Wednesday, June 29, 2005

Mukhtaran Bibi update

Pakistan's Supreme Court will re-try fourteen men for the gang-rape of Mukhtaran Bibi. Eight of the men were acquitted in the original trial, five on appeal; all acquittals were for lack of evidence and faulty investigation by the police. While clearly in the interests of justice, I'm also not sure that I like this contravention of the bar on double jeopardy - but what can you do in a country where the police deliberately sabotage their investigations in order to pander to the powerful?

What is clear from this whole sorry saga is how desperately Pakistan needs a professional police forces which actually does its job, rather than foundering about in a half-arsed manner. If Musharraf is the enlightened moderniser he claims to be, maybe he should be looking at this, rather than locking up rape victims?

And on a more positive note, Ms Mukhtaran has got her passport back. Hopefully she'll be visiting the US soon.