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Shehbaz, Maryam inquire after Nawaz at Jinnah Hospital



LAHORE: Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz  (PML-N) President Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz inquired after the health of former premier Nawaz Sharif at Jinnah Hospital, here today. 
Shehbaz Sharif, the opposition leader in National  Assembly, prayed for early recovery of his elder brother, who is under treatment there.
Earlier, party workers present outside the hospital welcomed Shehbaz Sharif and Maryam Nawaz on their arrival.


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PML-N wants removal of NAB chief, says Sheikh Rasheed



Non availability of coaches restrict railcar service

LAHORE: Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed on Saturday blasted the opposition Pakistan Muslim League–Nawaz (PML-N) for criticising the National Accountability Bureau (NAB) chairman in the wake of leaked tapes showing purported conversation between him and an unnamed female.  

Addressing a press conference, he said the PML-N desired removal of NAB chairman Justice (retd) Javed Iqbal from his post in order to halt filing of references against party leaders.

Responding to a question about the leaked audio and video tapes of the NAB chief, the minister said, “Leave the audio and video aside, see corrupt elements’ screams.” He said this in a reference to PML-N leaders’ reaction to the controversy.

“Look at their past, whenever they find themselves trapped, they target institutions,” he said, claiming Shehbaz Sharif is begging for an NRO-like deal to get scott-free in graft cases filed against him.

Sheikh Rasheed said the PML-N and PPP are responsible for inflation in the country.





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Three Eid special trains on tracks from June 2: Minister



LAHORE: Federal Minister for Railways Sheikh Rasheed Ahmed has said the Pakistan Railways would run three Eid special trains from June 2 to facilitate passengers.

Addressing a press conference at PR Headquarters on Saturday, he said if more trains would be arranged then five Eid special trains would be run to facilitate passengers.

He said a tender had been awarded to Railway Constructions Pakistan Limited (RAILCOP) for improvement of Tando Adam railway track.

The minister said Sir Syed Express train would soon be inaugurated, adding that required target would be achieved in freight area.

To a question, Sheikh Rashid said those who plundered the country’s wealth were targeting the National Accountability Bureau (NAB).

He said due to lack of health facilities, AIDS had become severe in Larkana and demanded the resignation of Sindh health minister.






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Increasing rape cases manifest failure of our social system: Zia Awan



KARACHI: Renowned social worker Zia Ahmed Awan Advocate* noted that increasing crimes of rape and underage marriage manifested failure of social and justice systems.

Addressing a Presser here today Zia Awan lamented: “Nothing has changed since yesterday’s Zainab and Teressa till today’s Khadija and Jessica. A few days of noise, government’s announcements and then silence. Implementation of the laws and protection of children are not high up in priorities of the government officials otherwise after such horrific and heinous crimes what not could be changed we weren’t even able to set up a DNA lab, upscale the numbers of MLOs so that evidence of such crimes can be properly analyzed nor there is any change in system and response of Police that would help to protect and prevent these girls from such acts.” He further added that medico-legal should be completely computerized.

Grieving parents of the two girls were also present at the press conference who spoke to journalists about details of their cases and difficulties in their pursuit to justice.

While speaking about the case of 9-year-old Khadija (Railway Colony, Bin Qasim Town), Advocate Zia Ahmed Awan appealed to Chief Minister Sindh and Inspector General Police Sindh to take notice of this horrific incident and bound the Police to make sure to complete due process and bring the criminals to justice.

Advocate Zia Ahmed Awan further said that due to incompetence and sluggishness of Police, the third criminal could not be apprehended and this is a huge failure. He informed that Madadgaar has appealed to the Prosecutor General to appoint a Special Prosecutor to this case, in fact, there should be Special Prosecutors for all such cases. He said that Minister Women Development Syed Shehla Raza also had a meeting regarding this case but the fact of the matter is that the government should ensure swift justice.

He spoke about 16 years old Jessica (Lines Area, Saddar Town) who was kidnapped, trafficked and victim of child marriage. He said that Police is doing nothing even a complaint is registered with them and they know the situation and location of the girl instead they told girl’s parents to go and get her themselves. He said that this is a routine behavior of Police as this is how they extort money from the parents. 

Zia Awan said that since the role of Police was of utmost importance in these cases, the government should establish task forces of senior Police officers at provincial and district level who would act as watchdogs for such cases and respond to them immediately. He further added that the government is bringing a new Police Order and this has been done before but the Police institutions were not strengthened properly. The need is to strengthen the internal structure of the Police, implement the new Police Order fully, in letter and in spirit, especially ensuring the allocation of resources.

While speaking about government’s initiatives he said that there is no role of Sindh Child Protection Authority evident anywhere which is the principal government institution for child protection in Sindh. It is an utmost need that this authority should be made active and in coordination with other government departments. Similarly, Chief Minister Sindh Mr. Murad Ali Shah established a child protection committee in Sindh after the murder of Zainab and promised that this committee will meet every month.

“The level of interest and priority in child protection is such that till date only one meeting of this committee was convened that was the first meeting. After our reminders, Minister Social Welfare and Advisor Law called us and had a meeting with us but nothing else happened. He further said that there is no provision for any compensation for the girls and boys victims of violence and their parents whereas our justice system and the pursuit to justice leave the parents financially crippled.

“Pakistan is a signatory to United Nations Convention on Rights of the Child (UNCRC) and Convention on Elimination of All Forms of Discrimination Against Women (CEDAW) and such incidents and Federal, Provincial Governments’ disinterest in the protection of girls is a question mark on our implementation progress on these conventions,” Zia Awan concluded.

Study Case I:

Parveen is a residence of Lines Area Karachi and works as a maid in Army Public School Saddar branch. Her husband Tariq works as a street hawker. They have 3 daughters and 1 son. Parveen’s younger brother Michael and his wife Mariam have been living with them for 3 years. Parveen used to leave her children and house in Mariam’s charge while going to work.

Mariam was friends with unknown males and regularly communicated with them on mobile behind the family’s back. In Parveen’s absence, Mariam forced 16-year-old Jessica, Parveen’s eldest daughter, to talk to a male on phone. Upon Jessica’s refusal, Mariam threatened her but Jessica never told this to her parents.

On April 16, 2019, when Parveen left for work. At 8 am, Tariq asked his younger daughter to wake Jessica up for school. They found that Jessica was not at home. Tariq called and asked Parveen that if she saw Jessica leaving for school in her presence. Parveen denied. They started searching for her.

When Parveen inquired her other children, she found out that Mariam used to force Jessica to talk to some unknown guy. Mariam denied this accusation. Parveen went to the police station to launch an FIR. Mariam begged Parveen not to register an FIR and told that she’ll help her in finding her daughter.

Mariam took Parveen and her two brothers, 1 sister and sister’s husband, and 1 neighbor to Cantt Station. The entire time, Mariam was trying to call someone but her calls were never picked. This made Parveen certain that her sister-in-law is behind her daughter’s disappearance. Parveen mentioned this in FIR which compelled Mariam in speaking.

She told that a man named Maqsood has taken Jessica away somewhere and Mariam’s brother Sammy is involved in this entire matter. Parveen faced many difficulties in getting her FIR registered. Police didn’t support her from day 01. They told her not to mention multiple names in the FIR as it will complicate the case. When they went to check Mariam’s house, they asked Parveen to pay the fuel cost for the police van.

Police arrested Sammy but he was released immediately on bail. Maqsood was never found. From a relative, Parveen received some pictures of Jessica. The relative told Parveen that Jessica is somewhere in Punjab province and she has been married. Police verified this and told that Parveen is in Nankana Sahib.

Police told Parveen to go and search for Jessica herself. Parveen doesn’t have the resources to go all the way to Punjab to pursue this case. She wants prompt and safe return of her daughter and the marriage which is illegal by Pakistan law to be dissolved as well.

Study Case II:

Khadija Batool Khokhar was a residence of Railway Colony Marshalling Yard Bin Qasim Malir. Her father Manzoor Ahmed Khokhar works as a clerk in Pakistan Railways. Khadija was a student of 3rd grade in The Citizen Foundation – TCF School. She commuted with her two sisters and her brother on auto-rickshaw.

On February 28, 2019, Khadija asked her father to give her some money to buy treats from the nearby shop. Manzoor gave her the cash and took his other children to market. 1 hour later when Manzoor returned home he found out that Khadija hasn’t returned yet. Khadija’s family started searching for her and even asked the nearby mosque to announce her disappearance.

 However, the search didn’t result in any success. Around 10 pm at night, in charge of Railway check post along with his staff, and residents of the area went to search vacant flat # 11 block Q. At that time the flat was locked from outside. Upon searching, Khadija’s body was found floating in the water tank. She had expired.

Khadija’s hands and feet were tied and a piece of cloth was stuffed in her mouth to stop her from breathing. It was evident that she had been choked with the same cloth. Her body was covered in bruises and beating marks. Manzoor fainted after seeing her corpse of his daughter.

 The police came on the scene and sent the body to Jinnah Hospital for examination. Doctors told that Khadija had been raped by multiple men. Detailed examination and DNA report revealed that 3 men were involved in the act.

Manzoor’s neighbor Farhan Panwar s/o Abdul Sattar Panwar and rickshaw driver Ayaz Jokio s/o Riaz Ali Jokio were identified and arrested by the police. The 3rd person was not revealed. Manzoor told that biting marks were found on Khadija’s face and during the postmortem report the MLO saved those marks but in the police report, it was never mentioned which culprit did that act.

Manzoor further revealed that despite 3 people mentioned in the DNA report, police never revealed the name of the 3rd person or made any attempt to catch him. The case has been ongoing for 2 months in ATC Court but the challan hasn’t been submitted yet.

This raises a mark on police performance and makes the case process dubious. Manzoor pleads the civil society, media and the general public to raise voice against this injustice and asked the government to ensure that such heinous crimes are never committed again.


*Zia Ahmed Awan Advocate is President Lawyers for Human Rights and Legal Aid.

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