The Express Tribune has today published an explosive story in which gang-rape survivor and all round role-model Mukhtaran Mai has claimed that she has been at the receiving end of threats and pressure from Dasti to drop her case against the people she accuses of conniving in the violence against her.
"In an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune, Mukhtar Mai, an iconic character who came to the limelight for her brave fight for justice after being gang-raped, has alleged that MNA Jamshed Dasti is threatening her family through his emissaries to withdraw the case or face dire consequences. ...“Mr Dasti threatened me last week through his messengers in Mir Wala (Muzaffargarh) to withdraw my case from the apex court and to compromise with the Mastoi Brathery, 14 members of whom are in prison,” Mukhtar Mai said in an exclusive interview with The Express Tribune.
Mukhtar also alleged that Dasti, through the supporters of Federal Minister for Defence Production, Sardar Qayyum Jatoi, whose constituency she lives in, is putting pressure on her family in all sorts of ways. She said that her 60-year-old father, who is a woodcutter by profession, had also been warned that he would have to face the music."
By the way, Sardar Abdul Qayyum Jatoi is the same idiot who said this. Birds of a feather and all that. Just in case you had any doubts about Mukhtaran's account:
"Meanwhile, when approached by The Express Tribune, an unabashed Jamshed Dasti, who is no stranger to controversy, confirmed that he had indeed requested Mukhtar to reach a compromise on the matter.
He claimed that the judgment delivered by the then Anti-Terrorism Court in the case was adversely affected by immense pressure from then president Pervez Musharraf and anti-Islamic lobbies. “I swear, the persons imprisoned in jail are innocent and the court has no justification giving the death sentence to the accused persons in a gang-rape case,” a furious Dasti said. The Supreme Court may take up the case and decide it within ninety days, he said, criticising Mukhtar as someone who distorted the image of Islam and played into the hands of non-Muslim NGOs."
Leave aside the issue of how Dasti has committed blatant contempt of court - which the courts should decide on. But to blame the sentence on pressure from Musharraf - who it may be recalled had himself famously questioned the motivations of rape victims who stood up for their rights in general and tried his best to downplay the Mukhtaran Mai saga - just boggles the mind.
What is even more baffling, nay shameful, is how the PPP can still support a man whose opinions fly in the face of all that the liberal PPP is supposed to be about. This is not just mere stupidity. It is blackmail, criminal threats and siding with oppression.
It's about time Dasti is asked to pack his bags. Preferably for jail.