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Dr Shazia’s rape case: Human rights activists want immediate arrest of culprits

LAHORE, February 14 2005: Human rights activists have demanded immediate arrest of the army captain allegedly involved in Dr Shazia rape case and thorough investigation of the case.

They made this demand during a protest rally, which was organised by joint action committee (JAC). Human rights activists from all over Pakistan including Asma Jahangir, Hina Jillani, Farooq Tariq, Dr Yasmin Rashid and Fareeda Shaheed participated in the protest rally held here on Saturday.

The protestors tried to march on the Mall Road, but the officials of law enforcing agencies denied them access on the pretext that Section 144 was in force. However, they were permitted to march up to Punjab Assembly from Aiwan-e-Iqbal.

Addressing the protestors, Asma Jhangir, Hina Jillani, Farooq Tariq and Fareeda Shaheed demanded that under Pakistan Penal Code, FIR should be registered against the culprits involved in the heinous crime. ‘The army was using all the tactics to hush up the case and it was also coercing Dr Shazia to keep quiet on the matter’, they regretted.

While undermining impartiality of tribunal that was investigating the case, they warned the military regime that if the captain was not arrested the human rights activists from Punjab would go to Balochistan to hold protests, which would continue till justice was given. “If the accused was innocent, why the army was protecting him,” they questioned? While opposing an army operation in Balochistan, they said the whole thought of attacking Balochistan was illogical and unjustified.

According to them, it was shameful to note that the army captain, who was supposed to defend our frontier, was involved in such heinous act. In the past the army has misused its authority in 1971 by raping Bengali women and incidents at Okara farm was the recent case in which the army personnel mistreated the Pakistani citizens for self interest, they alleged.

“In fact the army as an institution was hostage to a few generals, who were using the institution to perpetuate their rule. Moreover, the military regime has never allowed democracy to take roots in the country”.

Source: Business Recorder