A Statement by the Asian Human Rights Commission
PAKISTAN: Army and government officials remain silent to the demands for action against the alleged rapists of 16 years old girl
AHRC-STM-166-2011, November 3, 2011 – The Ansar Burney Trust announces that it will take responsibility for providing medical treatment to the victim for the safe delivery of the child and their protection
In the case of 16-year-old Uzma Ayub, who was kept in illegal detention and repeatedly raped for a period of one year, the Pakistan army is keeping mysteriously silent when asked to reveal the rank of one of its soldiers, Naseeb Ullah Khan, who, with his son was involved in the kidnapping and rape. It has been mentioned in various media reports that Naseeb Ulaah was named in the FIR and the statement of the victim before a judicial magistrate under section 164 of criminal procedure code but the army has not moved against him. The provincial government and high police authorities are reluctant to take action against the soldier fearing retaliation.
The provincial government has shown itself to be biased towards the perpetrators after finding the involvement of Taliban in their support. In the effort to appease the Taliban, the provincial government has left the victim and her family at the mercy of the perpetrators who did not waste any time in threatening the victim’s family for the withdrawal of the complaint of rape and illegal detention and for the abortion of the unborn child. The victim is now in the seventh month of her pregnancy.
It is also reported that home secretary of the Khyber Pakhtun Kha (KPK) provincial government is avoiding the civil society groups who want to inquire about the progress in the case and threats from militant organizations. The modus operandi of the home secretary is that he never refuses to give time for meeting. However, immediately after he confirms the meeting the threatening messages start coming that if they meet the provincial secretary they would face problems at the hands of perpetrators.
It is also learnt that none of the police officials involved in the rape and illegal detention have been suspended. The provincial government of Khyber Pakhtunkha announced some weeks ago that all the involved police officials had been suspended from their duties. This however, is not true as different rights organizations claim that the perpetrators are very much attached to their police station, the Tkhte Nusrati, and are not only performing their duties but also pressuring the neighbourhood to keep their distance and not provide protection to the family of victim.
Happily, in a response to the appeal by the Asian Human Rights Commission to the civil society for providing assistance to the victim, a former federal minister on human rights, Mr. Ansar Burney, chief of Ansar Burney Trust, has announced that his trust would bear all the costs of the medical treatment for the safe birth of the child. Talking to the AHRC from Karachi, Burney says that it is condemnable that the provincial government of PakhtunKha is not providing security to the victim and her family members. He went on to say that their attitude towards this heinous crime is incomprehensible. He gives the provincial government seven days to provide official security to the victim and make announcements that they will take responsibility for the medical treatment and if such an announcement is not forthcoming then the Ansar Burney Trust would take the victim and her family from the Pakhtunkha province and bring them in Karachi, the capital of Sindh province to resettle them. He said that it is the responsibility of the government to provide medical treatment and protection to the victim and her family who are under threats from the militants and the perpetrators. He fears that the militants might stone to the death the child and the mother as a lesson to those who respect the right to life.
The Asian Human Rights Commission welcomes the announcement of Mr. Ansar Burney and his Trust for extending his all possible support to the victim and her family members. The action of Mr. Burney will strengthen the movement for right to life and respect of the human rights of victims of abuses.
The AHRC condemn the appalling lack of response of the provincial government for providing protection to the rape victim and her family and ignoring the threats from Taliban to the victim. The government’s incapability and inefficiency to arrest the perpetrators of heinous crimes in the effort to appease the Taliban and powerful institutions like the armed forces by not arresting the soldier who managed the whole drama of kidnapping and keeping the girl in illegal detention at the army’s cantonment area in Quetta city, the capital of Balochistan province and repeatedly raped her along with his son for one year.
The impunity provided to the perpetrators by the authorities of Pakhtunkha shows the total collapse of rule of law in the province and how the government is working at the behest of criminals and powerful institutions. The AHRC urges the provincial government to immediately provide protection to the victim, arrest the perpetrators and prosecute them to the fullest extent of the law.
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About AHRC: The Asian Human Rights Commission is a regional non-governmental organisation that monitors human rights in Asia, documents violations and advocates for justice and institutional reform to ensure the protection and promotion of these rights. The Hong Kong-based group was founded in 1984.