Washington, June 30: Expressing deep concern over the acquittal of eight of the 10 men jailed for attack on Nobel Laureate Malala Yousafzai, two top US lawmakers have asked Pakistan to bring the attackers to justice.
"We urge the government of Pakistan to re-double its efforts in a transparent and public manner to bring those responsible for this brutal attack to justice," Senators Marco Rubio and Barbara Boxer said in a letter to Pakistan Ambassador to the US Jalil Abbas Jilani.
"This past April, Pakistani officials announced that after a secret trial, all 10 suspects were found guilty for their roles in the attack against Malala and received 25 year prison sentences," the senators wrote in the letter dated June 29.
"Although we have serious concerns about the trial's lack of transparency and general absence of information regarding the cases against these 10 individuals, we were encouraged to hear that the Pakistani judicial system was actively working to hold those responsible for this heinous act," they said.
"That is why we are particularly alarmed by recent media reports that eight of the 10 convicted were actually acquitted of these charges against them," the senators wrote, adding that these reports raise significant concerns about the transparency and the accountability of the Pakistani judicial system.
Malala was shot in the head by Taliban militants in 2012
Rubio and Boxer are respectively the chairman and ranking member of Senate Foreign Relations Committee's Subcommittee on Western Hemisphere, Transnational Crime, Civilian Security, Democracy, Human Rights and Global Women's Issues.
"As such, we respectfully request that the Pakistani judicial system provide an honest and transparent accounting of the events surrounding the cases against these 10 individuals and continue its important work to bring all those responsible for the brutal attack against an innocent teenage girl to justice," the Senators said.
Malala, 17, a Pakistani activist for girls' education, is the youngest recipient of Nobel Prize. In 2012, Talibani terrorists shot her in the head.
The attempted assassination sparked national and international support for Malala and girls' education advocacy.