Ayaz Amir versus a 15-year-old
In this rape case, why has a deadly silence gripped the major English and Urdu dailies of Pakistan?
To crush and bypass the law is an everyday phenomenon in this luckless land, but when the law is trampled upon by someone who urges the nation to respect it every Friday in his verbose columns, one worries.
This is happening in my beloved Chakwal where well-known columnist and MNA of PML-N Ayaz Amir dwells.
Let me first say I have considered Amir a great teacher but even the greatest teacher is not a divine figure who is above wrongdoing or exempt from criticism.
A local court on Tuesday ordered City Police of Chakwal to register a criminal case against Ayaz Amir including five others for sexually assaulting a fifteen-year-old girl. Additional District and Sessions Judge Mohammad Asghar Khan while delivering his verdict on Tabussam F’s petition directed the police to book Ayaz Amir, Raja Azhar, Farooq Qasai, Murtaza Bhutto, Naseem alias Komal and Jamshed.
Tabussam filed a petition before the court on August 10 alleging that she was sexually assaulted by Ayaz Amir, Farooq Qasai and Murtaza Bhutto four months ago on the will of her husband Jamshed and her sister-in-law Komal as they both used to use her as a call girl. She also alleged in her application that Ayaz Amir raped her at his house. She further accused her in-laws of forcing her into adultery. In her petition she alleged that she went to City Police Station to register a case against Ayaz Amir and others but nobody heard her cries there.
Talking to me, Qazi Ameen, the council of Ms Tabussam said that to registered an FIR was the basic right of every citizen. But Tabussam got this basic right after a tough struggle of four months because her culprits were a sitting MNA and a journalists.
He further said that police should register FIRs on the complaint of every citizen.
“Let the court decide about the status of an FIR.”
In his recent article Mr Amir alleged that Qazi Ameen had served as an Advocate General of Punjab in the pervious regime of PML Q and he was fighting the baseless case of Tabussam to degrade him. But refuting such kind of allegations, Ameen said that he was just doing his professional duties.
Talking about the litigant he said that the father of Tabussam was a handicapped person.
“He married his daughter to Jamshed who had already married three other women”.
He further said that Tabussam was married despite being a minor.
“One of Jamshed’s wives filed a petition in the court that her husband had married with an under-age girl which was a crime according to the law of the land.”
Ameen claims that Jamshed's sister Komal then took his young wife Tabussam to the house of Ayaz Amir, assuring her that the PML-N MNA could get rid of her from the case.
“Komal left after leaving Tabussam with Ayaz Amir. There he raped her.”
Ameen further claimed that over the next few days, Komal presented Tabussam to three other persons who also assaulted her. Ameen said:
“She went to the police station for registering a case against the four persons but no one heard her."
According to him, Ayaz Amir and other accused persons found out that Tabussam was trying to register a case against them, so they concocted a drama to silence her. A case of robbery and kidnapping was registered against Tabussam, her handicapped father and brother. How could a fifteen years old girl along with her paralysed father rob her in-laws and kidnap her husband”
Repeated attempts have been made to get the version Ayaz Amir but he could not be contacted. However his son Shah Nawaz termed the allegations levelled by Tabussam against his father as “baseless and false”.
Amir has denied the allegations in a newspaper column saying that he had been insulted by associating with a girl who belongs to a demimonde family. But no major newspapers dared publish a story covering Tabussam. Even the Tuesday verdict registering a rape case against Ayaz Amir and five others failed to get a space in the leading dailies of Pakistan. It’s not that they do not have their correspondents in Chakwal. They do have correspondents but the adjectives like moral courage, principled journalism and objectivity are the things which even major media houses still lack.
On Wednesday, Amir called a small press conference in which he invited only a few journalists. Not a single correspondent of leading Urdu and English dailies was invited including the Chairman of Chakwal Press Club.
My point is only this: when the state gives a right to register an FIR to every citizen, why was Tabussam denied this right?
The credibility of the case was to be decided by the court but why wasn't the case registered?
Why has a deadly silence gripped the editors of the major English and Urdu dailies of Pakistan?