10,000 Ship breaking workers come together at Gaddani!!

Press Release, 5th July, 2010.

In a historic display of strength and unity, 10,000 ship breaking workers came together in Gadani today to protest deplorable working conditions and demand the fulfillment of repeatedly broken promises.

Even before the rally began, the massive congregation faced systematic harassment from the police and Anti Terrorism Task Force, who had arrived four hours in advance of the scheduled protest time of 10:30am. Not only did they attempt to physically force the protesters back to work, but led a baton charge on 150 workers, which resulted in several casualties. After wounding numerous protesters, security forces detained Edhi ambulances for a full 2 hours and prevented paramedics from tending to the injured.

Then in an attempt to intimidate the organizers and disperse the rally, the heavily armed police arrested, without just cause, the General Secretary of the Gadani Ship Breaking Democratic Workers Union (GDSBDWU), Tarhir Yusufzai and threatened to arrest the Deputy General Secretary of the National Trade Union Federation (NTUF), Nasir Mansoor. However, the sheer presence of thousands of workers forced the S.H.O. Amir Abdullah to back down from his confrontational stance and release Tahir Yusufzai.

A convention was held noting the long struggle of the workers. Nasir Manzoor from the NTUF, Tahir Yusufzai from GDSBDWU, Ghulam Mustafa from BNP all spoke at the convention.

The workers then commenced their 8km march along the Gadani shoreline at 10:45am and were joined by over 10,000 workers. Despite the squalid living conditions forced upon the workers for years past, they found joy in solidarity with their fellow workers and were in high spirits throughout the protest.

The ship breaking owners had previously agreed to meet the workers’ demands by 30th June in return for them calling off the strike scheduled from 16th to 30th June. The owners’ refusal to abide by the agreement and their underhand attempts to demoralize the union through physical threats and intimidation has only served to strengthen the resolve of the workers. Taking into account the owners’ lack of good faith and their deceitful efforts to deny basic rights to the workers, it was unanimously decided by all present that an indefinite strike be called from the 5th of July till the following demands were met:

100% increase in wages
Registration with Social Security and Old age Benefits Institutes
Medical Dispensary and Ambulance at each ship breaking yard
Clean drinking water and canteen at each yard
Appointment letter for every worker
End of contract (JAMADARY) system
Workers residential colony
Recognition of representative character of GSBDW Union
Occupational safety measures at work place
End of police harassment against workers

For more information, please call: Nasir Manzoor, Deputy General Secretary National Trade Union Federation at 0300-2449970

Women March From Hyderabad to Karachi

For Peace, Justice, Equality!

Network for Women’s Rights is Marching from Hyderabad to Karachi on 8th March to 9th March, with our sisters who are against violence and ill treatment from the society.

8th March at 10am
A colourful programme will be held at Sindh Museum Hyderabad, Social Democratice Women Organization, Chori Workers, Hamdam Development Organization and Bonded Labour Organization. South Asian Partnership and Pakistan Institute of Labour Education Research.

March will start at 12.30pm to Tando Mohammed Khan
At 2pm the March will attend the 8th March programme organized by Nari Welfare Organization.
Some women will join the March.

Women will march 4pm to Mir Pore Bethero
Welcome by SPO organization and women from this area
Will attend a folk musical programme

At 6pm March will proceed to Sajawal
At Sajawal, women will meet each other and sing geet and songs
Discuss issue and stay the night there
The host organization will be Women Industrial and Social Organization

On 9th March, after breakfast women will march to Mirpor Sakro
At 11am, SPO area organization will welcome the marching women to attend the women programme and participate in it till 1pm.

At 1pm the March will start toward Karachi
For Regent Plaza where Aurat Foundation and other organization will wait
For the Rally to Press Club

All the way women will hold Banners listing their demands
Beat drums and other musical instruments
Some women will perform dance

For more information contact:

US frame-up of Aafia Siddiqui

US frame-up of Aafia Siddiqui begins to unravel
Pakistani victim of rendition and torture
By Ali Ismail
1 February 2010

Pakistani neuroscientist Aafia Siddiqui went on trial in a federal courtroom in New York City on January 19, charged with the attempted murder of US personnel in Afghanistan’s Ghazni Province in 2008. The case against Dr. Siddiqui, 37, is rapidly unraveling due to lack of evidence and discordant testimony from witnesses.

It is becoming increasingly evident that the charges amount to a frame-up that has been staged to cover up the fact that Siddiqui, along with her eldest son, had been held without charges in the US military’s notorious Bagram prison in Afghanistan between 2003 and 2008 where they were subjected to torture. Two of Dr. Siddiqui’s younger children are still missing.

According to the account given by US authorities, Aafia Siddiqui was taken into custody by Afghan security services in July of 2008 after they alleged having found a list of US targets for terrorist attacks as well as bomb-making instructions and assorted chemicals.

Despite these claims, Siddiqui is not charged with any terror-related offenses. Instead, she is indicted for allegedly having seized an automatic weapon and fired on her Afghan and American captors when a group of FBI agents and US Army officers arrived to collect her. The most serious charge against her is using a firearm in committing a felony, the gun in question being a US soldier’s rifle.

Siddiqui was shot twice in the stomach and barely survived after medics at Bagram air field had to make an incision from her breastbone to her bellybutton to remove the bullets. It was reported that part of her intestines had to be removed to save her life.

The accusations against Siddiqui strain credulity and have been fervently denied by her relatives, her defense attorneys, and human rights organizations, all of whom claim that she had been held in secret US detention facilities where she was physically and sexually abused ever since she disappeared off the streets of Karachi in the spring of 2003 with her three children, then seven, five, and six months old.

According to the German weekly, Der Spiegel, just a few days before she disappeared, Affia Siddiqui had contacted her former professor, Robert Sekuler, at Brandeis University in search of a job, complaining that there weren’t any job opportunities in Pakistan for a woman of her educational background.

Dr. Siddiqui is a Pakistani national who was educated at Massachusetts Institute of Technology and Brandeis University. In July of 2001, she and her husband at the time were scrutinized by the FBI for their alleged association with Islamic charities. Following the events of September 11, 2001 the couple returned to Pakistan at a time when hundreds of Pakistanis and other Muslims were rounded up for questioning across the US. The family resided in Karachi where Aafia Siddiqui was employed at Aga Khan University.

According to the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, Aafia Siddiqui and her children were kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence agents on their way to the airport in Karachi. Their whereabouts remained unknown until Aafia Siddiqui and her eldest son, Ahmed, were reported detained in Afghanistan in July of 2008, several years after their disappearance. While the Pakistani Interior Ministry had initially confirmed that the abduction had taken place, it later claimed to have been mistaken and stated that Siddiqui was not in Pakistani custody. This about-face was an attempt to conceal the complicity of Pakistani intelligence services in the US government’s rendition of Siddiqui to Afghanistan and her subsequent ordeal.

Aafia Siddiqui’s sister, Dr. Fauzia Siddiqui, had informed the press that she and her mother had journeyed to the US in 2003 to meet with FBI officials, who had claimed that Aafia Siddiqui would soon be released. In Pakistan, Siddiqui’s family was repeatedly harassed and received numerous death threats from sinister forces within the Pakistani ruling elite. The family was ordered not to make any public appeals in support of Aafia and her three children.

Between 2003 and 2008, when Siddiqui’s whereabouts were still unknown, the US claimed that she was working on behalf of Al Qaeda. In May of 2004, she was listed by US officials as one of the seven “most wanted” Al Qaeda fugitives. The US has also spuriously claimed that she is married to Ammar al-Baluchi, who is reported to be the nephew of Khalid Sheikh Mohammed, the so-called “mastermind” behind the 9/11 attacks. The claim that Siddiqui was married to al-Baluchi was based solely on coerced statements made by Mohammed, who has been repeatedly tortured.

The US military and the FBI have consistently denied that Siddiqui had been in US custody prior to her arrest in 2008. In reality, Aafia Siddiqui spent the years between 2003 and 2008 at the detention facility at Bagram air base, where many referred to her as the “Grey Lady of Bagram.”

Around the same time as her staged arrest, the British journalist, Yvonne Ridley, had been bringing attention to an unknown female detainee in Bagram prison who was known as Prisoner No. 650. In his book, “Enemy Combatant,” Moazzam Begg recalled hearing the woman’s piercing screams as she was being tortured while he was imprisoned in the same facility. According to Ridley, in 2005 male prisoners at the facility were so disturbed by her screams and sobs that they staged a hunger strike that lasted for six days.

When she was arrested in 2008, her then 11 year-old son Ahmed, a US citizen, was by her side. The traumatized boy has since been repatriated to Pakistan, where he is now living with his aunt, Dr. Fawzia Siddiqui. According to his aunt, Pakistani authorities have forbidden Ahmed from speaking to the news media.

Siddiqui’s appearance has changed markedly since 2002, according to her lawyers. She has suffered a broken nose, is deathly pale, and extremely frail, weighing about 100 pounds. When she arrived in the US, she was suffering from acute trauma, according to her lawyers who were outraged that she did not immediately receive the urgent medical attention. Siddiqui had been suffering from agonizing pain from the wounds she had sustained in Afghanistan and was slumped over in her wheelchair when she arrived in court in August of 2008.

Her trial was delayed as her lawyers argued that she was mentally unfit to participate in her own defense. However, prosecutors eventually found mental health experts to allege that she was faking her condition to escape punishment. Judge Richard Berman ruled that she was mentally fit for trial.

The paucity of media attention given to the trial is noteworthy, particularly given that Siddiqui was listed as a top Al Qaeda suspect. The tabloid press in New York City, where the proceedings have received limited attention, press has taken her guilt for granted, cynically dubbing her “Lady Al Qaeda.” The trial is being closely watched in Pakistan, where Siddiqui’s ordeal has outraged many and has sparked protests around the country.

From its beginning, the trial has been marked by questionable irregularities, and the judge has gone out of his way to accommodate the prosecutors. Not a single Pakistani journalist was granted press credentials for the opening statements last Tuesday. Defense attorneys protested the robust security measures put in place during the trial, which obviously reinforces the notion that Siddiqui poses a security threat to the US.

In a clear violation of her rights, Judge Berman has repeatedly thrown Siddiqui out of the courtroom for what he called her “outbursts”. The “outbursts,” were Siddiqui’s anguished claims of innocence and protests that she was tortured.

“Since I’ll never get a chance to speak,” she had told the court. “If you were in a secret prison, or your children were tortured…Give me a little credit, this is not a list of targets of New York. I was never planning to bomb it. You’re lying.”

The trial has also been marked by contradictory testimony from prosecution witnesses, which has undermined the case against Siddiqui.

On the third day of the trial, Assistant US Attorney Jenna Dabbs displayed several photographs of the room where the prosecution claims the shooting occurred. However, Carlo Rosatti, an FBI firearms expert who investigated the case, acknowledged last Friday that he had found “no shell casings, no bullets, no bullet fragments, no evidence the gun [the soldier’s M-4 rifle] was fired.” The only shell casing from the scene was from a 9-milllimeter pistol with which Siddiqui was shot. On the fourth day of the trial, another FBI agent testified that the FBI never found Aafia Siddiqui’s fingerprints on the M-4 rifle.

The warrant officer who shot Siddiqui also took the stand, recounting the version of events laid out by the prosecution. He claimed that on the day he and his colleagues went to collect Siddiqui, she suddenly got a hold of his rifle and aimed it at US personnel, at which point he opened fire with his 9-millimeter pistol.

When Siddiqui yelled out, “I never shot it,” she was tossed out of the courtroom for the remainder of the day.

The unnamed warrant officer, who had hobbled to the stand using a cane, was also permitted to recount how he was wounded in a recent and totally unrelated roadside bombing in Afghanistan, shedding tears as he did so. While having absolutely no relevance to the trial, the soldier’s wounds were invoked as part of a brazen attempt by prosecutors to sway the jury. Judge Berman’s allowing the testimony demonstrates the rigged character of the trial.

Sensing that Siddiqui was indeed emotionally unstable, prosecutors moved to force her to testify in the hopes that she would incriminate herself. Defense attorneys argued that she wasn’t mentally fit to take the stand. Once again, Judge Berman sided with the prosecution.

Berman warned Aafia Siddiqui that she is not permitted to speak about events prior to her arrest in July of 2008. Nevertheless, on Thursday Siddiqui repeatedly told the jury that she was held in secret prisons by US authorities, according to the Associated Press of Pakistan. She told the jury how she was shot just after she peeked through a curtain in search of an escape route. She added that it would be ludicrous to believe that a soldier would leave his gun where an allegedly dangerous suspect could get a hold of it.

“It’s too crazy,” she said. “It’s just ridiculous. I didn’t do that.”

When asked by a US Attorney about the contents of her purse which allegedly contained chemicals, bomb-making instructions, and a list of US targets, Siddiqui said, “I can’t testify to that, the bag was not mine, so I didn’t necessarily go through everything.” Siddiqui’s lawyers have claimed the bag and its contents were planted evidence. Her attorney, Elaine Whitfield Sharp, said back in 2008 that Siddiqui had been carrying what amounted to “conveniently incriminating evidence.”

“Of course they found all this stuff on her. It was planted on her. She is the ultimate victim of the American dark side,” another one of her attorneys had told the Associated Press in 2008.

Siddiqui also told the jury that her children were constantly on her mind and that she was disoriented at the time of her arrest in 2008.

On Friday, the prosecution called Gary Woodworth of Braintree Rifle and Pistol Club in Massachusetts to testify. Woodworth claimed that Siddiqui had taken a 12-hour pistol course at some point in the early 1990s. The Associated Press of Pakistan reported that Woodworth was noticeably distressed when the defense team demanded to know how it was possible for him to recall a specific individual from two decades earlier, when he’d had hundreds of students. Woodworth admitted that he had no records or documentation to back up his assertions, insisting that he was good at remembering faces.

Also on Friday, FBI Special Agent Bruce Kamerman testified that Siddiqui grabbed the assault rifle in a fit of rage. However, he appeared to be flustered when one of Siddiqui’s attorneys produced his hand-written notes in which there was no mention of her grabbing the gun.

In spite of the obviously fabricated character of the prosecution’s case, there is no guarantee of an acquittal.

Even if she is found not guilty, the fate of Aafia’s Siddiqui’s other two children, Mariam and Suleman, remains unknown. Siddiqui recounts that, while she was held in solitary confinement for five years, she was endlessly forced to listen to recordings of her screaming, terrified children. Her baby, Suleman, she said, was taken away from her immediately, never to be seen again. She said her daughter Mariam was occasionally shown to her, but only as an obscure figure behind a sheet of opaque glass.

The horrifying case of Aafia Siddiqui and her three children is but one example of the criminal and inhuman practices of US imperialism and its ally, the Pakistani bourgeoisie. Hundreds if not thousands of Pakistanis have been kidnapped by Pakistani intelligence services and handed over to US personnel to be dispatched to Bagram, Guantanamo and other “black site” torture chambers around the globe. While the Pakistani government now claims to be doing everything in its power to bring Siddiqui back to Pakistan, its supposed efforts are little more than damage control.


Information provided by IJAZ SYED

Pakistani newlyweds live in fear of honour killing

23 Jan 2009 13:04:29 GMT
Source: Reuters
(Repeats story that moved at 0000 GMT)

By Aftab Borka

KARACHI, Jan 23 (Reuters) – Pervez Chachar and his young wife live in the police headquarters in the Pakistani city of Karachi. Their crime? They fell in love and married without their families’ permission.

The newlyweds dare not venture out of the police station as they fear their families will hunt them down and kill them.

“I know they will kill her and I have to protect her,” Chachar said of his wife’s family who are enraged that the young woman chose to marry a man from a rival tribe.

In traditional rural society in Pakistan, getting married without permission is deemed such a serious slight to the “honour” of a family or a tribe that death is seen as fitting retribution.

Rights groups estimate 500 people, most of them women, are killed in the name of “honour” in Pakistan every year, with the majority of victims from poor, rural families often killed by their own relatives.

Shortly after Chachar married Humera Kambo a year ago, the couple fled to Karachi from their home in Sindh province. Humera, too afraid to talk to a reporter, has been abducted by her family and Chachar has been beaten by them.

Still defiant, they fear death if they stray too far from the cramped room next to the police canteen which they share with another young couple in the same position. They have been there for four months and they don’t know when they can safely leave.

Under Pakistani customs still followed in much of the countryside, a man or woman can be declared an outcast for having sexual relations outside marriage, or choosing their own spouse.

The United Nations has estimated that some 5,000 people, mostly women, die every year in so-called honour killings, mostly in South Asia and the Middle East.


Traditionally, people in rural Pakistan have little confidence in, or access to, police and courts in big towns. They solve problems through jirgas, or councils, of village elders.

But the councils are often manipulated by the powerful and become tools for sanctioning violence against the weak, often in the course of a dispute within an extended family over land or some other asset.

Women are the weakest of all in traditional, male-dominated Muslim society so they are often targeted, rights groups say.

“Why does it happen? Because they are always the ones who have no redress, either legally or socially,” Anis Haroon, of the women’s rights group the Aurat Foundation, said of the victims.

“They don’t know anyone, they have no contacts, they have no money to offer the police. And these perpetrators come from the higher status of society,” she said.

Haroon said there could be no hope of change until legislators changed their mindset.

Most educated, urban Pakistanis abhor the violence and former president Pervez Musharraf took small steps to improve the lot of women. But change is painfully slow.

A senator from Baluchistan province provoked outrage late last year when he said the killing of five women, who were reported to have been shot and buried alive in another case of honour killing, was a reflection of tribal traditions.

The senator, Sardar Israrullah Zehri, is now a minister in the federal government.

“It is a very bad sign … people who are encouraging violence, their membership should be cancelled. They should not be allowed to contest elections,” Haroon said.


Orangzeb Magsi, a 32-year-old graduate from a U.S. university, is a leader of one of the most powerful tribes in Baluchistan.

Magsi has dealt with more than 100 cases of “honour” crime in the past four years in his district but thankfully no killings, he says. Only education and time will bring change, he adds.

“On the one hand, you have these centuries old customs and on the other, the government says ‘it’s illegal’,” Magsi said. “Since they are not educated, it’s very difficult to make them understand.”

Nafeesa Shah, a newly elected member of parliament from a rural area of Sindh province, said the jirgas and custom of killing women over honour reflected the failure of the judicial system.

“You had these customs in mediaeval Europe. You had the lynching of people in America … These things will only go if you have laws that don’t allow space for it,” Shah said.

Shah, a member of assassinated former prime minister Benazir Bhutto’s Pakistan People’s Party, said the party’s victory in 2008 elections was a golden opportunity for change.

“It is important now that we, who are in power and can change things, take this as a sign of the times and work towards making laws and improving criminal procedures in a way that deters the offenders from protecting their crimes in the name of honour or customs,” she said. (Editing by Robert Birsel and Megan Goldin)


‘Conviction rate merely one to two per cent’

Tuesday, January 06, 2009
By our correspondent


The conviction rate in violence against women in Pakistan is not more than one to two per cent, Aurat Foundation Resident Director Anis Haroon said during the launch of a report about violence against women in Sindh in the last quarter of 2008.

“Out of 403 cases identified, 64 women and 19 men were killed in karo-kari (honour killing) in Sindh during the last quarter of 2008. Twenty-two women faced murder attempts, 60 women were kidnapped and 32 were injured. There were nine cases of domestic violence, 33 women committed suicide, 32 women attempted suicide, 19 women were raped, 12 were gang-raped, 11 faced sexual assault and 40 became victims of custodial violence. There were three cases of acid burning, eight women faced violence in the name of customary practices and eight were sold in the province,” Haroon said.

The report pointed out that despite the ban imposed by the Sindh High Court (SHC), as many as 30 jirgas were held in the province on women-related issues and 17 women and girls were given as compensation to settle tribal conflicts. Six cases were registered against jirga holders and parents and some of them were arrested.

The report said that the number of registered First Information Reports (FIRs) on violence against women during the period was 198. However, in 125 cases, FIRs could not be registered while in 31 cases, the status of FIRs could not be ascertained.

The report said that most of the accused were male members of the women’s families. Sixty-three of them were husbands, 65 were close relatives, five were brothers, four were cousins, two were uncles, and three were parents. Nineteen police personnel, five people persons from same tribes, 25 area residents, five neighbours, one son-in-law, five robbers, two lawyers, 10 members of rival tribes and five sons were also involved. In 83 cases, the relationship of the accused with the victim could not be ascertained.

In Karachi alone, 194 women and girls were raped or sexually assaulted during the last nine months. All these cases were reported to medico-legal officers (MLOs) but they were not reported in the media because in most cases, their FIRs were not established.

“Cases are not investigated if FIRs have not been established,” Haroon said. “There should be a one-window facility in rape cases since evidence is lost if a woman has to be produced at several places.”

She went on to say that police posts should be established in hospitals so that FIRs could be established there. Haroon said that the Aurat Foundation was not in favour of capital punishment, and other steps should be taken to punish criminals.

Pakistan People’s Party (PPP) MPA Humaira Alwani said that as the fourth pillar of the State, the media was playing a positive role in highlighting the cases of violence against women. She said that every civil hospital in the province should have a female MLO. She agreed that women police stations should play a proactive role in apprehending people involved in violence against women.

Nusrat Saher Abbasi, an MPA from the Pakistan Muslim League-Nawaz (PML-N) said that Pakistan has entered the 21st century but sadly enough “we were still witnessing violence against women”. She said that women have been allocated 33 per cent representation in assemblies and even though the PPP chairperson late Benazir Bhutto had zero tolerance for violence against women but the present government has failed to implement laws on this issue.


HRCP wants Karachi deweaponised, causes of violence addressed

Press Release, December 1

Lahore: The Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed shock at the loss of life in recent violence in Karachi and urged the government to ensure that the city is de-weaponised and no one is allowed to fan ethnic strife there.

A statement issued by the HRCP on Monday said: “The loss of life and property in Karachi in acts of indiscriminate violence in the past two days is truly alarming. Deployment of paramilitary force in the sensitive areas to help control the situation is needed, but such deployment and shoot-at-sight orders do not address the causes of violence. Talibanization is no doubt a serious threat not only in Karachi, but for the whole of Pakistan, however, that cannot be justified as a pretext to fan ethnic violence.

It is shocking and beyond comprehension that some political leaders were urging Karachites to buy weapons. Also disappointing have been the slogans for expulsion from Karachi of citizens from other provinces. The Constitution guarantees every citizen’s right to live in any part of the country, and this right cannot be compromised.

The extent and use of weapons in the hands of non-state actors in the city in the last few days has been horrific. The government should ensure deweaponisation of the city in a truly unbiased manner. The possibility of the government achieving that depends to a large extent on it convincing the citizens of its ability and willingness to protect all so that they need not keep private arms to protect themselves. The significance of impartial action cannot be emphasized enough. Picking favourites must be avoided as that could lead to disastrous consequences.”

Iqbal Haider


‘CD markets face no threats’

KARACHI: The Awami National Party (ANP) has claimed that that CD shops in the city were facing no threats. According to a press release by ANP on Friday, the party’s provincial general secretary Muhammad Amin Khattak, Syed Ahmed Khan and Hanfi Advocate visited different CD markets including Madina Market along with traders’ leaders.

“The banners on display at the market were to vacate the wood-made cabins as the owner wanted to make a building there. But it is regrettable that this was being used to raise fears of Talibanisation in the city,” the ANP statement added. The release further said that the business of Pakhtoons were being destroyed in the name of Talibanisation and therefore the Sindh governor, chief minister and home minister should look into the matter and provide security to them. pr


Court orders release of minor ‘couple’, 3 others

KARACHI: A judicial magistrate at the Karachi Central Jail on Saturday ordered the release of a minor ‘bride’ and her ‘groom’ along with their two relatives and a qazi (marriage registrar).

Police arrested the five in the Nazimabad area on Thursday, amid claims that four-year-old Nisha and seven-year-old Waseem were being wedded unlawfully. The three men were released on a bail of Rs 5,000 each.

Anwaar Hussain, the grandfather of one of the children, had filed a petition in the court, saying that police had the boy and girl in their custody for 36 hours and no one was allowed to meet them. He requested the court to take action against the police.

aaj kal report


Shaheed Bibi Naheed: Constable sentenced to death for killing wife‏

Khadijah Shah

KARACHI, PAKISTAN, Oct 13: A district and sessions court on Monday sentenced a police constable to death for killing his wife and convicted his two brothers for helping him in the crime.

The additional district and sessions judge South, Sultan Mohammad Awan, awarded capital punishment to Mohammad Aslam and five-year rigorous imprisonment each to his two brothers, Mohammad Ashraf and Mansoor.

The main accused, Aslam, has already been in jail for the past eight years. However, his two brothers were granted bail after spending two years in jail. They were also present in the court on Monday when the judge pronounced the verdict.

The police rearrested the two brothers and sent them to the prison for serving the remainder of their sentence (three years).

The court convicted the three brothers after public prosecutor Abdul Maroof proved his case in the court.

The former police constable had killed his wife, Naheed, with the connivance of his brothers on June 7, 2000. The court tried the accused under Section 302 of the Pakistan Penal Code.

According to the prosecution, police found a two-day-old body of a woman in a locked house in Kalri police limits on June 9, 2000. The victim was identified as Naheed and her father Faqeer Mohammad
lodged an FIR at Kalri police station against his son-in-law, Aslam, and his two brothers, who were also living in the same house, for murdering his daughter.

On June 14, 2000 Aslam and his two brothers surrendered themselves to police. Police also recovered his seven-month-old daughter.

At that time, the accused told the police that his wife was trying to commit suicide and she had his pistol in her hand when he intervened and tried to stop her. However, in the struggle, he snatched the
pistol but accidentally its butt hit her head causing her instant death.

He said that he had no option but to leave the body in the house and escape.

However, the woman’s father told the police that two days before the incident, Naheed had come to his house and informed him that her husband had behaved badly and wanted to kill her.

It was also alleged that the crime was committed at the instigation of the two brothers of Aslam.

The public prosecutor also argued that it was not a case of suicide as the autopsy report revealed that Naheed had been hit by a blunt instrument many times and the police had also recovered blood-soaked clothes of Aslam.

The prosecution presented nine witnesses. The prosecution witnesses were the father and two brothers of the deceased woman, an investigating officer, three residents of the same area who stated that they had seen a confused Aslam along with his infant daughter on the day of the murder, a medico-legal officer who had conducted a post-mortem on the deceased and a chemical examiner who had deposed that the blood stains found on Aslam’s clothes were of his wife’s.

The prosecution had asked the court to award death sentence to Aslam.

Ferhan Mazher
Chairman (Rays of Development Organization, Sargodha, Pakistan)

Violence against women by family members major cause of burns

Khadijah Shah

KARACHI, PAKISTAN: Incidents of violence against women by family members in which women are burned, raped and killed continue to escalate in the country. Two such cases recently surfaced at the Friends of Burns Centre (FOBC) in the Civil Hospital, Karachi.

Rubina, aged 22, was married about one and a half year ago as per the wishes of her father, Noor-ul-Bashar. She was only married for 15 days when she started facing problems. “Rubina’s husband, Muhammad Hussain owned a small pan hut and was not related to us. It was a petty issue on which he burnt my sister,” alleged Rubina’s sister, Rozina while talking to ROD on Friday adding that she does not know what he does for a living right now. However, she said that Rubina and Noor-ul-Bashar were having misunderstandings since the start of their marriage.

Rubina is the second eldest amongst nine siblings. Rubina was brought to the FOBC on September 28 on a referral from the Jinnah Hospital. Anonymous sources told Daily Times that she was burnt on September 21 and the case was neither registered nor highlighted due to social norms and values.

Forty percent of Rubina’s body was burned when her husband set her on fire using gasoline. Almost five percent of her face was burnt which may permanently damage her eyesight. Two percent of her neck, nine percent of her anterior trunk, seven percent of her post interior, eight percent of her right arm and nine percent of her left arm were also burnt. In another case, Kalsoom, aged 28, was also set ablaze by her husband who used gasoline oil. Kalsoom has two minor children.

The husband, Abdul Jabber, was trapped by Kalsoom’s family from Lyari and was handed to the police on October 16, another source told ROD.

Ferhan Mazher
Chairman (Rays of Development Organization, Sargodha, Pakistan)