Monday, July 12, 2010

Mr. President! I need justice in the Islamic Republic

MONDAY, JULY 5, 2010

By Nasira Parveen 

I had never thought that a day will come in my life when everyone would turn against me suddenly. But this happened! It was the day when the dishonest administration of the Karakoram International University (KIU), in Gilgit, made a cock and bull story and tried to kill me in the name of honor.

On March 22, 2010, my roommate Safina Bano, who was made part of the well planned drama, took me to the KIU faculty from the hostel. There we came across her fiancé Sheraz Ali Khan (an employee of the Military Accounts in Rawalpindi) with his friend Shah Fahad (working with the military-owned Askary Bank in Gilgit). Then all of a sudden hell broke down. “Two girls raped on KIU campus, see the news in the newspapers tomorrow,” SMSes started circulating with the speed of light. I was shocked but, to my surprise, my roommate was normal! I came to know the reason later only… 

Indeed, I was a soft target for those who wanted to punish our entire family for the writings of my elder brother (Habib R. Sulemani). They had selected me as the prime target according to their mass murder plan. I was a woman, a symbol of honor and vulnerable to attacks in our male-dominated society. So, they were very sure of the success of their wicked plan at the first stage. But, it went wrong! 

When I stood before the university's monkey administration like a mountain, they were shocked to death! They tried to force me to leave the hostel without any reason or investigation. I argued with the officials that I had not violated any rule of the university in my four-year stay there, and on the basis of their rumors and character assassination campaign, I was not ready to walk out. 

“Keep silent," Dr Ahsanullah Mir, the KIU registrar, warned, "otherwise you will be made a colorful story in the media, even in the very newspaper where your brother works.” 

Another official said that it was a matter of their jobs so I should leave the campus temporarily. 

Vice-Chancellor Dr Najma Najam was shuttling between Islamabad and Gilgit as my elder brother was planning legal action against the culprits. 

“My brave sister Nasira. I'm so sorry that you've been targeted by the coward criminals who were attacking me for years in different ways for being an upright journalist. The attempt on you was actually an attack on me, but they've failed again. I salute you for showing courage when the whole world was made against you in this tribal society. Our lives are under threat but we refuse to bow before the racist and sectarian terrorists. Your proud brother Habib,” my brother sent me this SMS on the occasion. 

The university administration in frustration called my father at the hostel one day and grilled him brutally inside a closed room to take me along (he is sick since then). But he refused to take me out of the hostel amid the propaganda-triggered looming dangers. Some relatives, people from our area and sect were openly accusing me of 'dishonoring' them by talking to a Pathan (non-local), with whom, after the people of Kashrote, the so-called locals hesitate to interact as a part of social prejudices. 

Anyhow, my father demanded an independent investigation into the matter. It was almost a week and I was refusing to go out of the hostel due to the looming dangers. But they didn't allow me to attend classes. I objected on this illegal action again. 

In the meanwhile, the university administration tried to kill me. I was also suggested to commit suicide to avoid the 'shameful' situation. When failed, they forcefully took me to the house of my uncle so that any 'honor-conscious' relative kills me so that their crime remains hidden. Fortunately, their criminal plan had been exposed and support of family members saved my life at that point. 

One thing bothers me a lot. Being a female vice-chancellor, why Dr Najma Najam with Prof Salma Durrani, her closest friend on campus, put my life in danger? I’m ashamed when I see them in the media advocating for the rights of women. I'm ashamed to call them women! Anybody can hire their services to destroy someone’s life or carrier. They’re evils on campus, and enemies of students and our education system.

I’m out of the university for over three months and have missed one semester. I’m being tortured along with other family members in different ways. They’re powerful and are using state apparatus and social agents against us. Despite appeals from my family members, the federal and provincial governments are silent. 

As an innocent citizen and younger sister of a martyr of the Pakistan Army, I appeal to President Asif Ali Zardari, who is also Chancellor of the Karakoram International University Gilgit, to immediately suspend KIU Vice-Chancellor Dr Najma Najam, Registrar Dr Ahsanullah Mir, Additional Registrar Muhammad Hussain, Prof Salma Durrani, Associate Professor Dr Muhammad Ramzan, Assistant Professor Manzoor Ali, Director Campus Administration Karim Khan, hostel warden Ms Tahira and others involved in this heinous crime. 

I also appeal an independent investigation into the matter and registration of criminal cases against the criminals so that no one dares to destroy the lives of innocent students, at the newly established university in Gilgit-Baltistan, in the future. 

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