'Supreme Court is our last hope' -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

‘Supreme Court is our last hope’

Victim Sanam Baloch

ISLAMABAD: “Is there anyone who cares for the poor?” sighed the father of a 16-year-old girl, Sanam, who was allegedly killed by her husband a year ago in Shikarpur. The girl was killed in the presence of her father, on the pretext of Karo-Kari (honour killing) last year during the month of Ramazan.

After her death, the 50-year-old father Dhani Bux Baloch spent the first year hiding from his daughter’s husband Wahid Bux, who is the maternal nephew of Mola Bux, an influential landlord of the area. “I could not go to the court for the hearings because Wahid and his men threatened to kill me if I did,” said Baloch.

He alleged that when he went to Mian Goth police station in Shikarpur to register an FIR against his daughter’s husband, the SHO refused and demanded Rs20,000 in bribe. After paying him the amount, the police registered the FIR, but no arrests were made and the culprits have been roaming around freely. “Why would the police arrest them? They are rich,” Baloch added.

The aggrieved family alleged that Mola Bux’s men also set their house on fire. “It was our sole possession,” said the mother of the slain girl. “Everything in our house has gone to ashes.”

In hopes of receiving justice, he submitted an application with the Supreme Court, which was accepted three months ago as a human rights case. Baloch, along with his family, have since been living in playgrounds, on footpaths, hospital lawns and outside the National Press Club, waiting for their case to be heard in the apex court. “We don’t have money to afford accommodations in Islamabad,” said Baloch. After the Islamabad police forced them to leave city, they have been living in Liaqat Bagh in Rawalpindi. “Its difficult living outside, the nights are cold,” he added.

He said he has requested senior police officials as well as politicians for help. “They all assured me of justice, but nobody really cares about the poor,” he said.

The family has appealed to the Chief Justice of Pakistan Iftikhar Muhammad Chaudhry to ensure protection of their lives and to bring the culprits to task. “Supreme Court is my last hope,” Baloch said, as he wept for justice.
Source: The Express Tribune
Date:11/2/2010