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Gang rape victim 'forced' to flee Pakistan

Source: PTI
July 04, 2005 18:25 IST
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A Pakistani doctor, whose gang rape sparked protests among local tribesmen in southern Balochistan province, has claimed that she was expelled from the country.

"I requested justice, but they expelled me from the country, leaving me at the mercy of others," Dr Shazia Khalid told a conference organised by the Asian American Network on "Women's Rights in Pakistan", in Houston on telephone from London.

Dr Shazia, an employee of the Pakistan Petroleum Ltd, was allegedly gang-raped by some security personnel in January.

The incident triggered protests among local tribesmen, specially the Bugti tribe. She alleged the Pakistan government deceived her and expelled her from the country along with her spouse.

Her comments carried by the BBC were published by the Daily Times in Pakistan on Monday.

The doctor made her first public appearence after she had left the country with her spouse and started living in Britain when a tribunal in Pakistan completed its investigations and declared her alleged culprits not guilty.

"I was not willing to come to Britain, but frequent threats forced me to leave my country," she said adding that she was still scared.

Dr Shazia, who failed to identify any of her alleged rapists during an identification parade, said she was least satisfied with the investigations in her case in Pakistan.

"The tribunal investigations were scheduled to be held in Balochistan but Sindh chief secretary's assistant asked me to appear before the tribunal in Karachi. They also forcibly took an undertaking from me that I was ill and could not appear at the tribunal in Balochistan. They cheated me and frightened me to the extent that I had to flee," she said.

Her comments came close on the heels of allegations by the another gang-rape victim Mutkhtaran Mai that Pakistan courts took a lenient view of those who committed the crime.

Mai was gang-raped in 2002 on the order of a village council in Punjab province as punishment for her brother's alleged affair with a woman from an influential rival clan.

The gang-rape victim, who was earlier barred by the Pakistani government from travelling to the US to speak about her ordeal at a women's conference, was also scheduled to address the same conference.

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