Kashmiri earthquake victim forced to retract her charge
Pakistan’s Supreme Court took suo motu action in the case of Ajeeba Jabeen, a young Kashmiri earthquake victim who was allegedly raped by a doctor at a Lahore hospital where she was taken for treatment. The case was dismissed after she retracted her allegations, but not before reports of yet another cover-up in the name of protecting Pakistan’s ‘image’. While Gen Musharraf’s government may not be responsible for covering this one up, other lesser powers may just be emulating his example.
The womanâ€™s retraction might have forced the Court to dismiss the case, there being no further grounds to pursue the matter from that angle, but it would be in the fitness of things if the SC ordered an inquiry into allegations that Ms Jabeen might have retracted her earlier statement under pressure. At the least, given the nature of what has happened, and because there is no obvious motive for the girl to have cried rape in the first place, we need to find the truth about this shady business. [DT]