LETTER:Fabricated stories of gang-rape

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The Independent Online
From Mr Kamran Shafi

Sir: I refer to your story "Bhutto agonises as Karachi burns" of 26 June and, in particular, to the following sentence:

Soon after, the 16-year-old sister of another Mohajir activist was gang- raped, allegedly by a rival faction with shadowy government ties.

The wording of your report seems to agree with the allegation that gang- rape did indeed take place. The fact of the matter is that it is "alleged" that the rape took place. To explain further:

There is a running feud between the families of the alleged rapists and the complainant because they belong to the two factions of the Mohajir Quami Movement who are slugging it out in Karachi. For two days, the alleged victim's family did not report the alleged rape to the police until the MQM (Altaf Group) press conference in which the matter was made public.

The provincial government of Sindh took immediate action, and the police charged the alleged criminals and arrested six of them. The case will be tried in court and the alleged criminals will be punished should they be found guilty.

On two earlier occasions the MQM (Altaf Group) fabricated stories about gang-rape to incite and inflame the people. On both those occasions the charges were found to be concocted.

As to the alleged criminals' "shadowy government ties", my government abhors violence, particularly that which is directed at women and children, and has nothing whatever to do with either of the factions of the MQM.

Yours sincerely,

Kamran Shafi

Minister

Information Division

High Commission for Pakistan

London, SW1

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