THE INTERNATIONALNETWORK 
     FOR THE RIGHTS OF FEMALE VICTIMS 
     OF VIOLENCE IN PAKISTAN
  (INRFVVP)
 
Subject: ALL: The Solution to the Zafran Bibi Case
Date: Wed, 22 May 2002 21:29:10 -0400

EDITOR’S NOTE:  We thank our Member Asadullah Khan for his letter and request INRFVVP Members and Friends to follow up on his excellent suggestion that a DNA test be performed to determine the paternity of Zafran
Bibi’s baby.  Letters may be sent to President Pervez Musharraf at [email protected]

From: CuChullaine O'Reilly [] 

Dear Riffat and Members of the INRFVVP,

Just a quick note to say "Thank You" for all the information you are sending regarding the Zafran Bibi case. I must say that I personally find nothing surprising about anything you have reported so far. 

The actions of Zarfran's father-in-law, the police, and the original "judge" who condemned her to death, are all to be expected from those of us who are familiar with the Pathan culture and traditions of the North West Frontier Province.

And whereas I whole-heartedly support the INRFVVP in its drive to find justice for this abused woman, I believe that the INFRVVP's action's should be kept emotionally low-key. Let the hot-blooded, judgemental types rage away in their barricaded villages and their hujras. The INFRVVP should not descend into a shouting match with "tribals", who place more importance in their twisted personal interpretation of Islam, than the basic judicial rights of another human being.

In regards to this, let me urge the INRFVVP to consider the fundamental problem presented by this case. Either Zafran is lying about who she had sexual intercourse with, claiming she was raped by her brother-in-law Jamal, or her father-in-law is lying when he says Zafran was raped by a third party, Akmal Khan.

Therefore I urge the INRFVVP to call upon the Pakistani court to have an immediate DNA test done on Zafran's daughter - as well as both men suspected of having been the child's father !

The DNA "fingerprint" will provide immediate proof as to which party is lying.

What happens after that is a deeper issue than merely one woman's "guilt or innocence". The entire Pathan culture is on trial at the moment, a sad fact which I do not believe they understand. And whereas it might give a great many people in the West emotional satisfaction to point a superior finger at these "backward" tribals, in the long run the best way to enlighten the people involved in the NWFP is to show Mercy, Compassion, and Forgiveness - qualities which the Prophet of Islam is remembered for - and qualities which the men in Zafran's life have forsaken.

In conclusion, let me add the personal note that I have the utmost belief that justice will ultimately be done in Pakistan. And I speak from personal experience, as I myself had the "honor" of being framed, tortured, and illegally imprisoned in one of Pakistan's most infamous prisons. Like Zafran, my own case was ultimately heard by an objective, unbiased Pakistani judge, who set me free and found the men who framed me guilty of crimes against humanity.

So I speak from experience when I say that the wheels turn slow in Pakistan, but insh'Allah they turn in the right direction. With the help and guidence of the INRFVVP, the case of Zafran may become a guideline to prevent such acts of intolerance from ever happening again. The Qu'ran says that Allah, in his wisdom, turns all evil into good - something which the INRFVVP and its campaign to save Zafran has already proved.

Keep up the good work - and demand that DNA test !

Best wishes,

Asadullah Khan a.k.a. CuChullaine O'Reilly - author of "Khyber Knights"



Professor Dr. Riffat Hassan,
P.O. Box 17202,
Louisville,
Kentucky 40217,
U.S.A.
Phone: 502 637 4090
Fax: 502 637 4002
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