Man kills wife – 28 Jul 2022

LAHORE: An addict allegedly strangulated his young wife at Dhobi Ghaat Chowk, Gujjarpura, here on Wednesday.

A police official said suspect Naveed used to beat up his wife, Muskan, over petty issues. On Wednesday, he said, the suspect exchanged words with her and then strangledherto death.

Thelocal residents handed him over to the police who lodged a murder case against him after sending the body to the city morgue for autopsy.

Staff Reporter

Read more

Case against woman for false rape complaint – 28 Jul 2022

OKARA: A rape complainant was booked in a case when she denied the rape incident while recording her statement in the court of the area magistrate under section 164 of the Code of Criminal Procedures.

Three weeks ago, Shahina Parveen got a rape case registered against Saddar SubInspector (SI) Hamid Rasheed.

She said that six weeks back, she repeatedly visited the SI in connection with the kidnap case of her daughter. Later, she appeared before District Police Officer (DPO) Muhammad Hasan Iqbal and accused the SI of raping her twice. The DPO got the SI arrested and suspended him after the registration of a case under Section3760f the Pakistan Penal Code on July 4.

Two days back, the DPO learnt about the complainant`s denial statement, to which he got a case registered against Shahina.

The SI is in the district jail as his bail plea was rejected on July 14 by the court of the additional sessions judge.

MoU: The University ofOkara (UO) and Khwaja Fareed University of Engineering and Information Technology (KFUEIT) signed a memorandum of understanding (MoU) to develop and exchange scientific, and biological information for wildlife resources and to ensure services for the better preservation, conservation and management of wildlife in the Cholistan Desert.

The MoU was signed by UO Vice-Chancellor (VC) Prof Dr Muhammad Wajid and his KFUEIT counterpart Prof Dr Muhammad Suleman Tahir. Through the agreement, the UO`s Institute of Pure and Applied Zoology (IPAZ) and KFUEIT`s Department of Life Sciences will cooperate on the promotion, research and education of wildlife conservation and management.

The collaboration will present a unique opportunity to maximize the skills and knowledge of each entity. The focus of the agreement will be to improve collaboration between both organizations which will help researchers of UO to know about the actualissues of wildlife both in captivity and field.

Read more

Man, wife booked for thrashing parents – 28 Jul 2022

TOBA TEK SINGH: The Gojra Saddar police booked on Wednesday a young man and his wife for allegedly beating his 72-year-old father and 70-year-old mother to grab their share in farmland.

The police said Liaqat Ali and his wife Mumtaz Bibi were repeatedly forced by their son Muhammad Mansha and daughter-in-law Farida Bibi to transfer their farmland share to Mansha. On their refusal, Mansha and his wife attacked his parents with bricks and injured them. They were admitted to the Gojra THQ hospital while police were conducting raids to arrest both.

Read more

Three held for `filming movement of girls` – 28 Jul 2022

BAHAWALPUR: The Dhanote police in Lodhran district claim to have arrested three miscreants for making videos of girls and uploading these on social media.

Police registered a case against Muhammad Ayub, Khizar and Umar, all residents of Basti Daulatshahwala, under secdons509and 2920fPPCon the complaint of Ms Bashiran.

The woman alleged that the youngsters were her neighbours and teased her daughters by making and uploading their videos.

DPO`s PRO Imran Umar said when she (the complainant) stopped the miscreants from their objectionable activity, they dragged her and torn her clothes. DPO Abdul Raoof Babar took notice of the incident and ordered their arrest.A team led by SHO Arsalan Amjad arrested the suspects and put them behind the bars, he said.

TEACHERS PROMOTION: District Education Authority Chief Executive Officer Zahoor Ahmed Chohan has promoted 224 teachers, 80 women among them, and some class four employees.

Speaking to Dawn here on Wednesday, CEO Chohan said 91 primary school teachers (PST) of arts, 55 of science and 37 of Arabic had been promoted on the recommendations of the Departmental Promotion Committee.

Besides, he said, 38 new appointments had been made and class four employees promoted in place of those who passed away during their government service or those who were declared medically unfit.

The CEO claimed that these promotions of eligible teach-ers and appointments of deceased`s sons/daughters had been long overdue and the families had been facing hardships.

All Pakistan Clerks Association central senior vicepresident Fakhrur Rehman Azhar (who also holds the charge of Apca Punjab secretary general) thanked the CEO for clearing the pending promotion and appointment cases.

OFFICIAL WORK: The offices working under the Punjab government had thin attendance on Wednesday as administrative work came to a standstill.

There was not much work in the offices of the commissioner, the deputy commissioner, assistant commissioners and even police officials.

Sourcessaidthe ofhcers stayed in their respective offices but there was not much public activity.

Read more

Tutor arrested for torturing minor student – 28 Jul 2022

LAHORE : Garden Town police arrested a Qari for subjecting an eight-year-old student to severe torture. The mother of the affected child said that her son was tortured by Qari Ishaq and locked him up in the room for a minor mistake. Police registered a case and arrested the accused.

Read more

Murder and suicide – 27 Jul 2022

SHE was from a small city in a southern state.

Sania Khan, a Pakistani-American woman killed in a murder-suicide by her ex-husband Raheel Ahmad, had just moved to Chicago last year. Khan`s divorce from Ahmad was finalised in May of this year. On her TikTok profile Khan, herself a professional photographer, was documenting her journey healing from the painful divorce.

Apparently, her public statements about her relationship and the South Asian community`s response to it bothered Ahmad so much that he drove from Georgia where he lived all the way to Chicago. Then he went to Khan`s condominium and killed her. Ahmad appeared to have stayed in the condominium until he heard the police arrive.

Ofhcers at the scene reported hearing a gunshot and the sound of a man groaning. Inside, they found Khan`s body lying in the entrance; there was a gunshot wound to the back of her head. Ahmad was in another room with a self-inflicted gunshot wound. Next to him was a suicide note.

There is no doubt that Sania Khan was living a complicated life. According to her TikTok posts, her mother had stayed in an abusive marriage because she feared backlash from the South Asian community in Tennessee. In other posts, Khan described the threats made to her by community members who opposed her divorce. In some videos, she spoke about the constant moral judgements by community members about anyone not following the rules of an obedient wife. Khan had decided to abandon all these strictures so she could wear what she wished and create a new identity for herself.

Even though she had obtained a restraining order against her ex-husband, he was able to get to her and murder her.

Khan`s murder tells a sordid story of South Asian diaspora communities in the West. Chattanooga, where Khan grew up, is a small city: its chief tourist attraction is a park called Rock City that is full of strange rock formations. Pakistani diaspora communities in small places tend to be the most rigid.

Since the number of f amilies is not very large, everyone is stuck with everyone else. Even worse, like other diaspora communities, the morals and ethos tend to follow norms that are at least 20 years oldwhen most families migrated to America.

Unlike actual Pakistani culture which has progressed in the past two decades, diaspora families are used to raising children according to dated norms and exerting judgement on any f amilies that divert from them even a bit. Divorce is taboo so women have to choose between whether they want to end a bad marriage and face extreme ostracism and exclusion from the community or stay in the marriage and bear the abuse with community membership and support.

Khan had chosen divorce and rebellion. On herTikTok profile, she posted just the sort of risqué videos and photos that upset the self-styled guardians of morality in the diaspora Pakistani communities. She spoke openly about the depression that accompanies divorce and how hard it actually is to heal from it. It seemed that she had finally broken away f rom a relationship and a community that did not allow her to live the life she wanted. Working as a professional photographer doing shoots of weddings, graduations, marriage proposals and other happy occasions, she was supporting herself and realising her dreams as a newly single woman. All of it, visible on TikTok, seemingly enraged her exhusband so much that he decided to kill her.

In the af termath of Khan`s murder there has been a focus on the Pakistani community`s unwillingness to confront issues of abuse within their circles. Timemagazine even chose to include `South-Asian communities engage in self-reflection` as part of the title of an article about the incident. The premise of it was that Pakistani communities promote a retrogressive version of marriage which demands that wives be subservient to their husbands and constantly at their beck and call. The insinuation is that Khan would still be alive today if the community was more supportive of women and less so of men like Ahmad who abuse and exploit women.

South Asian communities` intransigence on the issue of divorce (which they bizarrely understand as a very American concept rather than a universal one)is undoubted. At the same time, it is true that Khan`s murder is also distinctly American. In the US, the likelihood of a woman being murdered is the highest af ter she leaves a relationship. Intimate partner violence of the sort that killed Khan is the number one cause of death in women under 35.

Add to this the fact that one out of five American women report being victims of domestic violence.

If these numbers aren`t damning enough, there is the corollary issue of gun violence. The ease of procuring guns makes it very simple for would-be wife murderers to obtain lethal weapons for their nefarious plans. Perhaps if it were not so easy to obtain a weapon as it currently is in the US, Khan may have been alive today.

Femicide sadly is a universal phenomenon. Such is the hold of patriarchal norms that no one seems to know how to protect young women that leave abusive relationships. In the week since Khan`s murder there has already been at least one more murder-suicide in the US. This past weekend a soldier chased his wife into a mall where he killed her and then himself. It is entirely possible that by the time this article is published there will be even more. From all these examples and from Khan`s tragic death, it appears the world needs to focus on how to save women from bloodthirsty male egos which will stop at nothing to eliminate women who have dared to leave them. • The writer is an attorney teaching constitutional law and political philosophy.

Read more

Justice on trial – 27 Jul 2022

IN an unprecedented move, the ruling coalition on Monday decided to boycott the proceedings of the apex court expressing `lack of confidence` in the judges hearing the case on the validity of the election of the Punjab chief minister. The decision came after the Supreme Court refused to form a fullcourtforthe hearing.

It may not be for the first time that the credibility of the third pillar of state is being questioned, but a lot more is at stake now as the institution is caught in the midst of a political power game.

With the two other institutions of the state the executive and the legislature in a state of paralysis, the latest controversy over the role of the judiciary marks an impending systemic collapse.

Predictably, the Supreme Court has struck down the election of Hamza Sharif as illegal and declared Pervaiz Elahi Punjab chief minister. The ruling has come as a blow to the ruling coalition.

But the crisis is far from over.

With the worsening political crisis, the top court is increasingly becoming the venue of ongoing political battles. The warring sides seek judicialintercession in the disputes that should have been dealt with in parliament. In a highly charged political atmosphere, arbitration on sensitive political and constitutional matters to the satisfaction of both sides is extremely dif ficult.

Not surprisingly, recent court rulings have led to more controversy. Judicial activism too has added to the problem. Overstretching the role of the judiciary that often encroaches on the domain of the executive and the legislature has created a dangerous imbalance. In certain cases, the perceived attempt to rewrite the Constitution rather than strictly sticking to the interpretation of the law has affected the credibility of the highest court.

A case in point is the recent judgement on Article 63-A of the Constitution relating to the defection clause. Most legal experts argue that the ruling invalidating the vote of defecting members goes beyond the interpretation of the provision of the law and is, in f act, an attempt to rewrite the Constitution. The contentious ruling has been the main cause of the controversy over the elec-tion of the Punjab chief minister. Some other seemingly contradictory rulings too have complicated the matter.

In this situation, the demand for the constitution of a full court to review the ruling on the defection clause was not misplaced. Some retired Supreme Court judges had reportedly endorsed the full court demand too. According to media reports, retired justice Maqbool Bagar warned against attempts to rewrite the Constitution.

It is a worrisome impression that the same bench is being assigned to hear sensitive political and constitutional matters, while other senior judges are bypassed, raising questions about the credibility of the judgements. In fact, such criticism has come from within the institution as well.

In his farewell speech in April this year, justice Maqbool Bagar, who was reputed to be one of the most independent and fair-minded judges, said: `Exclusion of certain judges from the hearing of sensitive cases on account of their independent and impartial views has an adverse effect on the impartiality of judges while also tarnishing the public`s perception about the independence and integrity of the judiciary.

Justice Bagar was not the only judge to have expressed his reservations on the composition of the bench on constitutional matters ignoring senior judges. In a letter to the chief justice in March, that was also reported in the national media, Qazi Faez Isa, the senior puisne judge of the Supreme Court, had raised questions over the composition of a larger bench to hear the presidential reference thatconcerned theinterpretation and scope of Article 63-A. In a letter to the chief justice, he was reported to have said that the senior-most judge was not being consulted in the constitution of the bench to hear the cases. He pointed out that the judges who were fourth, eighth and 13th on the seniority list comprised the bench.

He said it was troubling because there was a possibility that it might lead to misgivings that were avoidable. He had written in his letter to the chief justice: `Af ter all the adage justice is not only done but is also seen to be done has been oft-repeated by the Supreme Court.It was not the first time that Justice Isa, one of the most upright and outspoken judges, expressed his critical views on judicial procedures. Some of his strong rulings caused displeasure in the establishment and perhaps that was the reason why the Imran Khan government filed a reference against him.

But the attempt to remove the judge failed as the bar and the bench stood by him. His criticism of the procedure of the formation of bench on critical consututional issues has exposed the fault lines in the functioning of the superior judiciary.

Thereis aneed toaddressthese concernsinorder to restore the credibility of the institution.

It is important to alleviate concerns arising about the impartiality of the apex judiciary in order to strengthen the court`s authority. The judicial activism exercised by former chief justices Iftikhar Chaudhry and Saqib Nisar has done huge damage to the credibility of the judiciary.

Some of their populist judicial actions grossly encroached on the spheres of the executive and legislature, hampering the democratic process in the country. Reckless judicial intervention crippled the executive, making it harder for the elected governments to deliver. It also widened the imbalance in the distribution of power between the pillars of state. It is imperative that power and discretion be exercised reasonably and f airly to allow the system to work smoothly.

These are indeed testing times for the judiciary as for the other state institutions, especially with the worsening political polarisation in the country. The judiciary must stand up to the pressure being built by vested political interests. Any perception of succumbing to pressure is extremely damaging for the rule of law and democratic process in the country. It is also imperative for the political leadership not to drag the judiciary into politics. They must try to resolve political issues through elected forums rather than looking towards the apex court for the solution. • The writer is an author and journalist. Twitter: @hidhussain

Read more

Sexual violence – 27 Jul 2022

Sexual crimes against women are becoming so rampant in Pakistan that the situation defies description. Girls and women of all ages – irrespective of their origin – find themselves at the mercy of sexual predators nearly everywhere in the country. In the most recent case, an American woman has come forward and said she was raped by her tour guide and his two accomplices at the tourist resort of Fort Munro in Dera Ghazi Khan. The survivor is a social media activist and vlogger who is now seeking justice. She says she was sexually assaulted on July 16 when she was on a trip to the resort. Though the Border Military Police have arrested the prime suspect, the progress on arresting others is reported to be slow. Such crimes against women are increasingly becoming common. In most cases, victims and survivors get delayed justice – or more often than not no justice at all. That this happened to a woman of foreign origin makes it particularly disturbing, given Pakistan’s recent attempts at lifting its tourism potential.

However, for the women of Pakistan, tourism is a distant concern when they are unsafe not only on the streets, in public transport, and at work but also within their homes. No country can claim to be civilized if such cases take place with such impunity. While the crime of rape is hardly unique to Pakistan, our system of investigation is primitive, that of prosecution is even more so. There was some hope that a sense of shock or yearning for justice would force society to demand safety for women, children and trans persons. That unfortunately has been a long wait. Whenever such crimes take place there is temporary outrage, and then society goes back to normal. In this particular case, initially there were reports that the suspect had confessed to have committed the crime; then there has been an eerie silence on this case. According to the FIR, the woman also received threats to her life if she reported the matter to the police. The crime was also reportedly filmed by the culprits.

First off, local authorities in all tourist spaces in the country must ensure that there are women police stations with trained female staff to provide immediate aid to sex-crime victims. There are not many DNA labs to help in investigation in the country. Pakistan needs modern labs and state-of-the-art investigation and prosecution methods without which conviction rates remain dismally low. We are no more sensitive than the worst of countries when it comes to how we discuss and tackle rape. Blaming the victim is commonplace among the police, judiciary and even the media while our patriarchal society seems to almost instil a rape culture. In cases where rape is alleged, the authorities have to believe the victim – just as they do when other crimes are reported. Most victims are scared of reporting the crime out of fear that it is their character that will be put on trial. This inversion of justice now needs to stop.

Read more