Islamabad – (27-07-2017) Human rights defenders, organizations, and civil society activists, express outrage at the barbaric, inhuman acts of rape and revenge rape carried out on the orders of an illegal ‘Punchayat’ in Muzaffarabad (Multan district, Punjab).
Civil Society activists express solidarity and empathy with the 2 rape survivors and their families they also express appreciation of the suo moto notice taken by the Honourable CJP, Supreme Court of Pakistan;
Activists request the Government of Punjab to follow all legal procedures and processes to support both the rape survivors, including medico-legal and DNA tests, as well as immediate provision of protection, shelter and psycho-social trauma counselling and therapy they also demand that the Government Punjab must ensure that both the named rapists and all the ‘Punchayat’ participants are arrested, correct proper FIRs are registered against them, and all of them are tried in court, under the law.
Civil society organizations and activists call upon the Parliament and all the Provincial Assemblies to honour the judgements/orders of the Sindh High Court and the Supreme Court of Pakistan (since 2004) to urgently enact strong, meaningful and effective legislation to criminalize the convening of illegal punchayats, jirgas, faislos, etc. all over Pakistan (including FATA); to declare their so-called “decisions” as legally null and void; to make it incumbent upon the LEAs to intervene to stop the holding of all such illegal councils, to prevent their orders from being carried out, and to arrest all the participants; and to ensure that no parallel systems of judiciary, or alternate dispute resolution entities, or traditional customary “laws” are allowed to be enforced anywhere in Pakistan, including FATA; and to immediately withdraw the ADR Bill (2016) and the Rewaj Bill (2017), which seek to bring back the illegal, unjust, inhuman jirgas and ‘Punchayat’ with new names and fig leaf covers.
A prominent human rights activist Tahira Abdullah in her statment said; we demand that the 1973 Constitution must be restored in its original form, particularly by repealing all the mutilations and distortions of the 8th CA, other CAs and accretions too.