.
Using new media, they were able to film and distribute documentaries, stage commercial plays, and participate in popular radio shows and widely watched debates on TV.