Home / Gender Issues / Report refutes ‘Q’ claims of women s rape in post-Dec

Report refutes ‘Q’ claims of women s rape in post-Dec

KARACHI – A research conducted by a Non-Governmental Organization refuted the claim of President Pervez Musharraf allied parties that Sindhi speaking people targeted non-Sindhi people’s properties and gang raped 12 women after the assassination of Benazir Bhutto.

The research report of a leading NGO, Aurat Foundation, tilted ‘In the line of democracy post Benazir political scenario in Sindh’ revealed this on Saturday.

President Pervez Musharraf’s political allies and former ruling parties leaders had alleged that after the assassination of the Benazir Bhutto, Sindhi speaking communities set ablaze non­Sindhi communities’ properties and harassed non-Sindhi women in different parts of Sindh.

There report categorically denied the allegations of former ruling parties in the PML (Q) coalition government stating that even police rejected such claims of former ruling parties.

Criticizing the government report it said that after tragic incident of the PPP Chairperson, the writ of the state was completely vanished.

Anis Haroon, Resident Director of Aurat Foundation high­lighting the report said the plundering, looting and arson continued for three days unabatedly in Sindh and there was no control of the state and law enforcing agencies.

The agencies played no role what so ever. After Benazir murder worsening law and order situation in the province, 60 people lost their lives and national exchequer suffered the loss of 2 billions, adding that no efforts were being made to apprehend the criminal events on the rampant.

She said the assassination of Benazir triggered off anti-establishment sentiments widely in the province while the ruling parties in Sindh tried to exploit the situation further by provoking ethnic sentiments and claiming heavy losses of non-Sindhi speaking communities. Even gang rape of women was claimed by these ruling parties without any evidence, Aurat Foundation report maintained.

Report also pointed out that people in Sindh were being harassed and especially opposition parties were being targeted after violence erupted in the wake of assassination of Benazir Bhutto. As many as 3,233 cases were registered by the police of riots, murder, and attempt of murder under anti terrorism act and nominated 12,528 persons and most of them were PPP workers / supporters. At least 837,723 persons were declared unknown in the FIRS, however, police had arrested more than 1,576 including majority of them were of PPP workers in the province.

“The government by clamping down mainly on PPP activists and implicated them in rioting, looting and arson cases’, report said adding that people in Sindh especially who belonged to opposition parties were being harassed, targeted and there was no institution left where they could to express their grievances. Report further alleged that the Election Commission was totally subservient, partial and unable to deal with the growing unrest about the allegation of pre-poll rigging. The targeted arrests, use of force and high handedness of the state machinery can result in dangerous consequences, report warned.
Report said that former ruling parties had claimed that non­Sindhi speaking people were targeted during riots and Sindhi speaking were blamed for it.

These ruling political parties had also issued letters and advertisements in newspapers by claiming that their people were victimized intentionally, Aurat Foundation said adding that these former ruling parties had also claimed that 12 women were kidnapped and gang raped by rioters but it could not be verified even police rejected such claims.

Giving the detail of material losses report said that at least 2808 vehicles, 475 Banks, 15 railway stations and 53 petrol pumps were set on fire or partially damaged by rioters in Sindh.

Highlighting the efficiency of police in terms of highhandedness against common citizens report said, names of more than 10 deceased per­sons were mentioned in FIRs by the Police under allegations of riots and looting in Moro, Rohri, Thatta and Ghotki while more than 7 children were booked by police on pretext of riots in Khairpur, Mirs, Tharparkar and Thatta districts.

Even aged persons like Fazal Muhammad Jesar, 100, Mian Saleem, 70, Babul Khan 60-year and blind persons Haji Khan Soomro and Noor Gabol were also booked in riot, cases after Benazir assassination in Sindh, the report maintained.
Source: The Nation
Date:2/17/2008

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