A resident of Azad Jammu and Kashmir (AJK) on Wednesday appeared before the Senate’s Standing Committee on Human Rights and claimed that she was repeatedly subjected to gang-rape by family members before being forced into exile on Panchayat’s orders.
A* was called to the meeting of the Senate’s committee in response to her public petition.
Narrating her ordeal, A* claimed that a nephew of her husband, along with his accomplices, allegedly raped her and recorded a video of the assault. She also named several friends of the nephew who according to her assaulted her at a deserted place.
According to the victim’s statement, she was later blackmailed on the basis of that video and the accused also kidnapped her son for ransom.
“Despite paying hundreds of thousands of rupees, the blackmailing continued,” she said, adding that she had attempted to commit suicide but later informed her husband about the entire situation.
The victim claimed that she was also kidnapped along with her son, and an assistant sub-inspector among others raped her once again.
A* said that the issue was then taken up by the elders of her family and referred to a panchayat (a traditional court or jirga) where the affected family was forced to enter into an agreement following which the victim and her family members were forced into exile.
“AJK police did not provide justice to us, and the Pakistan government is also unable to do so,” she claimed.
In response, Senator Nasreen Jalil said the committee would not be able to take direct action in this regard as issuing punishment to anyone was beyond the mandate of the Senate body.
Jalil, however, said the committee would write a letter to the AJK president, asking him to take action regarding the case.
The senator added that the committee would take Senate Chairman Raza Rabbani on board to find out whether the committee could take any step in this regard or not.
Moreover, the victim’s husband also claimed that his wife had been subjected to sexual assault for seven consecutive months.
— Names have been changed to protect the identity of the victim.