LAHORE: Adviser to PM on Kashmir and Gilgit-Baltistan Qamar Zaman Kaira demands that those who levelled allegation of rape of PTI women activists in police custody, should be penalised if the accusations are found false after a thorough investigation.

“The confrontation on the political front is being given a new colour. PTI’s social media and the arsonists have attempted to give the impression as if some dreadful conspiracy is being hatched against the party…Its (under detention) women activists are being particularly subjected to sexual torture,” he told a press conference here on Thursday.

“It is a very mean allegation and I demand that the accusations should be thoroughly probed and if found uncalled for the accusers must be penalised.”

Flanked by Syed Hassan Murtaza, Aslam Gill and Osman Malik, he said Zulfikar Ali Bhutto and Nawaz Sharif had earlier been arrested but unlike the PTI, PPP and PML-N never resorted to hooliganism on the detention of their respective leader.

He demanded that the accusers must come up with evidence about torture of women on May 9 and promised to raise a voice against the torture if the allegations were found to be true.

The minister lamented that human rights organisations ‘became alive’ on the arrest of one person though no human rights had been violated during the action, whereas none had raised a voice when PPP women activists had been incarcerated.

Referring to the recent cut in oil prices, he claimed that the government would further reduce the prices in the days to come as well as provide relief to the salaried class and commoners in the budget.

Replying to a query about the trial of civilians under the Army Act, the minister said that under the amended act the convicts by the military courts have been provided with the opportunity to appeal before the high court and Supreme Court against the conviction.

He denied the impression that the accused would be tried under the Army Act on suspicion; rather, he said, there was strong evidence against them available with the authorities.Replying to a question, he said that those joining the PPP these days were in fact the party men who had earlier deserted it.

Mr Murtaza regretted that India was perpetually violating human rights in the Occupied Kashmir but no human rights body was raising a voice against the cruelties.

Published in Dawn, June 2nd, 2023

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