ISLAMABAD: Two former presidents of the Supreme Court Bar Association (SCBA), Asma Jahangir and Kamran Murtaza, will probe the murder of 18-year-old schoolteacher Maria Sadaqat who was burnt alive for refusing a marriage proposal earlier this month in Murree.
Both former presidents are part of a committee constituted by incumbent President of SCBA Syed Ali Zafar that will also include the association’s executive member Tehmina Mohibullah to ensure that no-one is able to abuse the process of law.
Mr Zafar has asked the committee to thoroughly inquire and investigate the Murree murder case, particularly to ensure that the investigation into the crime was being conducted in a credible manner and in accordance with law and that the culprits are brought to justice.
The committee is also required to submit a report to the SCBA.
According to media reports, a group of five men had barged into the schoolteacher’s home and set Ms Maria Sadaqat ablaze because she had turned down the marriage proposal of the owner of the school where she used to teach.
Mr Zafar also expressed his disappointment at the lack of response from the Ministry of Human Rights in the federal and provincial governments and stated that the SCBA would now take up the issue as a human rights case based on the report of the committee.
He also condemned the fact that hundreds of women were being killed in Pakistan with impunity and culprits were not punished.
Violence against women and children should be stopped at all costs, he demanded, adding that the only way to do it was to punish sadistic culprits with full force of law and ensure that no-one got away.
He said that it was most unfortunate that there had been too many cases where female and child victims had received no justice from the legal system.
Barrister Zafar said that he had reason to believe that the young woman, Ms Sadaqat, who died after being tortured and set on fire for refusing the marriage proposal, like others too will only become a statistic and criminals would be set free.
In a separate development, the Chairman of the Legal Education Committee of Pakistan Bar Council, Muhammad Shoaib Shaheen, has strongly condemned the targeted killing of Amanullah Achakzai, the Principal of University Law College, Quetta, outside his house on Wednesday.
Mr Achakzai, who was a highly qualified and committed law teacher, had made valuable contribution to the uplift of legal education.
He termed his death a great loss and deplored the failure of law-enforcement agencies to provide safety and security to citizens.
Mr Shaheen also demanded that the government immediately arrest culprits and bring them to book and also demanded immediate constitution of a joint investigation team to probe into the matter.