ISLAMABAD: The Human Rights Watch in a statement said the verdict of the Supreme Court of Pakistan in the Mukhtaran Mai case reflects poorly on the Supreme Court and underscores the reality that while Pakistan’s judiciary is now independent, it retains a deeply embedded bias against women in particular and on rights issues in general.
The Supreme Court does not hesitate to summon police officials and other state functionaries of its own volition in its on-going turf-wars with the government. Yet, it did not see fit to ensure that justice was delivered in a case where the crime took place in full public view and the perpetrators were publicly identified.
While the full judgment of the court is yet to be released, any argument that the court was constrained by the “evidence on record” will not cut any ice as the court has repeatedly shown itself quite capable of demanding more evidence and re-investigation in instances where it serves a political purpose.
Human Rights Watch is particularly concerned about Mukhtaran Mai’s safety and calls upon the federal government and the Punjab provincial government to ensure her safety. This is a setback for Mukhtaran Mai, the broader struggle to end violence against women and the cause of an independent rights-respecting judiciary in Pakistan.
Source: The News