KARACHI: The woman who accused Muttahida Qaumi Movement (MQM) - Pakistan MNA Salman Mujahid Baloch of sexually assaulting and blackmailing her has refused to appear before South Investigations SP Farooq Awan, who is the investigation officer in a case registered by Baloch against her.
A total of three cases have been registered by the parties against each other. The initial case was registered by the MNA against the woman and her family at the Gulshan-e-Iqbal police station in January in which the MNA had accused her of cheating him. Later the woman and her brother registered cases against Baloch at the Taimuria and Gulshan-e-Iqbal police stations respectively in which the MNA and his police protocol were accused of harassing, threatening, kidnapping and attempting to murder the woman.
"I will not appear before SP Farooq Awan," she told the media, demanding that another police officer be assigned the investigation. "Farooq Awan is a friend of Salman Mujahid Baloch and I do not believe that he will conduct a transparent inquiry."
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When contacted, SP Awan confirmed his relations with the MNA. "Yes, I have relations with MNA Baloch but such relations do not matter in the investigation as it will be conducted only on merit," he said, adding that "if she wants to appear before another police officer, I do not have any objections".
Baloch has condemned the allegations leveled against him. "The police need evidence and proof from the complainant in support of the FIR for investigation," he said. The MNA also showed an affidavit allegedly signed by the woman indicating that she borrowed Rs4 million from him.
"They both [the woman and her brother] registered counter FIRs against me to blackmail me. I was the first to register case against them. Now they are blackmailing and defaming me," Baloch accused.
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The woman, in the meantime, issued a letter to the media in which she expressed reservations over the appointment of SP Awan to conduct investigations in the case. In the letter she also alleged that Baloch paid Rs5 billion to get nationality of a foreign country. She also accused the MNA of selling medicines which he got from Parliament's medical department. She demanded the National Accountability Bureau probe into the accounts of the MQM-Pakistan leader and his family.
According to social activist Sarim Burney, who has taken up the issue, details and evidence provided by the woman were enough for the investigators to prove Baloch guilty. "When the victims are already providing evidence against the MNA, why is the police waiting to arrest him?" he questioned. "Baloch should be arrested and dealt with according to the law."
Meanwhile, police officials have denied reports circulated in the media which said that the police had written a letter to the National Assembly speaker to seek his permission to arrest the MNA over his alleged involvement in the case.