LAHORE: Victims of the 2015 Kasur child sex abuse scandal are appealing to Chief Justice of Pakistan (CJP) Mian Saqib Nisar to grant them retrials as their ongoing cases draw closer, claiming that they have been misled by NGOs, pro bono lawyers and members of the media during the course of the past few years.
A letter penned by Danish Ali, one of the victims of the 2015 scandal, has asked the CJP to take suo motu notice of the government’s inability to fulfil their promises towards the victims.
The 19-year-old Danish Ali, who has emerged as a leader among the victimised boys, talking to Pakistan Today tells a tale of ostracisation, victim blaming and constant sidelining by the government and their own people.
Expressing lack of hope from the ongoing court proceedings, he said that he is pleading with the chief justice to intervene and give him and his friends justice.
“I have noticed that the chief justice has been taking up a lot of cases, so I would implore him to take up ours as well,” he said.
“Some of the perpetrators against whom there is video evidence had already been released last year by the anti-terrorism court (ATC). We were made promises by the government that we would be provided lawyers and that our education would be taken care of, but none of this has come to fruition,” he added.
“How can the current cases be considered justice? Our cases have become so muddled that we do not even know what we are fighting for anymore. We are ostracised in our own city. We have been taunted and harrassed to the extent that fake First Information Reports (FIR) have been registered against us and many of us have had to leave Kasur,” he said.
Danish further said that when the story of the abuse scandal broke out back in 2015, a number of people and lawyers had promised to help and support them, but later disappeared after getting as much publicity as they could from the incident.
“Our case was picked up by some NGOs and lawyers such as Latif Sattar, however they would never appear in court and would weaken our case as they were only looking for fame through the case and not to our situation,” he revealed.
“The government had also promised to provide us legal aid but we are yet to see any of this. Punjab Chief Minister Shehbaz Sharif himself promised to take care of our education but we are still lagging behind because of the time we missed,” complained Danish, who is still trying to clear the second part of his intermediate examinations while many of his friends have graduated already.
Meanwhile, Hassan Niazi, who is lawyer to Danish and many other victims told Pakistan Today that a retrial had become a necessity by all legal standings.
“An unfair trial has been dragging on since 2015 which has caused the victims financial and social challenges. They are the victims but they are being further victimised and pushed into the corner,” he said.
“Some of these kids have been forced to accept paltry sums as compensation money to ruin their cases. Others are being defamed with fake FIRs and their case dirtied. At this rate, any decision will be a clear miscarriage of justice,” the lawyer said.
The lawyer also asserted that this was one of the biggest cases in the country and it was shocking that such a blatant miscarriage of justice should happen in it.