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Pak to provide security to Mukhtaran Mai

world Updated: Apr 22, 2011 22:42 IST

The Pakistan government will provide security and assistance to Mukhtaran Mai who was gang-raped in an honour revenge in 2002, interior minister Rehman Malik said.

The Punjab Police will be responsible for her security, Malik told the National Assembly. The government will also help her in filing an appeal against the Supreme Court ruling, Dawn Friday quoted Malik as saying.

Malik said that he had been directed by prime pinister Yousuf Raza Gilani to provide security to Mukhtaran Mai.

Mukhtaran Mai became a symbol of the country's oppressed women after her gang-rape on the orders of a village council in 2002.

An Anti-Terrorism Court, while acquitting eight of the 14 accused in the case, had awarded death sentence to the remaining six -- of whom five were acquitted by the Lahore High Court which also reduced the death sentence of the sixth accused, Abdul Khalique, to life imprisonment.

A three-judge bench of the Supreme Court on Thursday confirmed the Lahore court order.

Former Pakistani information minister Sherry Rehman said she was disappointed over the Supreme Court verdict.

Rehman urged the government to file a review petition and provide free legal aid to the victim, the Nation reported.

Mukhtaran Mai, who belongs to the Meerwala village of Muzaffargarh district, was gang-raped in an honour revenge on the orders of a panchayat of the powerful Mastoi Baloch clan. Mukhtaran Mai belongs to the Tatla clan.