A gangrape case in Pakistan has been reportedly settled for 30 maunds of wheat by local elders, highlighting the grave travesty of justice in the country.
A police case was registered a few days ago by the 14-year-old victim’s brother in Ghulam Nabi Shah area of Umerkot district in Sindh province.
The victim’s father said that following the registration of the case and the subsequent arrest of the suspect, he was forced to settle the dispute through the ‘Jirga’ -- a traditional system of settling disputes through tribal elders -- and was promised a compensation of 30 maunds of wheat.
The jirga was held under the supervision of a local influential landlord, he said.
He said that after he refused to accept compensation, he was forced to leave the area with his family. He alleged that since local media highlighted the issue, local elites have been threatening him to keep mum and withdraw the case.
Deputy inspector general of police, Mirpurkhas division, Javed Alam Odho, took notice of the incident and directed the senior superintendent of police, Umerkot, to investigate the case and provide protection to the victim’s family.
The station house officer of Ghulam Nabi Shah, Arif Bhatti, said local police had registered the case on March 21 under Sections 376 (2) and 34 of the Pakistan Penal Code and have arrested the prime suspect.
The official, however, said he was not aware of any jirga being held in the jurisdiction of his police station.
Pakistani courts have declared jirga system as illegal and their decisions as non-binding but such jirgas are held in remote areas.