Governor Sardar Latif Khosa cited the police treatment of Ayesha Malik, daughter of PML-Q leader Malik Ahad, as an example of torture during his speech at the inaugural session on Thursday of a three-day conference about the use of torture in the criminal justice system.
The governor said there were many forms of torture and accused the provincial government of inflicting one form on Ayesha Malik, who says she has been victimised by the police to stop her talking about a ‘secret marriage’ to MNA Hamza Shahbaz, son of Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif.
Khosa said that a false case of kidnapping for ransom had been registered against Malik while her complaint about mistreatment was not entertained.
He said that members of the law enforcement agencies needed to change their attitudes and mindsets concerning fundamental rights. He said the government gave top priority to the eradication of torture and “all other inhumane and degrading treatment”.
He said that the federal government had taken important steps to improve the judicial system by introducing three new fundamental rights in the Constitution via the 18th Amendment: the right to education, the right to information and the right to a fair trial. Khosa said giving people the right to a fair trial required improvements in all aspects of the justice system, particularly access to adequate legal representation for the poor.
Later speaking to reporters, Khosa said the Punjab government was guilty of billions of rupees worth of corruption in the Ashiyana, Yellow Cab, Danish Schools and Sasti Roti schemes. He said the people of Punjab felt unsafe because of a high crime rate.
The conference on torture was organised by the Democratic Commission for Human Development and the first day’s proceedings were held at Pearl Continental.
Published in The Express Tribune, October 21st, 2011.
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