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KP govt drags its feet on rapists of 16-year-old girl

By: Farzana Ali Khan

PESHAWAR: Former federal minister for human rights and chief of his welfare Trust, Ansar Burney, has announced that he would bear all the costs of the medical treatment for the safe birth of the child of 16-year-old Uzma Ayub, who was kept in illegal detention and repeatedly raped for a period of one year by several persons, including some policemen.

In an interview to The News, he condemned the government of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa for not providing security to the victim and members of her family. “Their attitude towards this heinous crime is incomprehensible, and the Pakistan Army is also 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.”

Ansar Burney has given seven days’ deadline to the provincial government to provide official security to the victim and take responsibility for her medical treatment. He warned that if the provincial government failed to take the issue seriously, then the Ansar Burney Trust would take the victim and her family from Karak to Karachi to resettle them. He further said that it was the responsibility of the provincial government to provide medical treatment and protection to the victim and her family members, who are under threat from the perpetrators and now some religious militants.

He feared that the criminals might stone to death the child and the mother as a lesson to those who respect the right to life. “It has been mentioned in various media reports that Naseeb Ullah was named in the FIR and in the statement of the victim before a judicial magistrate under Section 164 of CrPC, but the army has not moved against him while the provincial government and high police authorities are also reluctant to take action against the soldier fearing retaliation,” Ansar Burney said. “The provincial government has shown itself to be biased towards the perpetrators after finding the involvement of Taliban in their support,” he said.

Burney said in an effort to appease the Taliban, the 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 their complaint of rape and illegal detention and have asked for the abortion of the unborn child. The victim is now in the seventh month of her pregnancy.

The home secretary of Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KPK) is avoiding the civil society groups who want to inquire about the progress in the case or about the threats from militant organisations. The modus operandi of the home secretary is that he never refuses to give time for meeting. However, immediately after he confirms the meeting, threatening messages start coming that if they meet the provincial secretary, they would face problems at the hands of perpetrators.

The News also learnt that none of the police officials, involved in the rape and illegal detention, have been suspended so far. The KP government announced some weeks ago that all the involved police officials had been suspended from their duties. This, however, is not true as different human rights organisations claim that the perpetrators are very much attached to their police station, the Takhte 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 the victim.

“The impunity provided to the perpetrators by the authorities of KP shows the total collapse of the rule of law in the province and how the government is protecting criminals and powerful institutions,” he said.

Burney said that the threats by the Taliban to the family could also be a part of a drama by the perpetrators to divert the civil society’s attention from the case. “It is without doubt that the Taliban have always been violent and have been involved in kidnapping for ransom, slaughtering innocent people and flogging women, but there have never been any report about Taliban raping women,” he said.

The News also confirmed from Alamzeb, the brother of Uzma, and her lawyer Javed Akhtar that it was for the first time that two persons had threatened the family identifying themselves as Taliban. He also said that if there is really any truth in the matter that ASI Hakeem Khan is an accomplice of the Taliban, then he must be punished for committing double crime, firstly for kidnapping and raping Uzma and secondly for being a traitor in the disguise of police (the defender of the public).

Meanwhile, the Asian Human Rights Commission has welcomed the announcement of Ansar Burney and his Trust for extending all possible support to the victim and her family members. The action of Burney will strengthen the movement for right to life and respect of the human rights of victims of abuses.

Source: The News


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