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PPL report on lady doctor’s rape disputed

KARACHI, February 21,2005:The joint fact-finding team of the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) and Aurat Foundation has disputed the claims by the Pakistan Petroleum Limited (PPL) with regard to alleged rape of Dr Shazia at the PPL’s compound at Sui gas plant in Balochistan.

In a statement issued here on Friday, Ms Asma Jehangir of the HRCP and Mr Iqbal Haider of the Aurat Foundation said that their organizations appreciated that the National Assembly’s Standing Committee had taken note of this inhuman incident. They suggested that the committee should consider all sides of the version of the rape victim in order to reach a just and objective conclusion.

They deplored that instead of helping the victim, the PPL report appearing in a section of press held Dr Shazia responsible for the delayed action against culprits. On the contrary, they added, Dr Shazia dragged herself to the nurses’ hostel, close to her quarter, to inform another lady doctor of the incident.

They referred to the victim’s physical state, torn and stained clothes and the bruises she had on her body, and alleged that she was asked to change her clothes with a motive to destroy crucial evidences.

The manner in which Dr Shazia was sent to Asghar Psychiatric Hospital at Ameer Khusro Road, Karachi, without her relatives having been informed and without getting her medical examination conducted, also needs to be investigated.

They pointed out that before taking the victim from Sui to Karachi, she had been taken to Kandhkot. PPL officials had informed her brother of a ‘robbery’ having taken place at her quarter, and told him that she had been admitted to a hospital at the KDA Rest House but gave the phone number of the Asghar hospital.

According to the statement, the PPL compound at Sui appeared fully guarded and secured and there was no possibility of any outsiders entering the compound without being noticed by the security guards posted there.

The team members urged the standing committee to include in its investigation the interrogation of every person named in Dr Shazia’s statement, besides getting expert opinion on security arrangements at the PPL compound and examining other evidences, including the entry/exit registers. The statement also urged the committee to ensure that all those involved in this heinous crime were arrested and prosecuted.
Source: Dawn