Mukhtaran Mai appeal: Delayed and denied

Published: April 22, 2011
Supreme Court directs immediate release of five of six men accused for gang rape.

Supreme Court directs immediate release of five of six men accused for gang rape.


Dismissing an appeal by gang rape victim Mukhtaran Mai, the Supreme Court on Thursday upheld the Lahore High Court’s decision to acquit five of the six accused in the rape case.

Mai, now 40, was gang raped in June 2002 on the orders of a “panchayat” in Meerwala town of Punjab as punishment after her younger brother was wrongly accused of having illicit relations with a woman from a rival clan. The boy was 11-years-old at the time.

A three-member bench of the apex court headed by Justice Mian Shakirullah heard the case on Mukhtaran Mai’s appeal against the Lahore High Court (LHC) Multan bench judgment on March 3, 2005. The other two members on the bench were Justice Nasirul Mulk and Justice Mian Saqib Nisar.

In its written order, the apex court directed the immediate release of the five accused if no other cases were registered against them. The death penalty for the sixth man, Abdul Khaliq, was changed to life in prison.

“I’m disappointed. Why was I made to wait for five years if this decision was to be given?” a sobbing Mai told Reuters by telephone from her village after the court announced the decision. “The police never even recorded my own statements correctly,” she told the BBC.

“I don’t have any more faith in the courts. I have put my faith in God’s judgement now. I don’t know what the legal procedure is, but my faith [in the system] is gone.

Mukhtaran Mai was an illiterate villager at the time but she defied taboos and shot to global fame by speaking about her ordeal accusing 14 attackers and taking them to court.

As the case got global attention and pressure from the international community increased, former president Musharraf’s government was forced to decide the matter speedily.

Within a span of three months, a local anti-terrorism court (ATC) sentenced six accused to death, while acquitting the other eight for a lack of evidence.  However, the Lahore High Court acquitted five of the men in March 2005, and commuted the sentence for the main accused, Abdul Khaliq, to life imprisonment. The decision was challenged in the Supreme Court in 2005.

In its order, the court also discharged its suo motu action taken on March 14, 2005 in the matter. The court in its decision found the prosecution case to be weak.

Earlier, Aitzaz Ahsan had argued before the Supreme Court that the complainant party was under constant threat from the accused to not disclose the incident. He argued that the fundamental and crucial testimony in any rape case is always that of the victim. However, the court found that the testimony of the complainant lacked corroboration and observed deliberate delay by Mukhtaran Mai in the registration of an FIR.

The prosecution witnesses and Mukhtaran Mai, during their testimonies had referred to the threats held out to the complainant party after the incident to prevent them from reporting to the police.

The judgment authored by Justice Saqib Nisar held that there are ten issues arising out of the LHC judgment, eight are the appeals (four each) against the acquittal of the accused having been initiated by the complainant and the State; one appeal has been filed by the convict and the last is the suo motu action by the Supreme court refraining the Federal Shariat Court from taking up the issue.

The lawyer for Mukhtaran Mai informed the court that the very act of bringing the complainant to the panchayat to seek forgiveness for her brother and raping her instead, demonstrates the power of the Mastoi community against the complainant.

Mukhtaran Mai in her testimony, which the Supreme Court produced in its detail judgment, said:  “I (Mukhtaran Mai) stated to the police that after the accused committed Zina, I came out in nude condition and called out my father Ghulam Fareed. I had not put on the shalwar as it was without string, nor I covered the same on my body, and my father had arrived just then”.

The woman celebrated by human rights activists for her courage, runs a school for girls in her village, and has vowed that Thursday’s ruling will not force her to leave her home.

“Life and death are in the hands of Allah… I will not shut my school and other projects,” she told Reuters news agency.


Published in The Express Tribune, April 22nd, 2011.

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Reader Comments (129)

  • Mirza
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:14AM

    Even though the history of Pakistan SC has been dubious at best but this decision by the “independent” SC sets new lows in its history. When Mush in the US was making fun of the women who were raped in Pakistan, nobody thought that these judges for whom we all struggled would do the same. Mai is not raped once but once again by the Lahore HC and now by the SC. Shame is the best to describe this decision.

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • Salman Hasan
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:17AM

    Our independent, free, unbiased judiciary is only interested in cases which pushes govt. to back foot and least bothered to what common man is suffereing from.
    They can wake-up mid-night and start hearing if it is something related to them. They have made mockery of everything and it is all about authority & power.
    Time is soon when everyone will stand against such rubbish individuals in black-coats! Recommend

  • Apr 21, 2011 - 11:18AM

    If the Lahore High Court decision is wrong an appeal can filed in the Supreme Court. But to condemn the judiciary is itself wrong. Recommend

  • Adeel
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:25AM

    SO Mr Mirza…any second thoughts about your support for the independent judiciary?Recommend

  • SJS
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:29AM


  • bilal
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:36AM

    sad day for our judicial system, may Allah grant her true justice……Recommend

  • Nurmomad
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:39AM

    I agree that the “gang” should have been punished, if it was a gang involved in the case.

    But I take strong exception to the words “raped again” used by Mirza (USA) above and approved by the ET moderator. Please remove that derogatory statement of Mirza, because it is disgusting.Recommend

  • Imme
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:40AM

    how could you expect justice from a one eye judge !! Recommend

  • SJ
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:49AM

    it was this very nation that was soo much FOR the AZAD ADLIA.. it sure is azad..
    azad in freeing all the people who hav committed any crime, hav bank accounts in foreign banks… & yes is interested in openign a ‘political’ case after more that 20 yrs. of which
    teh Cj always looked a drunkard to me.. so y am i not surprised for this judgment!!!Recommend

  • faraz
    Apr 21, 2011 - 12:00PM

    8 out of 14 were released earlier, 5 more have been set free. So only 1 person is involved in gang rape and his punishment is life imprisonment. And this too after 10 years of court processions, interviews on national and international media, autobiographies, parlimentary resolutions, and support of team of top lawyers lead by Aitzaz Ahsan. I think she is right, only God will provide her justice in the life hereafter.Recommend

  • Apr 21, 2011 - 12:08PM

    utterly DISGUSTED and HORRIFIED!!! Recommend

    Apr 21, 2011 - 12:10PM

    Com’on guys, No surprises there, This is Pakistan we’re talking of! Recommend

  • Athenian
    Apr 21, 2011 - 12:13PM

    Acquital instead of exemplary punishment! Isn’t it the wrong message to rapists or those who believe that they can take the laws in their hands and punish others whenever they want? Rape and go unpunished. There is always a way to get away with even the most heinous crimes.So sad.Recommend

  • Radial
    Apr 21, 2011 - 12:25PM

    The CJ is a busy important man, and can’t be bothered with such trivial cases regarding a poor farmer rape victim from a poor district. I hear he’s spending a lot of time on suo moto stuff like the famous suo moto action against basant kite flying. Recommend

  • parvez
    Apr 21, 2011 - 12:33PM

    The court may be independent that does not mean it is willing to be fearless and act like a beacon of hope. It is too early for the people to start dreaming. Recommend

  • Aamir
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:01PM

    1 person committing a “gang” rape! haha Recommend

  • Zamendaar
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:04PM

    I believe and respect the decisions of Honorable Courts of Pakistan .. How can we just discuss things here, when we dont know the details of the case’s proceedings ?

    @ Mr Mirza .. Could you pls mentions the Rape Crime Rate of Usa v/s Pakistan ?Recommend

  • Bunny
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:21PM

    Go iftikar chaudry go… It’s time to start a long march against this “chief”…Recommend

  • Imran
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:29PM

    People like you sicken me. The question is not how many are raped, the question is how many get away with it, despite overwhelming evidence.Recommend

  • Usman
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:34PM

    @ Zamendaar . we are not talking about any ordinary rape here. The tragedy here is that it wasnt an opportunist crime requiring witnesses etc. This was decided after public discussion by the tribal council. This is no different than the Sialkot lynching case. Letting all the culprits go free will only encourage this type of primitive tribal “justice”.Recommend

  • Adnan S. Khan
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:42PM

    I thought it was a gang-rape… How come only one person has been convicted and sentenced?Recommend

  • amlendu
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:44PM

    So you think that the best way to bring parity between Pakistan and USA is for Pakistan to catch up with the rape rate of USA???????????Recommend

  • yasmeen
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:49PM


    stupid question

  • Danish
    Apr 21, 2011 - 1:55PM

    No justice for the living Mukhtara Mai, but we will do justice to the dead ZA Bhutto! Our priorities are so %$#@-ed up! Banana Republic zindabad!!!Recommend

  • anon
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:04PM

    No one is ever right to trust the Pakistani judicial system. All corrupt judges and lawyers who have absolutely no sense of right and wrongRecommend

  • Reasonable
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:05PM

    If people could simply stop and analyse the situation before posting such vehement condemnations it would lead to a more reasonable conclusion. The “independent” judiciary is bound by an inept prosecution and also limited by the terms of reference from the LHC. The Supreme Court cannot act as the prosecutor, which is the job of the Government, nor can it violate the rules of judicial process nor can it change the standard of proof required by laws that have to be amended by the legislature.

    Why then a condemnation of the judiciary which if nothing more is doing nothing less than it’s job?Recommend

  • goggi
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:05PM

    @faraz: “only God will provide her justice in the life hereafter!” The same God who provided her a life long physical and mental trauma?
    Shall God provide justice to all these young women who are mauled from hungry dogs, buried alive, distorted with acid, lashed publicly, sold in red light areas…………???
    My dear our judiciary is just a reflection of our own male chauvinistic, anti-women and corrupt society. Not only these judges or these rapers but rather our whole society stands responsible in the court of God!
    Ham-saya means “our shadow” and as long as these criminals are our neighbours, we are equally accountable!Recommend

  • M M Malik
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:07PM

    The case has been mishandled by the police, probably deliberately for worldly gains.Recommend

  • dextor
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:09PM

    Why the hell we dont scrutnize the prosecution system and proofs provided…if u presents the weak case then how could court decides it…try to understand this fact…Recommend

  • Ali
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:19PM

    is it any wonder people turn ot the Taliban for justice when the courts are so clearly flawed in this case… these men did what they did openly and in the knowledge of the whole village… utterly shameful and disheartening to say the least… May God protect our people. Ameen!Recommend

  • gil
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:20PM

    Another sad day for Pakistan. Recommend

  • Apr 21, 2011 - 2:26PM

    How you can abruptly change your stance regarding Azaad Adliaa. It was Musharaf who correctly recognized corrupt and dishonest biased judiciary system and wanted process to be completed by Supreme Judicial Council but Nawaz Sharif politicize this matter. He likes to interfere with his likes and dislike of Judiciary. It was proved that Nawaz and his coronies attacked Supreme Court when it did not like it. And when their own pet judges were involved, he came onto streets. What a non-partial judiciary.

    You have not left your enimity against Musharaf to alleg him to defame Pakistan Females. Can you preciesly send me a non-biased link for the readers to read what was actual statement given by Musharaf.

    This is non-Azaad Adlia and if any body believes that it may give a non-biased decision, one is living in fools paradise. There will be more Mukhtaran Mais who will be cribbing for a non-biased decision but will disappointed.


    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi

    Johannesburg – South Africa.Recommend

  • shuja ur rehman raja
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:31PM

    Please stop blaming judiciary. This matter was more politicized and publicized by the so called human right activists than its actual basis. Most of the so called human rights activists present before the court never went to her native area. The actual purpose of this case achieved was to get the women empowerment law in to play and repeal Hudood laws that has been achieved and women of Pakistan have been empowered now. Why are they still complaining?

    FIR was registered by Mai after one week with vague allegations, 14 people were falsely implicated in this case as it was clearly not a case of gang rape as stated but more individual revenge of the rape committed by Mai’s bother for which Abdul Khaliq has been Punished.

    If you insist that justice is what women victim says that should be acted upon without any standard and basis of proof then this kind of justice is not prevalent anywhere in the world and this brand of justice can not be tolerated in Paksistan as well. Open your eyes many of the activists became millionares and many benefited from bestseller book of Muktaran Mai on amazon who do not know one word of english.

    Human right activists please when you blame people and judiciary of Pakistan of this decision please consider that you are playing with the reputatiopn of Pakistan so be careful and do not use issues to fill your pocketsRecommend

  • shuja ur rehman raja
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:38PM

    Please tell me how many of you went to her village and how many of you studied this case. Where did you get the idea that overwhelming evidence is present on record. I do not support the rapist or anyone else criminals for this matter but it is wrong to disrespect judiciary. Your opinion should be based upon actual knowledge not gausses. Recommend

  • Adeel
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:50PM

    The court has to pass a verdict after considering the relevant questions of law involved in a case. We all know that proceedings in ‘special’ courts- like the Anti-Terrorism court which initially sentenced six people to their death- leave much to be desired. Fact is, the initial police investigation was shoddy and did not adequately collect the evidence needed to fully establish the culpability of Mukhtaran Mai’s alleged molesters. Of course the LHC and the SC released these men, because these are higher courts which are given to a more sober assessment of issues than the anti-terror court which decided the case in the heat of the moment. I for one am looking forward to seeing what the detailed SC judgment has to say.

    P.S. The mark of a free judiciary is to not bow to self-righteous public passion. All that the SC has to do to establish its independence is to present a well-argued legal judgment, as opposed to trying to win some sort of a public popularity poll. Recommend

  • javed
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:55PM

    This is know a hobby of our courts to play from other people feelings, because court prof it self in remond’s case…Recommend

  • Hope
    Apr 21, 2011 - 2:59PM

    Don’t worry Mukhtar Mai… there is a much greater judicial system these sick people will have to answer to, where they will not be able to hide any evidence or use their influential links..and that justice will come on the day they stand before God!Recommend

  • zainab
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:07PM

    @zameendar: rape happens every. But in the US, if it is discovered, the rapist doesnt go scott free. In pakistan, rapists are acquited and allowed to roam the streets. So dont you be ‘versusing’ like youre doing. This country has bigger problems to deal with without ppl like you bringing out comparisons.Recommend

  • Sverige
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:15PM

    I think its a shame but only if the persons were responsible. Beside this if we look at the overall attitude of men towards women in the society so it is evident that women are in trouble. In big cities which should be more organized the behaviour is limited to passing comments on passing by females which surely intensifies in smaller cities and villages.

    It extends to physical responses from men in the villages. It is everyone’s responsibility to discourage disrespect females at each level. Women do not have clothing independence. If someone wears a little misfit clothes, she becomes the center of attention in a public place. The whole society is infected with this curse. Nation should accept now that it has got beauty and it has to learn how to respect it. Recommend

  • Dr.Habibullah Chaudhry
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:16PM

    why dont we understand that the judicial system depends on the law of evidence all over the world. It is wrong to show disrespect to the courts. Recommend

  • Muhammad Imran
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:17PM

    As 5 out of 6 are innocent, our supreme court thinks that 1 man can do “gang rape”.
    Has anyone noticed that?Recommend

  • Hassan Bajwa
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:27PM

    Simply beyond disgusting.

    I find it incredible that we are a nation that will condemn women, children and even the mentally handicapped to DEATH for allegedly committing blasphemy, but fail to punish those who publicly gang-rape a woman.

    I am ashamed and mortified. Shame on our “azaad adlia”. They are made of the same corruption as their predecessors. No amount of posturing and marching can change that.Recommend

  • Copper
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:32PM

    Totally agree with @Mirza. Is this the “independent” judiciary for which scores got killed? Is there a common sense? How can a guy do gang rape? Even then he got life sentence instead of being hanged? Recommend

  • Concerned
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:52PM

    While Pakistan’s judicial system has serious flaws and issues, the judgement in this case seems to be correct. The record does not justify the award of death penalty and the case was decided on the basis of available evidence. Concerns have been raised in this case that Miss Mai did succumb to the traditional behaviour of Pakistan society and included names of people who did not commit the act in question. While this may be untrue and she may be right but the investigation did not provide any tangible evidence of their involvement. Rule of Law does not come merely with the judiciary; the police , prosecutors and most importantly victims have an important role to play and if any one of them goes awry so does the judicial system. Recommend

  • Latif
    Apr 21, 2011 - 3:59PM

    Vow Jamshed Dasti and SC thinks alike that gang rape never happened.Recommend

  • Nasri Nawaz Bhutta
    Apr 21, 2011 - 4:02PM

    It so sad! the case once again be upholed by the NGOs and cause of shame to our nation.there are thousands of such cases in our country but going to be ignored…………..Recommend

    Apr 21, 2011 - 4:18PM

    we should avoid any derogatory language against the Judiciary especially when we are not aware what happened in the Court of Law, none of us ever read the verdict or witnessed the proceeding in the court. It may be a little disappointing for some of us because the verdict is not in line with our expectations – but our expectations should not be governing the justice system but the other way around.

    The judiciary has done so much for the well being of common people especially they tried to get the answers about the missing people, Haj scam, Pakistan Steel Mills, Rental Power Plants are only some of the examples where common Pakistanis were molested and the Judiciary is doing the needful.Recommend

  • shehroz
    Apr 21, 2011 - 4:27PM

    how long in pakistan the laws disopoint…..
    caught the rapers and punished them or himRecommend

  • Apr 21, 2011 - 4:29PM

    Shame on us! Recommend

  • shuja ur rehman raja
    Apr 21, 2011 - 4:36PM

    Is Judiciary to be blamed for the decision?
    Is judiciary free as long as it acts on what we think is right?
    When will the women of Pakistan be free? Human rights activists please define?
    Because one man illegally, immorally and wrongly raped Mukhtaran and she blamed 14 men so should rape law be repealed as it has been misused by Muktaran Mai. The line of argument adopted for misuse of Blasphemy law?
    What Mukhtaran Mai tells is all truth?
    What about illicit relations of Mukhtaran Mai’s Brother with the sister of Abdul Khaliq accused?
    Who write her best selling book on amazon. Who claimed millions of dollars worth of royalty of this book?
    How women empowerment bill was passed on the basis of this issues?
    How she became billionaire?
    Who benefited from this issue and filled pockets with dollars?
    What is the real story?Recommend

  • Apr 21, 2011 - 4:39PM

    @shuja ur rehman raja:
    @Dr.Habibullah Chaudhry:
    When a female is raped – either she does not report and keep quiet because she becomes a target of media.

    However, keeping in view of her adverse publicity, even if she goes and reports the matter for a true judgement, she still has to be quiet that the culprits were innocent.

    Mukhtaran Mai and all others – keep tolerating these Vaderas, Chaudhris and Zamindars as the bloody revolution is very near and inshallah all such disparities will be taken care of in Pakistan as enough is enough. This is also applicable to naam nihad azaad Udliya.


    Dr. Saleem Siddiqi

    South AfricaRecommend

  • umar
    Apr 21, 2011 - 4:43PM

    Congratulation government of pakistan
    they finally got the good chance against the judiciary to play in arena of political affair
    now politicize this decision and make the hell with the decision of supreme courtRecommend

  • umar
    Apr 21, 2011 - 4:45PM

    Is evidence collection is matter of the person seeking justice Recommend

  • ba ha
    Apr 21, 2011 - 4:49PM

    four eyewitnesses are needed as they say. Wonder how many witnesses for blasphemyRecommend

  • Khalid Rahim
    Apr 21, 2011 - 6:06PM

    Perhaps Mukhtiar Mai first failed to entertain the LHC and nobody warned her of her first mistake! So when the case land at the SC she took it for granted that the judges here were
    disciples of Solomon and Daniel.Recommend

  • Fortune Cookie
    Apr 21, 2011 - 6:13PM

    The ARAB world is demonstrating for freedom and justice. The Pakistanis need to march. And march now for JUSTICE. Recommend

  • Ik
    Apr 21, 2011 - 6:54PM

    Every says revolution is required. Taliban is already doing revolution for shariah! Courts became independent by revolution! Now, alqaeda also want revolution. Altaf hussain, imran khan, busharraf, all want revolution! But for what?Recommend

  • Maulana Diesel
    Apr 21, 2011 - 8:00PM

    I cannot believe it…..we need a full explanation of why exactly these rapists have been freed.Recommend

  • ana
    Apr 21, 2011 - 8:06PM

    dude if mukhtaran mai is such a billionaire,why hasnt she left the country or even her shanty town..she used all the money she got to setup a school for girls..n Nick Kristoff who has written her biography is extremely credible and committed to female empowerment
    n if her brother had illicit relations wd another woman,it wasnt Mukhtaran’s fault
    lets be clear-the ISI was giving her a hard time during Mush’s era…her perpetrators are all influential people…
    and the rape law has already been repealed…that rape law which only Sudan and Chad practise where a raped woman has to present 4 MUSLIM PIOUS MEN to testify that she was raped…if there were 4 MUSLIM PIOUS MEN standing there, why dint they stop the crime from taking place? we just like believing that its always women who are wrongRecommend

  • Balma
    Apr 21, 2011 - 8:21PM

    She has a face of a model.Recommend

  • Khan
    Apr 21, 2011 - 8:43PM

    This is utterly UTTERLY disappointing. And she is NOT a billionaire. There is a German documentary made on Mukhtara Mai named, “After the Rape”… I suggest you all go and watch it. Recommend

  • Srinath
    Apr 21, 2011 - 8:51PM

    A sad day for humanity!.Recommend

  • M Ali Khan
    Apr 21, 2011 - 9:05PM

    This is a disgrace! The azaad judiciary has failed! This country has failed! Its people have failed!

    No wonder the case was thrown out when you had lawyers showering petals on murderer Mumtaz Qadri and offering to fight his case for free!

    mind telling us how many rape crimes in Pakistan are actually REPORTED to police??? Do you even realise how much this sick and demented Pakistani society regards ‘izzat’ in suppressing any such abuse for shame?? Shame on you!Recommend

  • M Ali Khan
    Apr 21, 2011 - 9:07PM

    @shuja ur rehman raja:
    you are very quick to assume that Mukhatran Mai LIED when such gang rapes are not uncommon in village panchayats!

    punishing her for her brother’s interest in a girl of another caste! wah ji wah!Recommend

  • Zamendaar
    Apr 21, 2011 - 9:19PM

    @ Imran :- Thats what I asked, that how many got away with it, and how many cases were mentioned and how many cases got verdict .. And ppl like you really sicken me too, who dont understand the words, and jump to conclusions ..

    @ Usman :- Rape is a rape dude, whether ordinary one, or in result of decision from a tribe ….
    I am not in favour of anything, what I am going to say here, is that the honourable court decided something … And we dont have the details of the proceedings … We could have build a better opinion if we had the Xray of the case .. Ppl here telling things without the exact info of the case ..

    @amiendu .. Stupid Comment ..Recommend

  • Nasim
    Apr 21, 2011 - 9:36PM

    It’s an outrages decision by the court at least Mukhtaran Mai have publicly, came forward for her bravery and has expressed her version side of the story as to what has happened literary. As, well haded the names of all 15 victims. Lets hope, all the victims will penalized and serve there purpose Time will tell and hope for the best that justice will be serve. That day will come to enlightened to all our countrymen.. I guess one doesn’t have the sanity of what so, ever for there outrages behavior and crime like they say ‘ we clap with both hands’ then lets hear there version of there story as to what they are hiding in there pockets?.What a shame and disgusting of our human race. Recommend

  • zeeshan
    Apr 21, 2011 - 9:50PM

    While making comments on this decision,one should must talk to someone residing in muzaffargarh. After getting the true story everyone must feel guilty of keeping innocent people in jail for such a long time. Are we and our system has been hijacked by NGOs and mediaRecommend

  • Bangash
    Apr 21, 2011 - 10:11PM

    This “independent judiciary” sure has been a total disappointment to its supporters. I think only Nawaz Sharif managed to get “justice” from this judiciary.Recommend

  • Muhammad Ali Jinnah
    Apr 21, 2011 - 10:18PM

    It is really sad to see Judiciary following Army into drain. Today with SC accepting verdict of Tribal Council as legit is the final straw in coffin of civil society. Wonder what will be next – Taliban in Islamabad. Recommend

  • Law Student.
    Apr 21, 2011 - 10:57PM

    This is a sad decision. One should not blame SC for that. Judiciary decide cases on the balance of evidences. When people in society are morally corrupt and they erase all the evidences required to prove the rape then it is not Sc’s fault that they had to acquit them. They themselves might be bound by law to acquit them. Blame law makers who are yet to restrict such acquittals by introducing strict laws. It would be unwise to blame judiciary or judges for this decision. If there exist no evidence or if there exist no law to punish such elements then its not their fault. Remember role of Judges is to interpret not to do law making. They might be exercising tool of law making in other cases where there exists ambiguity but here in Criminal cases according to Shariah law’s they need to have 4 witnesses to punish a rapist. if there are no witnesses they cannot be punished. And in this case no one is ready to step up as witness. Is it SC fault?
    It is duty of law makers to introduce some strict laws on rape cases. It is an irrational argument that its SC’ fault. Recommend

  • Muhammad
    Apr 21, 2011 - 10:59PM

    @shuja ur rehman raja:

    Shuja looks like you are passing a judgment here against Mukhtaran Mai. I am sure you are not one of the investigators.
    She may or may not have been raped in the way claimed but, because of lack of any modern forensic methods of investigation in Pakistan there is no way to establish the truth. Our investigation and prosecution relies on “Confessions” and “witnesses”. It is not court’s job to investigate and act as prosecution. They judge based on the evidence presented. Which based on every day observation I am sure was dubious. So court acted accordingly. Courts or Mukhtaran Mai should not be blamed. It is government’s job to provide security in first place, then investigate and present a solid prosecution if a crime is committed. Blaming courts or the alleged victim of lying doesn’t solve the real problem. Recommend

  • Sohail Khan
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:03PM

    Allah knows best..Recommend

  • Cautious
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:07PM

    And you wonder why the World has a poor opinion of Pakistan?Recommend

  • goggi
    Apr 21, 2011 - 11:53PM

    @Cautious: correct sola aane! The majority of Pakistanis are brainwashed and not intellectually mature for a dialogue, because for them their beliefs are “absolute” and all others who don´t share their religious beliefs are low category humans! Some suggest that the society is nearing a revolution, but in my opinion with so much ethnical, religious and educational discrepancy in the society, we are nearing a very bloody civil war. Every day people are being slaughtered and it is now part of our daily life. Recommend

  • Tilsim
    Apr 22, 2011 - 12:17AM

    I am disappointed too but did anyone commenting here actually read the judgement which is attached to this article?Recommend

  • Mirza
    Apr 22, 2011 - 12:42AM

    For those who do not like the truth and straight talk, here is the shameful situation with this case. Rapes unfortunately do happen but nowhere in the world, the whole town watches, knows and does not stop that.

    We are taught the stories of Tariq, Qasim and others but looks like there was not a single “man” let alone a Muslim in that town who could come forward. In the US, this is unthinkable and nobody would dare do that in public.

    I had a desire to meet Mai and personally apologize as a Pakistani man. When she came to Boston College, I stood up and told her “you are as holy as my mother, sisters and daughters. I am ashamed of being a man, especially a Pakistani man. I am sorry and I apologize to you.”

    I fail to understand how some Pakistanis can differ on this issue? If they cannot agree even on this simple issue of justice and common sense then only God can help them. I did not mean to make anybody upset but unless we learn to see our real face and diagnose the disease there cannot be any cure of the evils of the society.

    Mirza, USARecommend

  • mona
    Apr 22, 2011 - 12:45AM

    This is disgusting, first we shower rose petals at a murderer now we let rapist run lose in Pakistan. This is a sad state of our nation, where this poor woman not only has to live with the trauma of being raped by 14 men her whole life now has to worry about her safety that the perps are on the lose.Recommend

  • Mohsin Ikram
    Apr 22, 2011 - 12:59AM

    90% of the people accusing the judiciary here have probably not even read one page of the 100 plus pages of the verfict by the apex court.

    After reading the arguments of both parties and the verfict by the 3 member bench, I think the judhement is absolutely correct. I always had sympathies for Mukhtara Mai but now I think there is a lot more behind the scene than we know. I wouldnt be surprised to find out one day that it wasnt a rape at all, but intercourse with consent to settle scores….Recommend

  • Aftab Kenneth Wilson
    Apr 22, 2011 - 1:09AM

    It is a “MOURNING DAY’ and “DATE’ for women in our country.In fact our whole Judicial and Criminal system is double faced and can be twisted according to the whims of their operators. This is the reason criminals easily get away and “Dictators” are given “Extra” life. Law and Justice system only works against civil governments. I wonder why Women don’t get elevated to SC?????? Bottom Line: Shame, Shame and Dur Fitay Mooo”N.Recommend

  • Lota6177
    Apr 22, 2011 - 1:18AM

    These judges are a disgrace to Pakistan.Recommend

  • syed ali
    Apr 22, 2011 - 2:15AM

    I do not know why are you crying about courts. Courts decide on the fcats and evidence and not onsensational news reorts. If any one is to blame, its Punjab Government of Pervaiz Ilahi( Mush time) and local MPA/MNA of the area who influenced the investigation.Recommend

  • Black Rose
    Apr 22, 2011 - 2:46AM

    well this is certainly not an unexpected or a shocking decision from a PAKISTANI court. but my question is to the people that why did you support the lawyers and judiciary and chief justice Mr. iftikhar chaudhry against Musharraf? didn’t you know that those are the pakistani lawyers who do not care about justice? all they care about is the fee that they get? and besides WHO CARES ABOUT JUSTICE IN PAKISTAN? Then why did you fight for them anyway? the lawyers who get sold on money, the judges who give this type of decisions? i m glad that i didn’t support Mr. iftikhar chaudhry against Musharraf.Recommend

  • Tahir
    Apr 22, 2011 - 5:16AM

    Publicly flog the judicials and law enforcement who handled this case. arrest all the elders of the clan that ordered such a vile act to be committed. Hang those SOB’s who committed the crime think that the act of rape is ever justifiable in any way!! I am sooo freaking angry! I am ashamed to be a Pakistani today! Recommend

  • mussarat Hussain
    Apr 22, 2011 - 6:42AM

    The law is “blind” and Justice is ” deaf” in Pakistan.

    I an dead sure if justice’s daughter have been raped by twelve persons, it would have shown same genorisity and upheld the lower court’s decision. Vow what an unprecedented justice
    shown by the “Lame” Pakistani court,

    The verdict shows many more “Mukhtaran Mai” are in offing with their “would be rapers” sprouting moustaches and mockering court’s decision.


  • Common man
    Apr 22, 2011 - 6:46AM

    why is she blaming judiciary? it can be that the other people were right n one person raped her n she is fabricating the rest.. Recommend

  • Apr 22, 2011 - 7:01AM

    another gang rape with the justice system
    no hope Recommend

  • Apr 22, 2011 - 7:21AM

    ahhh…a sad day for poor Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Apr 22, 2011 - 7:25AM

    Suddenly you are talking in favor of the Law of Evidence and the Supreme Court because your cohorts in arms have gone ‘scot free’. This case took nine years from the date of commission to judgment and often it was being reported in the press that threats were being hurled at Mukhtaran Mai and her witnesses. The evidence indubiously must have been tampered with knowing the quality of literacy and intelligence in our country.

    Anyway I am hopeful that this ‘jungle law’ will come to its final destination and that is ‘sounding of the death knell’ for the ‘jagirdari system’. May Allmighty Allah give solace and justice for all the painfully affected and Salams to them all. Recommend

  • Liberal extremist
    Apr 22, 2011 - 8:21AM

    Yet another embarrasment for Pakistan. Keep making us proud!Recommend

  • AnisAqeel
    Apr 22, 2011 - 8:22AM

    I doubt if there are four pious men in whole Pakistan let alone be witnesses.Recommend

  • satyram
    Apr 22, 2011 - 8:44AM

    Justice and that too in Pakistan ha-ha-ha BTW: Do you know about the fate of the relatives of those killed by Davis ? Recommend

  • Nobody
    Apr 22, 2011 - 9:04AM

    What do stats on rape in the US vs. Pakistan have to do with ANYTHING? The point in question or rather the topic of discussion here is the injustice perpretrated on a victim of gang rape. It’s simply disgusting and a big step back for what women are fighting for in Pakistan. This [pathetic[ verdict makes it seem as if all rapists will be given a free pass now with no consequences whatsoever. And FYI, although there’s no question rape is a far too common occurrence even in the US, a) it’s not handed out as PUNISHMENT by some local tribal goon, and b) although not ALWAYS granted (as some rape cases are very difficult to prove) the open and shut cases, as this particular one would be considered for some, do not simply go unpunished. But let’s not even BEGIN to compare the rape rates OR the situation on the whole of women in Pakistan vs. the US. Recommend

  • Sarah
    Apr 22, 2011 - 9:58AM

    So just because Mukhtara mai’s brother had an illicit relationship with Abdul’s sister, her rape was justified?
    This is ridiculous. What a nation we are! No wonder we are suffering from hunger, poverty, natural disasters, terrorism and ofcourse the entrenched corruption.We deserve it. Recommend

  • Abdur Rahman
    Apr 22, 2011 - 10:06AM

    Dear Shuja,

    I for one have studied Mukhtaran Mai’s case in great detail. So let me help you out with this. Mukhtaran Mai’s case politicized or not, has been gravely mishandled by the Supreme Court.

    You pointed out that 14 people were falsely implicated whereas it was clearly not a case of gang rape as stated but more individual revenge of the rape committed by Mai’s bother for which Abdul Khaliq has been Punished.

    Firstly, I dont believe they were falsely implicated, reason being that they were all present when Mukhtaran was being raped by Abdul Khaliq and none of them tried to stop Abdul Khaliq, which according to Islam is being part of the crime and is just as bad if not more.

    Secondly, there was no rape committed by Mai’s brother, who was apparently 11 years old, the Mastoi claimed that he had illicit relationship with one of their women, not rape. Major difference between both and even then it was never proven however, it was proven that Mai’s brother was sodomized by the Mastoi people, Abdul Khaliq and his gang, which actually gives you an idea of the sort of people you are trying to defend here.

    Thirdly, it was proven from the DNA reports on Mukhtaran’s clothes that there were at least two semen samples on it which once again clearly proves that there was more than one person who raped Mukhtaran hence proven that she was gang raped.

    Mukhtaran did not go to file an FIR because their family was afraid, thanks to people like us who stand and watch and do nothing, they thought that the Mastoi people who were strong enough to rape her in public and than make her parade naked could do much more. It was only after the local Maulvi got media attention for her and convinced her to report did she stepped forward to do so. She was about to commit suicide had the Maulvi not intervened. She did not get an FIR registered immediately because she thought she wouldn’t get justice against such strong influential people in this God forsaken country and wanted to end her life. Though apparently it seems that Mukhtaran was right about it.

    Over the course of years, the Mastoi played with the evidence that was initially provided in court, our judiciary was never independent and it never will be. It has always been a puppet for the influential and the powerful. Because of the fame and hype that Mukhtaran’s case created in the west, a lot of us like you have already formed an opinion about it without actually finding out the details of it. Also you don’t have to go and visit Mukhtaran’s village to get all the details of the case. Recommend

  • SA
    Apr 22, 2011 - 10:23AM

    Congratulations to Jamshed Dasti!!!Recommend

  • Ghufran Ahmed
    Apr 22, 2011 - 11:03AM

    law & judiciary…..these are the funniest words in Pakistan

    this system will never give her or any other citizen the right justice…..
    and when i say system, i mean Govt, Judiciary, Bureaucracy, Political Parties, Religious Groups, Jihaadis and Mullas, & WE THE PEOPLE

    until and unless the same stuff happens to some1 belonging to us

    Wake Up Pakistan! Recommend

  • Hello
    Apr 22, 2011 - 11:13AM

    detail judgment reads.”.No DNA tests were done and she did not have any injury marks on her body so in other words she did not fight the rapist off”…Do not know if the SC took this as lack of avidence.
    As for Mush he said that women in Pakistan get raped to get international fame.(the man was stupid still is)Recommend

  • salim
    Apr 22, 2011 - 11:40AM

    @Dr. Saleem Siddiqi:
    Very correctly stated, Sir!Recommend

  • M
    Apr 22, 2011 - 11:55AM

    God bless usRecommend

  • Preachy
    Apr 22, 2011 - 12:13PM

    What?????? my God! is this the judiciary that people hoped for after its restoration? this is extremely sad. I just can’t express my grief. why is there no justice for the poor, weak and marginalized in Pakistan. what interest does the judiciary have in protecting these criminals. the judiciary might be right that the accused have not committed the crime. but then who committed it? why are they not behind the bars or sent to gallows? or does the judiciary share the opinion of Musharaf that some women get themselves raped to get media attention? I think state and state institutions in Pakistan will continue to protect the powerful people as long as we do not collectively resist and protest.Recommend

  • Ashiq Khan Achakzai
    Apr 22, 2011 - 12:14PM

    Mai, nation has sympathized with you for almost a decade. The involved people got hell of disrepute and remained in jail for many years. The culprit identified has been sentenced to life term. You were represented by the most reputed barrister Aitazaz Ahsan . I am sure the judges didn’t have bias against you. So now have trust in God and proceed further in life.Recommend

  • Ihk
    Apr 22, 2011 - 12:27PM

    To all those who say Mukhtaran Mai’s case has been grossly exaggerated:

    I agree with you all!

    I mean how CAN you accuse a whole lot (the panchayat members, the witnesses, the perpetrators) for the incident when there was just one person raping the lady (a number you can obviously justify, probably through hidden cameras or something)? The rest were just advisors on how to punish an innocent girl for something her brother did. And rightly so!!
    It’s most inappropriate to assume that a rape victim has the right to ask for justice. Surely her heart is maligned with vengeance!! God save this country from rape victims, especially those who have the courage to stand up for themselves and others. The worse part she has a LOT of money now and no traces of scars on her heart & mind (obviously because of the money).Recommend

  • arman
    Apr 22, 2011 - 12:58PM

    Gang rape by 1 person !Judiciary is so weak in pakistan!!
    I know its easy to bend rules and distort facts!Recommend

  • Nasir Jamal
    Apr 22, 2011 - 1:28PM

    Justice delayed is justice denied. In Pakistan there is no justice. There are only long proceedings. Decisions are bought and sold shamefully in the courts. Is it a secret? Go to the City Courts in Karachi. Nothing moves there unless the palms of the functionaries are greased. The peshkar acts as a front man for accepting bribes for the judges?

    We all know this. It is not secret. God save us all from ever going to a police station and courts.Recommend

  • Pagal
    Apr 22, 2011 - 1:31PM

    there is so much happening in our country. People are being killed, bombed and bigger tragedies happening every where.
    I think this case is closed and no more sympathies. Save some for those who are in distress now. She has got justice. She got married. She made a name for herself. In any case the man who wronged her has got it through his nose. He must have repented his act if not for her, for himself. Very expensive act!!!!Recommend

  • Aliana Bebo
    Apr 22, 2011 - 1:40PM

    Before giving the comments people should at least study the case. Mukhtaran was not ganged raped; the case of Mukhtaran was a source of getting donations for local and international NGOs who have now been exposed to the world by Judiciary showing their way of social work hanging innocents to gallows. Due justice has been done by the honorable courts.Recommend

  • Aliana Bebo
    Apr 22, 2011 - 1:47PM

    Shame on all those who are commenting against judiciary not studying the case properly!Recommend

  • ASQ
    Apr 22, 2011 - 1:59PM

    After reading comments i m appalled to see the level of education and common sense in our so old educated society.first of all CJ wasn’t heading the bench and secondly no where in the world does a judge gives sentences on emotions.collecting evidence isn’t the job of Judges.Police is the main source of evidence and then comes in the prosecution and the way it presents the evidence.The main culprit is Police and hiring and training competent police officers is the duty of government!Recommend

  • Umer
    Apr 22, 2011 - 2:29PM

    I can’t believe the type of comments that are being left. So we’ll consider the judiciary to be independent as long it makes popular decisions. The SC or the HC make decision based on law, now if the prosecution/police hasn’t come up with good arguments than who are we to blame the judiciary.

    Don’t forget it was the judiciary that took the sou moto action in the first place….Recommend

  • Salman
    Apr 22, 2011 - 2:52PM

    All the individuals jumping on the bandwagon and blaming the judiciary, can any of you please tell me if there was concrete evidence provided by Mukhtaran Mai’s counsel? If yes and still this verdict was announced, then yes, it is a shameful decision but how many of you actually know the laws that these courts must follow? How many of you are aware of the details of this case, other than what was circulated in the media? It is not the job of the judges to go out and establish cases, find evidence, only what is brought inside the court room can be judged. If the police withheld information (how do you know?), if person ABC bribed person XYZ (how do you know?), then the judiciary can not be at fault for this verdict. Is there proof behind these allegations?

    Another point, the judges are not the ones making the laws in this country, the parliament does. Recommend

  • qudrat ullah
    Apr 22, 2011 - 3:01PM

    Illiterate and emotional hoi polloi in Pakistanis should know that Mukhtar Mai’s father didn’t appear in the court to augment her case. He was an important witness in this case. Why her lawyers not used her father’s evidence in this case? Because the whole story seems fabricated and appears to take revenge from her more powerful opponents in the village. In the end, she married a local constable who is already married. Why now NGOs not came on streets to protect first wife’s rights because she can’t feed their big tummy. Circumstances prove that NGO sector in Pakistan is fifth columnist and working against Pakistan. Govt. should disband all such NGOs.Recommend

  • ramanan
    Apr 22, 2011 - 3:10PM

    Thanks to the large heartedness betowed upon by allah exclusively to Pakistanis.Recommend

  • Oh no!
    Apr 22, 2011 - 3:16PM

    @shuja ur rehman raja:
    Shut UpRecommend

  • umar
    Apr 22, 2011 - 3:42PM

    Judges direct police on some matter to change the inquiry officer why not they did the same on this case

    similarly judge ordered government to appoint certain person for persecution why not in this case

    It is not as simple as appear my dear friends

    why not judges raised issue about these

    because they know that this matter cannot give them political favour and it deals with common man of pakistan Recommend

  • Shabbir
    Apr 22, 2011 - 3:48PM

    Anti-women culture anti-women judiciary…..Recommend

  • M Bilal
    Apr 22, 2011 - 4:03PM

    SC can only give the verdict based upon the evidences put in front of it… Mai didn’t allow her DNA test to be conducted, waiving off a strong evidence; yet expects the court to rule in her favor.Recommend

  • Shafique
    Apr 22, 2011 - 4:19PM

    this is the beauty of democracy, people define what is crime, people define the crimnal procedure, people define the punishments and people decide who to forgive and who not to……
    surely the case of Mukhtaran Mai is yet another example of failure of democracy as a system where people legislate. how can judiciary be ever independant in this system when the laws her decisions are based on, are legislated in parliment.

    truly once said, ” when legislator decides what to sell and what to buy, the first thing bought and sold is the legislator himself.”

    Solution: No Legislation for Humans, only Divine Laws in their orignal and purest form can provide justice in this life and the hereafter!Recommend

  • aasia sohail mian
    Apr 22, 2011 - 4:34PM

    No comments.Recommend

  • Imran
    Apr 22, 2011 - 5:26PM

    well, I think, this is stupid.

    This case is getting so much hype only because of the so-called NGOs who earn their bread & butter by such cases.

    Supreme Court is the only hope for Pakistani nation at the moment. No one has the right to condemn the court decision.

    Mukhtara Maii in fact is a woman who has already cashed this case by getting the undue publicity in the western & local media.

    If she was true in her appeal, then why the Supreme Court did not respond to her appeal.

    This SC is the only institution that is stopping the gov. from corruption, any other person or institution does not has this power!!Recommend

  • Shuja ur Rehman Raja
    Apr 22, 2011 - 6:47PM

    We do not support any rapist but in order to get justice one should disclose whole truth and then pray for the justice please read supreme courts judgment in full and then help me out. I am a criminal attorney my self and deal with such like cases myself. I do have a fair idea of mindset of Pakistani people in such like cases. Go read Mukhtarans statement in which she her self admits that she was not gang raped.
    For those of you who condemn Criminal Justice System there is sole system based on evidence in the whole world nothing is different in Pakistan. If you have alternate system of delivering justice like Taliban in your mind then we cannot support such system.Recommend

  • maynotmatter
    Apr 23, 2011 - 12:19AM

    My heart reaches out to Mukhtaran Mai. Feel so sorry that she had to go through this. No women deserves such a fate. How easy it is for a man to decide and steal the dignity of a woman. How shameful it is for justice system to ask for an evidence , discuss it, and in the end to the victim’s disappointment acquit the guilty. Almost every day I hear women getting raped in my country India and makes me feel ashamed that there is still no stronger act against the culprits. Feel bad that there is no fear of repercussions in the heart of those beats who does this act. Certain things cant be fixed by law alone but by society too. Not just the rapists but those who witnessed the crime are guilty. Society in general has learned to live in fear in hands of few rogues. Its simply a shame and no words of condolence is going to help Mai. But dear I just wish for you truly that you get enough justice which puts your heart mind and soul to peace.Recommend

  • Saleem Arif Siddiqui
    Apr 23, 2011 - 4:51AM

    I think the Chief Justice should review the petition if forwarded. Why is the Supreme Court so obsessed with the NRO cases of Zardari & Co they should decide such mundane cases like Mukhtar Mai moreRecommend

  • muzaffar
    Apr 23, 2011 - 2:24PM

    @shuja ur rehman raja:
    What is “the real story” as written by Mr. Shuja Raja is the question. Plus we as a society have to be patience and wait for the detailed judgement of the SC. All of us react as if we know it all and are authorities.
    All I would like to say till I read the detailed judgement is that if one takes a balanced view I do not think that two courts would give a judgement which they think is not right and especially on a high profile case like this.
    Tailpiece: As per my information since this issue many NGO’s (200 plus) have sprung up in the area she belongs too. Recommend

  • H I
    Apr 23, 2011 - 7:07PM

    she deserves justice and as a fellow human being we should provide her that.But only humans can provide justice but when humans are ruled by PPP who are interested to give justice to their dead leaders what will one expect.Recommend

  • amjad chaudhry
    Apr 24, 2011 - 3:37AM

    thear is no judgis in the courts thy are not more than clarks even they dont no what is meaning of JUDGRecommend

  • E-Gap
    Apr 24, 2011 - 11:41AM

    Come On Folks…. This is not Surprising!!!!!…. This is our Pakistan, the nation, the people we bear our trust, faith, pride and individuality, have all sold their souls & dignity for money, greed & power and for their well being….. SHAME ON THE POLITICIANS, JUDGES who dont have the guts to stand for basic human rights…. as we say “Sharam Karou!!!!!!!!Recommend

  • Apr 24, 2011 - 11:39PM

    I read with interest the comments made by several readers, specially related to rape etc.

    In 2006, I had the privilege of inviting Mukhtaran Mai to Boston, on behalf of the annual Pak Millennium Conference, which was addressing women issues in Pakistan that year and talked to Mai several times during her stay.

    She spoke in Urdu with some words of Punjabi thrown in, without pulling any punches. Here is the English translation, done to capture the spirit of what she said.

    Sir ji, I actually died the day when those men took turns to climb me right there in the presence of my family members. The person you are talking to now is a walking corpse (zinda laash). I will be buried some day, but that would only be my body, or whats left of it. I cannot look anyone in the eyes and talk since what they did to me.

    As for Pakistan and its future, you people here should just close your eyes and pretend its not happening. You cannot do anything out there. Recommend

  • Zeya bacha
    Apr 25, 2011 - 10:36AM

    This is very unfortunate that some of us are talking against the decision of the Honorable SC. I have some points to share…
    Those writing that in this particular case there has been injustice on part of SC, my question to them is on what basis you claim this??? How can you say that all six people were involved??
    Another thing which I would like to point out is the attitude of social activists. When we in Pakistan ask for treatment of Zina related cases as per teachings of Islam, then such activist become biased and selective. They demand that such cases should not be treated as per teaching of Islam. One evidence is the stoning to death case. They simply dislike this kind of punishment.

    When it comes to decision of SC in case of Muthara Mai, they once again dislike the decision and trying to make some ground for earning handsome amount of $ from this case.

    Justice has been done by the SC of Pakistan. And no one should be allowed to reject the decision. In case they dose not, then they should go into appeal…Recommend

  • May 12, 2011 - 9:10PM

    im disappointed 'mukhtara mai couldn't get justice because she was not daughter of any judge,gernal,president or p.m but it seems to me asif in coming days means in future any judge of supreme court will take review of that judgement and will correct it,same like that as bhutto's case is taken for reviving.

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