HRCP concerned over Pashtun woman’s harassment

Lahore: In the wake of several incidents in the last few days in which state and law enforcement agencies appear to have acted with impunity, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan (HRCP) has expressed serious concern over the alleged harassment of a Pashtun woman in the village of Khaisor in North Waziristan, based on a video statement recorded by her young son, Hayat Khan, and released on social media. In a statement Tuesday, HRCP has strongly condemned the incident, saying that ‘there can be no justification for state agency officials to enter a private home and threaten to rape a woman whose husband and elder son were arrested reportedly in an earlier security operation. While her husband has now been released, this in no way ‘cancels out’ the harassment and rape threats she says she has faced. ‘HRCP is also perturbed to learn from other sources, including an independent team of human rights activists who visited Hayat Khan’s mother immediately after the video was released, that this was not an isolated incident. That rape, or the threat of rape, should be used to force citizens to remain silent in the face of state agency excesses, is deplorable. HRCP strongly urges the government to conduct an independent, transparent inquiry into this incident and make the details public – to put across the message that threats of rape, whether made by state agencies or individuals, and when made under any circumstances, are unacceptable.’