Sunday, January 16, 2005

Police Release Anti-Army Rape Documents

Police Release Anti-Army Rape Documents

Baloch Police Release Documents of Dr. Shazia's Rape

Musharraf Facing Worsening Crisis Trying to Protect Rapist Army Officers

Special SAT Report

DERA BUGTI/KARACHI, January 15: The Balochistan situation appeared spinning into a major political and economic crisis for General Pervez Musharraf on Saturday following shameless official attempts to protect some Army officers accused of the high profile rape of a lady doctor in Sui, Dera Bugti.

The rape, and the subsequent cover-up, which took a nasty turn when Bugti tribesmen fired hundreds of rockets on the Sui Gas plant and severely damaged it, also confirmed a major breach between the Army authorities and the local Administration/Police after the incident.

The Balochistan Police seemed determined to bring the rapist officers to justice even though the Army had imposed a country-wide unofficial and undeclared media ban, forbidding any newspaper or TV channel to name the culprits or even identify their organization – the Pakistan Army.

To counter this blatant highhandedness, the Police released hard evidence containing documents and copies of reports of investigations to the South Asia Tribune on Friday, Jan 14, to get worldwide support for their case against the Army.

This Police-Army tussle was on-going as most of the Gas-run industries and bulk of domestic users in 10 major cities throughout Pakistan faced 10-14 hours of gas load-shedding.

Sui Gas officials made it clear the damage caused by the hundreds of rockets and mortars fired on their plant was much more severe than first estimated and a country-wide shortage of natural gas was inevitable, bringing major industries to cut their operations and domestic consumers to use expensive alternate fuels.

But as the country prepared for a worsening gas and industrial crisis, thousands of Pakistan Army troops were gathering in Balochistan to start, what senior politician and former Governor Nawab Akbar Khan Bugti said would be an operation in which many top Baloch leaders may be targeted and killed.

He claimed that about 3,000 army men and 12 helicopters gun ships had landed in nearby Sibi. Frontier Constabulary with its 7,000 personnel is already present in the Bugti area. The Defence Security Group (DSG) have 750 men who are deployed in Sui. “Therefore, we are already under siege and are going to be hit by a military operation. No one can say who will die and who will stay alive.”

Musharraf himself had issued a public warning two days back saying “this is not the era of 70s and the nationalists would not even know what hit them”.

Many Baloch leaders, including son of Nawab Khair Buksh Marri and senior politician Mir Hasil Bizenjo plainly told General Musharraf, while speaking on Dubai-based TV channels, the Army itself would not know what would hit it. “Did you know what hit the Sui Gas plant,” Hasil Bizenjo asked on Geo TV, rejecting Musharraf’s threats. Marri told ARY TV’s Dr Shahid Masood the nationalists too had weapons made in 2005 and not the rifles of 1970s.

The surprise political shock for Musharraf, however, came from his most dependable ally, Altaf Hussain of MQM, who publicly warned that if a military operation was launched in Balochistan, his party would quit the ruling coalition. He told thousands of his supporters on a telephonic address the MQM was opposed to any military operation and may quit, if it was launched.

The pro-Musharraf provincial government in Balochistan was caught between the rock and the hard place and appeared so pathetically helpless it could only issue an appeal to the rapists to “voluntarily” come and explain their position. But in undertones the provincial cabinet tried to convey the message to the Pakistan Army that an operation would destroy their credibility leaving the ground open for nationalists.

The sheer impotence of the political government vis-à-vis rapists of the Army was evident from this statement released after a cabinet meeting on Friday: “Stressing the arrest of the suspects/accused involved in the unpleasant incident with the lady doctor, the cabinet recommended that the persons whose names were being mentioned in the incident should explain voluntarily so that the situation might clear.”

"Since when have provincial cabinets started meeting in emergency sessions after one rape," "And since when has the State started 'appealing' to criminals asking them to 'explain' their position, unless the criminals are rulers in uniform."

The Police investigation into the Dr Shazia Khalid rape case revealed a massive cover-up as an Army officer, named by Nawab Akbar Bugti as Captain Ammad, with two accomplices, were accused of the rape on the night of Jan 2-3, 2005. One of them was identified in an official letter as Amjad.

Police officers of Dera Bugti, themselves embarrassed and insulted by the doctor’s rape, as this is considered to be the highest insult for a Baloch tribesman, pursued the probe vigorously and documented their experience at every stage, despite stonewalling by Pakistan Petroleum Company (PPL) the employer of the doctor serving at Sui. Obviously the PPL management was under Army pressure not to let the case get out of control lest the officers involved were caught and punished.

Documents of Police investigations and the cover-up were made available to the South Asia Tribune on Friday and included a five page detailed report sent on Jan 7, 2005 by the Deputy Superintendent Police, Dera Bugti Circle to the District Nazim of the area, the administrative head. Click to Read the Report in Urdu Page1 | Page2 | Page3 | Page4 | Page5

His report detailed all the attempts made by the Police to contact the victim before she was abducted to Karachi, although Police had categorically warned the PPL management that she should not be moved unless she recorded her statement.

The report began with the statement that Dr Shazia had been gang raped and gave specific and graphical picture of how the Police had recovered a used condom, bloodied bed sheets and broken hair from Dr Shazia’s ransacked room where everything including the telephone handset had been broken and there were signs of a big struggle.

For three days PPL Manager of the Sui Plant, Pervez Jumula, the Chief Medical Officer of the Sui Hospital Usman Wara and other doctors and staff kept claiming that Dr Shazia was unconscious and could not record her statement. But on the 4th day the Police was told that she had been transferred to Karachi.

In a shameless letter sent to the District Administration Officer of Dera Bugti, on Jan 7, 2005, the PPL Sui Manager, Pervez Jumula, described the rape as an ordinary “theft” at Dr Shazia’s house in which the thief took away Rs 25,000 and some jewellery but the way the “thief” handled Dr Shazia was shocking, though it was obvious that the letter was based on cooked up facts. Click to View PPL letter

The PPL letter conceded that "One unknown person broke into the accommodation of Dr Shazia sometime after midnight and pressed her throat so severely that she felt like dying. She could not speak out but resisted the violence and started to shout whereupon he hit her on the head probably with the telephone lying in her room. He was also carrying a TT (pistol) with which he hit her on the head as well. She almost became unconscious. He then enquired about cash and other valuable items...He then tied her eyes and face and threw a blanket over her and escaped. She saw nothing..."

In a reply on the same day, the District Police Officer of Dera Murad Jamali asked the PPL Manager 7 direct questions:

Even if the case was a 'theft', the letter asks, why then the facts were concealed from the Police for three days; Why PPL management obstructed the Police from taking the statement of Dr Shazia; If she was unconscious, why was she removed to Karachi and if she could go to Karachi why was she not allowed to record her statement to Police; How will you justify the recovery of blood-stained bed sheet, semen-stained pillow and a used condom from the crime scene; Why other witnesses including Lady Doctor Sana, Lady Doctor Saima, were not produced before the Police. Click to View Copy of Police Letter

The Police letter also accused the PPL management of 'abducting' Dr Shazia and keeping her illegally in the hospital where she was unconscious at least for 2 days after the rape.

The PPL management is thunder-struck and looking towards the Pakistan Army to bail it out as a judicial enquiry has been ordered by the provincial government under political pressure and these documents may prove that PPL had abetted and colluded with the criminals while concealing facts from the Police.

But while this rape may become a triviality if the expected military operation is launched in Balochistan, the incident would go down as the event which triggered the biggest folly of the Musharraf regime, even leading to its ultimate demise.

The confused Balochistan Government has already asked the Federal Government to deploy security forces in Sui to restore ‘complete’ writ of law and ensure the safety of the gas plant.

"We have been left with no option but to ask the federal government to deploy the security forces because police and the Levies, equipped with small weapons, can not counter the attacks of the miscreants and terrorists," Baloch Home Minister Nausherwani told newsmen soon after the meeting of the provincial cabinet.

But in its latest crisis management strategy, the Musharraf Government is not calling its activities in Balochistan as an operation, although the signs are clear what will happen in the next few days.

Troops have already launched a house-to-house search for weapons around the Sui gas field. Hundreds of troops were involved in the operation focused on villages in the vicinity of the Sui gas field to flush out weapons and secure the facility, AFP reported on Friday night.


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