PESHAWAR: The family of a rape victim reached a compromise with the culprit who is a former member of the Afghan Parliament (Wolesi Jirga). The family is expected to withdraw its case at any time despite the fact there is no legal provision for such a settlement.
Talking to The Express Tribune, Cantt SP Kashif Zulfiqar said he was told both parties had reached a compromise in the rape case. “There is some reconciliation,” he said.
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An 18-year-old dancer had been invited to the house of Haji Sher Ali Ahmadzai where she was raped by him. An FIR had been lodged with the Hayatabad police station.
Haji Sher Ali Ahmadzai, one of the elders of the influential Ahmadzai Kochi tribe in Afghanistan, managed to escape after rape charges were framed against him. Police raided his house in Phase-II, Hayatabad and recovered a Pakistani CNIC, parliament membership card, a visa issued by the Pakistani government, visiting cards and other documents. A gunman and a watchman were arrested by the police during this action.
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Zulfiqar said, Sher Ali offered one of his sons as a husband to the victim if the allegation was withdrawn.
Jalaluddin, a Peshawar-based lawyer who deals with such cases, said rape was not a compoundable crime, legally speaking. That means the two parties cannot settle such cases and legal action must take its course.
He added in 90% of such cases, a compromise is reached as the victims or their families withdraw the cases.
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“If the case reaches a court, there is no room for reconciliation and we see a trial take place. However, the victims often contradict their claims as a way of providing relief to the offender,” he added. He stated if a case is not proven, the prosecution has the right to charge the complainant, but the latter rarely occurs and cases are simply dismissed for contradiction or lack of evidence.
Women rights activist Rakhshind Naz told The Express Tribune said ,“I think the social background of the offender and the victim should be taken into account. I have seen influential people who raped a girl and were forgiven for just one buffalo.” Naz added there was no room for such settlements under the law, but they still take place.
Published in The Express Tribune, April 2nd, 2016.
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