ISLAMABAD,February 24,2005: President Gen Pervez Musharraf said on Thursday that the culprit behind the rape of a lady doctor in Sui would face hanging. However, the president defended an army captain who is the chief suspect in the case, saying he believed the man was not guilty.
“The rape case is most unfortunate. Whoever has done it must be hanged,” President Musharraf said to applause during a press conference. He added that he believed the accusations against the unnamed officer were baseless and the man was not involved, but said the perpetrators would be brought to justice.
In an interview with AFP, the assault victim said she had no hope of seeing her attacker put behind bars and said she was now determined to leave the country for fear of her own safety.
“I am not expecting anything from the justice system,” the lady doctor said from a safe house in Karachi, where she is staying with her husband. “It is not possible to live here freely and be accepted by society after what happened to me,” she added.
“So maybe if we go abroad we can begin a new life, though I may not forget the incident for the rest of my life. It is devastating, it destroyed my life, but it was my husband and my family who gave me strength to survive.”
Gen Musharraf’s pronouncement could face legal problems, however. Anyone convicted of gang rape faces mandatory hanging in Pakistan under special legislation brought in during the 1990s. But despite initial reports that a gang was involved in the attack at the Sui gas plant, the assault victim said there was one rapist and possibly another man standing on guard.