Pakistan Tehreek-i-Insaf (PTI) MNA Dawar Khan Kundi has accused PTI leader and Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Revenue Minister Ali Amin Gandapur of facilitating eight people accused of involvement in the alleged stripping and parading naked of a teenage girl in Dera Ismail Khan earlier this month.
Kundi, elected to the NA-25 constituency (DI Khan, Tank), wrote a letter to PTI Chairman Imran Khan dated Nov 8 requesting him to ensure Gandapur's removal from his ministerial position, and urge him to withdraw his support from the suspects and ask the girl's family for forgiveness.
Gandapur, who Kundi describes as "a source of embarrassment for the party", allegedly provided "support for the criminals in the case in which an orphan girl was paraded naked by eight armed men" in DI Khan.
"I visited the family a week before and they asked, in fact, requested me to make sure that Ali Amin Gandapur, revenue minister KP, may be forced and asked to withdraw his support for the criminals," Kundi said in his letter.
"After privately investigating the case, the reservations of the concerned family were true. Ali Amin provided logistic and physical support to the criminals in violation of the moral norms of society," he alleged.
"The notorious activities of Ali Amin Gandapur are a source of providing a bad name to the party as a whole," Kundi claimed.
He reminded the PTI chief that "since the inception of the provincial government of KP, we had high hopes of implementing the manifesto of PTI in KP and vowed to make an example for the other provinces of our homeland."
However, Gandapur's conduct has "lowered our heads in shame", he said. It is the time that PTI stands for the orphan girl and provide justice as soon as possible, he concluded.
Imran Khan has not responded to the accusations against Gandapur as yet.
Responding to the allegations levelled against him by Kundi, Gandapur said the attempts to link him with the incident were "shameful". "Levelling baseless allegations for achieving political gains is condemnable," he said.
"Those accusing me of patronising the accused are unaware of the police system in Khyber Pakhtunkhwa (KP). Police in KP is completely free from political influence and it is impossible for any minister or political leader, including me, to intervene in their work," Gandapur maintained.
He demanded that those responsible for the inhumane incident be brought to justice. "If there is evidence of me trying to influence the case in any way, you can hang me."
The PTI leader also demanded of the complainants to present proof of their accusations.
Initially, the victim’s family had alleged that the accused had stripped the girl and paraded her naked in the Garahmat village in Daraban tehsil on Oct 27. Later, they claimed that she was taken to the residence of one Sanaullah where her clothes were torn off and she was beaten and kept in illegal confinement.
The victim claimed that she had received bruises on her arm and knee, and that she was dragged by the suspects at gunpoint inside the house.
According to unconfirmed reports, the victim’s family was under pressure to retract their earlier statement.
Interestingly, the Chaudwan police station registered two FIRs on Oct 27. First, the police registered an FIR on complaint of one of the female members of the family of the accused, while another FIR was later registered on the complaint of the victim (name withheld).
Eight of the nine people involved have been arrested, along with two 'facilitators' of the main accused. The prime accused, however, remains missing.
The arrested accused include three brothers Shahjehan, Gulestan and Ramzan, two other brothers Nasir and Aslam, and Ikram, Sanaullah and Saidu.