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Has justice been done? Following up on the cases that shocked Pakistan

Has justice been done? Following up on the cases that shocked Pakistan

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Terrible things, unfortunately, happen everyday but sometimes unfathomably horrible incidents occur that leave entire nations in shock and grief. The motorway rape case, the Arzoo Raja forced conversion and marriage case and the Kashmore gang rape incident are all heinous crimes that shocked Pakistan. But what happens after the initial horror and grief subsides, and there aren’t any more media headlines about these cases. 

Motorway rape case:

Abid Malhi and Shafqat, alias Bagga, raped a women and beat her children in the Gujjarpura area of the motorway, on the 9th of September. The heinous nature of the crime– a mother raped in front of her children–shocked the nation.And the victim-blaming remarks of the Capital City Police Officer (CCPO) Lahore, added to the controversy. The case became national news and a month long search ensued to catch the culprits. They have since been arrested and are in police custody.

The accused in the motorway rape incident

Latest update: The main accused Abid Malhi was sent to jail on judicial remand, by an anti-terrorism court on the 2nd of November. The co-accused Shafqat, who has already recorded a confessional statement, was produced in court on the 18th of November where he was also sent to jail on judicial remand. Both Abid Malhi and Shafqat will pe produced in court again on the 1st of December. The case against them is still ongoing.

Arzoo Raja case:

14 year old, Arzoo Raja’s father filed an FIR that she was missing, on the 13th of October. After which police discovered that the christian girl had been kidnapped and married to 44 year old Syed Ali Azhar. Arzoo’s parents stated that she was forcefully converted to Islam before being made to marry Syed Ali Azhar. He produced a nikkahnama, free-will affidavit, and a Sanad-e-Islam certificate. A case was then filed in the Sindh High Court by Arzoo’s parents seeking her recovery. On the 2nd of November Arzoo was taken into protective custody on the orders of the court, and Syed Ali Azhar was arrested. Arzoo’s marriage has since been annulled by the court as it was a case of child marriage.

Arzoo Raja

Latest update: On the 23rd of November the court charged Syed Ali Azhar with statutory rape, under section 375(V) of the Pakistan Penal Code. His relatives, 6 of whom aided his forceful marriage with the teenager will also be investigated for aiding and abetting child marriage and rape. They have been declared absconders from the court. As Arzoo did not want to return to her parents, the court ruled that she will stay in a state shelter home, under supervision of a government welfare officer, until she turns 18.

Kashmore rape incident:

One of the suspects of the Kashmore rape incident, now dead

A mother and her five year old child were raped, in Kashmore by a man who falsely promised to offer her a job. The mother and child were then passed on to another man who also raped and abused them. The mother was then released, and her child held hostage under the condition that the mother bring back another girl to take her place. However, the mother informed the police. ASI Muhammad Bux Buriro convinced his daughter to go with the panicked mother to meet one of the rapists, as part of a trap. Upon arriving to meet the mother Rafiq Malik was arrested by police, who had been waiting to apprehend him. ASI Buriro and his daughter were widely commended and rewarded for their efforts by the government. The main suspect in the case was shot dead during a raid to arrest his accomplice, Khairullah Bugti. Bugti has been arrested by the police.

ASI Muhammad Bux Buriro and his daughter

Latest Update: On the 16th of November the federal government promised to bear the medical expenses of the mother and child if they need to go abroad for treatment. Federal Minister for Maritime Affairs Ali Zaidi has stated that he will provide a scholarship for the child and a job fo her mother. Police has been granted physical remand of suspect Bugti on the 12th of November. The health of the 5 year old victim, who was under intensive care, is also said to be improving.

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