Heads must roll over Motorway gang-rape, demands Opposition

By: News Desk      Published: 02:43 PM, 11 Sep, 2020
Heads must roll over Motorway gang-rape, demands Opposition

Criticising the government members for their support to the Lahore police chief after his controversial comments about the motorway gang-rape victim, the PML-N, the main opposition party, on Saturday called for his immediate removal.

In this connection, PML-N President Shehbaz Sharif described this approach as “beyond comprehension”.

The way government ministers and Punjab Chief Minister Usman Buzdar “have rushed to support and implicitly justify the conduct of a police officer is beyond comprehension,” said Shehbaz in a tweet.

“This is their contribution to the victim-blaming. How can they govern when they do not have the ability to identify a problem?” he questioned.

Meanwhile, PML-N Spokesperson Marriyum Aurangzeb demanded immediate removal of the Lahore police chief, launching a judicial inquiry and including Anti-Terrorism Act clauses in the FIR. 

She especially blasted Special Assistant to the Prime Minister on Accountability and Interior Shahzad Akbar for defending Lahore CCPO Umer Sheikh.

Marriyum told a press conference in Islamabad that the state had been paralysed and could not provide security to the citizens.

The PML-N made the demand for removing Sheikh a day after PPP Information Secretary Nafisa said that Federal Communication Minister Murad Saeed should be expelled from the cabinet over the complete absence of security apparatus on the Lahore-Sialkot Motorway.

The latest controversy erupted when Sheikh told a private TV channel that the gang-rape victim shouldn’t have used that road.

He did not limit himself to this as he went even further, saying why she had ventured out during night for a long journey and that she should have checked the fuel tank of her car.

And despite the immediate reaction by the citizens, he later said that the gang-rape victim thought it was France – a reference to the fact that she has spent time in the European country – where one could move freely any time of the day and night.

In the beginning, a strong reaction on social media forced Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari to condemn the controversial officer.

“For an officer to effectively blame a woman for being gang-raped by saying she should have taken the GT Road or question as to why she went out in the night with her children is unacceptable,” she said in a tweet.

Mazari added that she taken up the issue. “Nothing can ever rationalise the crime of rape. That's it.”

However, Shahzad and others later openly defended the CCPO. In particular, Shahzad said live on TV that Sheikh’s statement had been taken out of context.

After sometime, he posted these tweets with an assertion that Sheikh had apologised for his comments.

On the other hand, Federal Minister Asad Umar in a TV talk-show said under which law he could be removed.

Meanwhile, Buzdar too was unable to even discuss the point and did not give any specific answer when a talk-show host asked him for his views on the issue.

And on Saturday, Mazari too seemingly started backtracking as she replied to one of the critical tweets posted by her daughter Imaan Zainab Mazari, claiming that no one in the PTI government had defended the Lahore police chief.

Earlier on Friday, as soon as the TV channel aired the police officer’s remarks, the social media like Twitter burst with anger, as the people from different walks of life called for his removal.

PML-N’s Sania Ashiq, who is a member of Punjab Assembly, said, “This is the cheap mindset we need to change.”

Like many others, senior Nasim Zehra, who is associated with 24NewsHD TV channel, demanded his immediate removal.

https://twitter.com/NasimZehra/status/1304034109543657478   

An active Twitter user even suggested that Punjab Chief Usman Buzdar should issue a notification to inform the women that they must consult the CCPO for select a safe road to avoid being raped in front of their children.  

https://twitter.com/Liaqyat/status/1304018696155860992

And the angry people have some valid questions. “This is CCPO Umar Sheikh of the esteemed Punjab Police, for whom one IG has already been let go. This victim blamer is supposed to protect us?”