Shazia Khalid calls for probe commission
NEW YORK, May 16 2006: Rape victim Dr Shazia Khalid on May 15 called upon the government of Pakistan to establish a commission, comprising Pakistani and international human rights lawyers to investigate the crime committed against her.
Speaking at a press conference organized by the New York-based Equality Now and Association of Asian-American Network of Abuse against Women, she appealed to President Pervez Musharraf to use his powers to change the justice system in Pakistan radically so that no other woman in Pakistan has to go through such horrendous ordeal she went through.
Asked why she accepted Pakistan government’s help to leave the country instead of staying at home and fight injustice like Mukhtaran Mai, Dr Shazia said: “I was told by top government officials that my case was triggering a conflict in Balochistan and the integrity of Pakistan was at stake.” She said: “Mr. Tariq Aziz, one of General Musharraf’s top confidants even told her ‘Beti (daughter) you go, Allah will give you justice. Soon you will hear good news that your abuser is punished’.”
Besides, she said that in view of the reports of emerging conflict between the Bugti clan and the government wherein her case was being made the central issue, she and her husband reluctantly agreed to leave the country. Asked about her motive to pursue her campaign to seek justice for abused women, Dr Shazia said: “I have no personal stake here other than raise a voice for justice and women’s rights.” “I do not want the injustices done to me be repeated on other women,” she stressed.
Dr Shazia and her husband Amanullah Khalid are in New York to attend event on May 15 nights to benefit Equality Now. For the first time the organization will honour men who remained steadfast on the frontlines with their spouses, daughters, etc and supported other victims of abuse. Superstar actress Meryl Streep, who is one of Equality’s Advisory Council members, will present the awards.