Musharraf proposes moot on injustices against women
* Says Mukhtar Mai must get justice, is free to travel
ISLAMABAD: President Pervez Musharraf said on Wednesday that he wanted to make a contribution to highlighting injustices against women and offered to host an international conference on the problem.
“I will like to take the lead in organising a conference inviting women victims from all over the world to present their ordeals and recommend remedial measures,” he said. “The government will ensure that such a conference will be representative of the various types of women’s victimisation occurring all over the world rather then singling out any one country.” He did not propose a date for the conference.
President Musharraf also said Pakistan wanted to ensure gang-rape victim Mukhtar Mai found justice.
“I have always condemned in the strongest possible terms the actions of powerful groups seeking revenge on those who are weak by humiliating their women,” President Musharraf said in a statement posted on his website.
“The government remains committed to all the victims of such offences, including Mukhtar Mai, in their quest for justice according to law,” he said.
The Supreme Court on Tuesday ordered the re-arrest of 13 men accused of involvement in the gang-rape, including the five men convicted of attacking her and eight members of the panchayat (tribal council) that ordered her assault.
President Musharraf said he had received emails about Mai’s case, which he said had deeply pained him.
Some of the emails had criticised the government for stopping Mai from travelling to the US where she was due to attend a conference, President Musharraf said.
He said he had taken the decision to stop her from going because he believed her attendance at the conference would have tarnished Pakistan’s image rather than improved the lot of women.
Following protests from various quarters, including the US government, a ban on her overseas travel was lifted and her passport was returned on Sunday.
“Mukhtar Mai is free to go wherever she pleases, meet whoever she wants and say whatever she pleases. I have full faith in her patriotism,” President Musharraf said. reuters