Zardari directs Pak Punjab Govt. to provide speedy relief to Mukhtaran Mai

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Islamabad, Feb 20 (ANI): President Asif Ali Zardari has directed the provincial government of Punjab to take immediate steps to provide speedy relief to Mukhtaran Mai and also ensure her security against harassment by culprits.

Taking notice of various media reports in which it was pointed out that Mukhtaran Mai is being subjected to harassment by some influential people, Zardari instructed the provincial government that justice should be delivered without fear or favour.

Zardari also directed that report on the steps taken by the provincial government be sent to him, the Daily Times reported.

He made it clear that any effort by government functionaries to delay and deny justice to downtrodden and womenfolk, especially in the case of Mukhtaran Mai would not be tolerated.

Mukhtar Mai suffered a gang rape as a form of honour revenge in 2002, on the demands of tribesmen or by some accounts, on the orders of a panchayat (tribal council) of a local Mastoi Baloch clan that was richer and more powerful than Mukhtaran's clan, the Gujjar Tatla.

By custom, rural women are expected to commit suicide after such an event. Instead, she spoke up, and using word of mouth, took her case to court where her rapists were arrested and charged.

She took settlement money provided to her by the government following the court case, and opened a center for women seeking refuge and education called the Mukhtar Mai Women's Welfare Organization. (ANI)

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