KARACHI, Feb 3: The role of the Pakistan Petroleum Limited was disappointing in the alleged rape case in Sui, the husband of Dr Shazia Khalid said in an interview with Dawn here on Thursday.

Khalid Aman, a petroleum engineer working for a Chinese petroleum company in Libya, accused PPL officials of putting pressure on her wife to keep silent on the alleged incident. She was advised to call it a simple robbery incident.

He said that even the brother of the doctor was not informed about the incident on the day it took place and told about it only after Dr Shazia was taken to Karachi from Sui and admitted to a psychiatric hospital three days later.

Mr Aman said that the PPL management had also advised the brother not to pursue the rape case and just have a robbery case registered. Mr Aman said: "We need justice and want the man responsible to be arrested and punished in accordance with law."

About his wife being declared a 'kari', Mr Aman said: "We belong to Khuhra Town, taluka Gambat, district Khairpur. My wife's family migrated from there to Karachi some 40 years back.

My grandfather lives there and he has been putting pressure to declare Dr Shazia as a 'kari' and that I should part ways with her. I am with my wife but she was very disturbed after his statements appeared in a section of press and we now feel insecure."

Mr Aman denied that a jirga was held at his native town and said there were just some statements from his grandfather that were published in a section of the press. Recalling the night between Jan 2 and 3, Mr Aman said his wife was on call and had left her room at around 7.30pm on Jan 2, taken a round of the ward, and came back to her room after half an hour. She offered her prayers, watched TV, and went to bed by 10pm.

He quoted Dr Shazia as saying: "I was fast asleep when I felt someone pulling my hair. I woke up and got frightened. Somebody grabbed my neck and did not allow me even to move.

I managed to pick up the receiver of the phone on the bedside table, but he snatched it from my hand, hit my head with it, and tied my wrists with the telephone wire. He also made a noose round my neck with the telephone wire and tightened it so that I had a problem in breathing.

"I resisted but he overpowered me. I then begged him to leave me for the sake of Allah. I asked him as to what my fault was and why was he doing this to me. He ordered me to keep quiet otherwise a man was standing outside with kerosene and he had a matchbox. He said if I raised an alarm, he would set me on fire.

I could not see him as it was dark and he had blindfolded me with my dupatta. He beat me brutally, then assaulted me and wrapped me in a blanket." Mr Aman said that after an hour, the intruder again assaulted his wife.

The doctor begged him again to leave her alone. The man replied: 'It is now 3 o'clock and I will leave in the morning.' He ordered her to keep silent. He asked for cash and jewellery from her, and she told him that the cash and jewellery were in the cupboard.

She heard the sound of the cupboard being opened. She again asked him to leave her room but he did not say anything. After a while, she heard the sound of a match being struck.

She got afraid of being killed and started reciting the kalima and other Quranic verses. She again begged the man to spare her and said: "You have destroyed my life, now why are you setting me on fire?"

Mr Aman said that according to his wife, the man did not reply and she heard some sounds from the bathroom. Then the TV was switched on and she heard channels being changed.

The man watched TV till the Fajr call to prayer. She heard the outer steel gate being opened and closed. She remained in bed for 15 to 20 minutes and then tried to compose herself.

She removed the covering from her eyes first with her tied hands and later she managed to cut the telephone wire with a pair of scissors. She unlocked the door as her keys had not been touched. She went straight to the nursing hostel and knocked on the door of a nurse, Sakina.

Sakina's husband opened the door and found the lady doctor badly injured. Sakina then informed the administration of the PPL and the DCMO, Dr Mohammad Ali, Dr Irshad, Dr Saima Siddiqui, nurse Firdous and Salimullah came to see her in Sakina's room.

She asked them to call her brother and his wife and she would tell them everything. She was told that they could not be called to the Sui gas field. The chief medical officer, Usman Wadha, advised her not to report anything as the defence security guards (DSG) and police would investigate, and she would have to appear in court and it would lead to a lot of hue and cry.

She was later given an injection and she became drowsy. She was told not to see anyone. She was kept in Sakina's room and not in the hospital and even her injuries were not treated.

On the night of Jan 4, Dr Irshad and his wife took Dr Shazia to Kandhkot, where they stayed overnight and in the morning of Jan 5, she was shifted to a psychiatric hospital in Karachi, her husband said.

Later, her brother was informed, and on Jan 11, Dr Aman said he came to Pakistan from Libya when an examination was conducted. He said Dr Shazia had joined the PPL Sui gas field on June 23, 2003.

During her interview, she was asked about her husband, and she had told them that her husband was a petroleum engineer. "I was called for an interview and asked if I would join PPL if I agreed to be posted at Sui.

I expressed my happiness over this, but I was not appointed", Dr Aman said. "The company on one way or the other refused all the time whenever I applied for a job and finally I got a job with a Chinese company on June 23, 2004. I was first sent for training to Sudan for two months and then to Libya."

Updated Feb 04, 2005 12:00am

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