Suspect booked for raping three-year-old girl in Lahore

Islampura police have registered a case against a 24-year-old man for allegedly raping a toddler.

According to the girl’s father, she was on her way to a neighbour’s house for Quran lessons when the suspect abducted her and raped her in his home. He then later dumped the unconscious minor at a street. She was discovered and then taken to a local hospital for treatment.

The suspect is still at large.

JAC urges federal and provincial governments to stop forced evictions in Karachi

Members of the Joint Action Committee (JAC) at the Karachi Press Club on Tuesday, June 1, urged the Center and the Sindh Government to halt forced evictions during their anti-encroachment drive in various parts of Karachi during the COVID-19 pandemic.

JAC speakers stated that low-income groups were among the worst hit as a result of pandemic restrictions. Many among them do not have any shelter or live in makeshift shanties, and are deprived of basic facilities such as water, electricity and sanitation, and are struggling to gain employment. Speakers said that the threat of homelessness during the on-going anti-encroachment is adding to the troubles of the most vulnerable of our society.

The United Nations has requested the governments of countries the world over to halt evictions temporarily and aid tenants unable to meet rent because of widespread unemployment and lack of earning during the pandemic. JAC members noted that while several different countries have heeded the UN’s suggestion, anti-encroachment drives in Pakistan are directly opposed to their humanitarian recommendations.

Speakers reported that some 4,000 homes have been demolished in Karachi during anti-encroachment operations on the directions of the court, in which around 45,000 people were forcibly evicted. According to a Supreme Court order, authorities must give shanty-town residents 12 months-notice as well as relocate them. However, in the two years since the order was announced, authorities have failed to devise an alternative relocation and housing plan.

Moreover, due to heavy rainfall which resulted in flash urban flooding in various parts of Karachi, the provincial government decided to widen major storm drains – a decision which is expected to leave an estimated 15,000 families homeless.

NA Human Rights Committee to convene on clampdown on free press

Chair of the National Assembly Standing Committee on Human Rights Bilawal Bhutto-Zardari on Tuesday announced a meeting of the Committee to discuss the recent attacks and attempts to silence journalists and the state of press freedom in Pakistan.

The decision came after the PPP Chair paid a visit to Islamabad-based journalist Asad Ali Toor, who had been assaulted in his home by two plainclothes men on the night of May 25. While talking to the media, Bhutto-Zardari also noted that the culprits involved in the attempted murder of former-journalist Absar Alam and the brief abduction of Matiullah Jan have yet to be caught.