Child abuse case: ICT restricts access to Pakistan Sweet Homes

Interior minister rejects transfer of officer investigating the case

Arsalan Altaf/rizwan Shehzad January 14, 2017

ISLAMABAD: An assistant commissioner of the Islamabad Capital Territory (ICT) has barred media and other ‘unauthorised’ people from entering the premises of Pakistan Sweet Homes, the temporary residence of the 10-year-old girl who had allegedly been tortured at the home of a sessions judge.

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In a notification dated January 13, ICT Industrial Area Assistant Commissioner Capt (retd) Shoaib Ali said that no ‘outsider’ should be allowed to enter the orphanage and interact with the girl, T*.

The commissioner explained that unauthorised people were frequenting the orphanage and interacting with the girl, a clear violation of Supreme Court directives.

In the notification, Capt (retd) Ali said, “it is once again reiterated that no unauthorised person should be allowed to meet, make photo or video of the victim without the permission of the district magistrate.”

Further, he directed that a log should be kept of the people visiting the orphanage during the girl’s stay, while any untoward situation should immediately be communicated to the Industrial Area SHO or to the commissioner.

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Additional District and Sessions Judge Raja Khurram Ali Khan and his wife, Maheen Zafar, had been booked for allegedly torturing the child working in their house. The father of the girl, though, ‘forgave’ the judge and his wife “in the name of God”.

The SC then took suo motu notice of the incident and overruled the pardon by exercising parental jurisdiction.

Later, the Chief Justice of Pakistan ordered move the girl to Pakistan Sweet Homes and provide her psychological assistance as “only she can only explain what really happened to her” once she comes out of fear while living with other children at the orphanage.

Meanwhile, the police have been ordered to ensure safe custody of the child at the orphanage as isolation of the child was important to determine the truth.

The order came after the court was informed that the child’s name did not show up in National Database and Regulatory Authority (NADRA) family tree records for Muhammad Azam and Nusrat Bibi. The couple had claimed to be the parents of the girl and had earlier patched-up with the accused judge.

Nisar rejects transfer of investigation officer

Interior Minister Chaudhry Nisar Ali Khan Saturday rejected a summary from the Islamabad’s Inspector General of Police (IGP) to transfer DIG-Operations Kashif Alam out of the Islamabad Police.

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DIG Alam is the officer heading the investigations into the alleged torture of the 10-year-old girl. While turning down the summary, Nisar remarked that removing the DIG lay outside the purview and authority of the IGP.

“I have rejected the [summary] … He is an honest officer and will remain in that position,” Nisar said while speaking to the media in Kallar Syedan on Saturday.

The Islamabad IGP office had written to the ministry a few days ago stating that DIG Alam’s services were no longer required and requested that he be posted out of the Islamabad Police.

Alam is a grade-20 Police Service of Pakistan officer. He was appointed Operations DIG in September 2016.

*Name withheld to protect identity

Published in The Express Tribune, January 15th, 2017.


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