Despite all the uproar in the media over Sonia Naz's allegations, the Punjab government - thanks to Chief Minister Pervez Ellahi’s almost-psychotic loyalty to his thuggish Jat clansmen in the police - has refused to budge.
It is fated, I fear, to become yet another tragic tale 'full of sound and fury; signifying nothing.'
The poor woman, now shunned even by her own terrified family members, needs all the support and sympathy that the world can give her.
Since my last update things don’t seem to have really improved for her. In a country where ‘justice’ favours the rich and powerful, unless Musharraf steps in directly or the Supreme Court makes a bold stand, the likelihood of Sonia Naz winning her case is nil.
Here is the chronological summary of recent events for all those concerned about Sonia Naz's welfare.
10th October – A full bench of the Supreme Court directs the Inspector General of Police for Punjab to register a criminal case against Superintendent Police Khalid Abdullah and Inspector Jamshed Chishti on charges of abduction and rape of Sonia Naz.
12th October – On Supreme Court’s instructions Lahore Police finally register a criminal case under against SP Khalid Abdullah and Inspector Jamshed Chishti on charges of abduction and rape of Sonia Naz.
16th October – The newspaper Daily Times reports that the police were circumventing the law by not arresting the accused. It quoted a police officer saying: “Why should we arrest the accused when they are fully cooperating with the police”
17th October - The Supreme Court resumed its hearing on the Sonia Naz Case and ordered the Punjab Government to form an investigation committee comprising of three police officers of Deputy-Inspector General rank to probe Naz’s abduction and rape allegations and start criminal proceedings against the two accused police officers.
The judges removed DIG Tariq Saleem Dogar as Inquiry Officer after concluding that the DIG was helping his ‘old friend’, the accused police officer SP Abdullah Khalid, and avoiding making an arrest.
The Court demanded to know why the accused police officers had not been arrested. The Chief Justice was quoted as saying: ‘This is a serious matter as such cases are defaming the country and impeding its progress’.
19th October - The police finally took Superintendent Police Khalid Abdullah and Inspector Jamshed Chishti into custody.
25th October - Sonia Naz complained to the press that the police officers in the Supreme Court appointed police committee were showing an eagerness for her to withdraw her rape and kidnapping complaint against their colleagues Khalid Abdullah and Jamshed Chishti.
27th October - A news report states that the new Police committee:
- Asked the rape victim to produce four pious and reputable Muslim witnesses to support her charge of rape at the hands of cops, “otherwise her case would be dismissed”.8th November – The police team reports that there is not enough evidence to establish allegations of abduction and rape against police officials and recommended that charges under the Zina Ordinance against the accused officials be deleted.
- Threatened to use Sonia Naz’s tapped telephone conversations with Lahore, Faisalabad and Islamabad journalists against her at ‘an appropriate time’.
- Asked her to give details and names of her "boyfriends" and other "flirtations" she might have had. (In reply Sonia Naz is said to have angrily asked Captain Usman what these questions had to do with her rape case. She subsequently told journalists that the inquiry officers had asked every question about her past except the "abduction, torture and rape at the hand of SP Khalid Abdullah”.)
The chief justice of Pakistan is believed to have rejected the report on the basis that the investigators did not consider all available facts and evidence.
8th November – Dawn reports:
“The members of the inquiry team spent most of the time in investigating us rather the accused,” Ms Naz told Dawn after the team submitted the inquiry report to the court on Tuesday. She accused the Punjab government of protecting the offenders.“The federal government and the Supreme Court provided me justice, but the Punjab government is out to protect its police officers,” she said, adding that her telephone was being taped.___________________________________________________________________
PS: A news report recently revealed that the enormity of damage done to Sonia Naz and her family:
Two sisters of Sonia Naz have been divorced by their husbands, who reportedly felt "disgraced" and "humiliated" at being related to sisters of a raped woman.The divorces, allegedly, follow scandalous stories about Sonia in sections of Urdu print media for the last one-and-a-half months. The third married sister of Sonia is also facing a present and clear danger from her husband, an SHO, who has already set a divorce "deadline" in case Sonia does not stop pursuing a case against SP Abdullah. Sonia herself was divorced by husband, Asim Yousaf, on similar grounds, saying he could not stay married to a woman raped by SP Khalid Abdullah and against whom the vernacular media had published scandalous stories. Two married sisters-in-law of Sonia, too, were earlier driven out of their homes by their in-laws when the Sonia rape story first made headlines. "Soon we, four divorced sisters, [will] be living in our widowed mother's house. It's a male-dominated society. Men have the right to do as they please. (It seems) only they have ego and self-honour......we have none," Sonia said, sobbing.
…"My sisters have stopped talking to me as they hold me directly responsible for the break-up in their lives," Sonia observed.
Your Blogger’s Comment:
As far as the ‘vernacular media [publishing] scandalous stories’ about Sonia Naz goes, it is par for the course. Unfortunately many vernacular newspapers in Pakistan are not only money-making scandal sheets, but their owners are also known to purposely print fraudulent stories at the request of a local power broker whom they wish to ingratiate or, more prosaically, in exchange for a bundle of cash.
The fact that none of these ‘scandalous’ stories have made it to the more responsible sections of the press, such as the English-language newspapers, ought to discredit these reports.
In any event no human being should be subjected to the crime of rape no matter how colourful their past may or may not be.
Related Sonia Naz Blogs
The Glasshouse –I Was Raped on Police Officer’s Orders (Part I)
The Glasshouse - Sonia Naz: Rape Case (Part II) - The Background
The Glasshouse - Sonia Naz: Rape Case (Part III) - Subsequent Events
The Glasshouse - Sonia Naz - Rape Case (Part IV) – Latest Update
The Glasshouse - A Sonia Naz Update - 26th September
The Glasshouse - Sonia Naz : A Victim of Grubby Punjab Politics?