Swat girl denies she was flogged

7 04 2009

Two attacks a week to avenge U.S. drone strikes: Taliban

— Photo: AFP

Image taken from Pakistan’s Dawn News channel on Saturday shows the flogging of a woman by Taliban members in Swat valley.

Islamabad: The girl who was reportedly whipped by the Taliban in Pakistan’s Swat Valley has denied the incident, even as a rally was taken out in Karachi to condemn the public lashing. The Supreme Court on Monday ordered a probe into the matter.

The girl was reportedly flogged by a Taliban cleric for “coming out of her house with another man who was not her husband”.

The girl’s statement before a magistrate was presented in the Supreme Court through Attorney-General Latif Khosa. “The girl has denied the alleged flogging incident,” Geo TV reported. The lashing footage was telecast on many news channels worldwide.

The victim was not present during the hearing.

Senior officials, including the Interior Secretary and the North West Frontier Province (NWFP) Inspector-General of Police, appeared before the eight-member bench of the Supreme Court headed by Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhary which is hearing the case.

Chief Justice Chaudhary said “investigations be conducted” into the incident.

A two-minute video showed the 17-year-old, burqa-clad girl screaming while being whipped by the Taliban men.

The grainy video, shot on a mobile phone, showed the girl face down on the ground. Two men held her arms and feet while a third, a black-turbaned man with a flowing beard, whipped her repeatedly, London’s Guardian newspaper reported.

The newspaper said it received the video through Samar Minallah, a Pashtun documentary maker.

After 34 lashes the punishment stopped and the wailing girl was led into a stone building.

The Minhajul Quran Women League (MQWL) on Saturday staged a demonstration outside the Lahore Press Club to condemn the flogging and demanded strict action against those involved in the incident, the News International reported.

Addressing the protesters, MQWL chief Fatima Mashadi said those who flogged the girl were not following Islam and they had brought a bad name to the religion and the country. — IANS

PTI reports:

The Pakistani Taliban claimed responsibility for the suicide bombing of a paramilitary camp in the federal capital that killed eight security personnel and warned it would carry out two attacks a week to avenge U.S. drone strikes in the tribal areas.

Hakimullah Mehsud, one of the deputies of Tehrik-e-Taliban Pakistan chief Baitullah Mehsud, said Sunday’s suicide attack on a Frontier Corps camp in the heart of Islamabad was carried out by his group.

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