Arrest warrants issued for Sonia

The criminal case registered against Sonia Naz for illegally entering the Parliament House this year has been reopened with the issuance of her arrest warrants by an Islamabad court.
National Assembly Speaker Chaudhry Amir Hussain had lodged a report with the police under non-bailable offence in April this year when the lady was found inside the House without any legal documents.

The arrest warrants of Sonia — mother of two and currently living in a shelter house after being driven out of her home by in-laws and divorced by her husband — were issued on September 21 by the court of Civil Judge Mohammad Iqbal. Police have been directed to produce the accused in the court on October 4.

Before she was allowed bail, Sonia remained in Adiala Jail for three nights on charges of illegally entering the National Assembly hall, where she had gone to seek justice against SP Khalid Abdullah.

Sonia’s Islamabad-based lawyer Tayyab Shah confirmed to The News the issuance of arrest warrants of his client. A legal expert said Sonia might be declared proclaimed offender if she fails to appear before the court on the given date.

Sonia, too, confirmed to The News from Lahore that her former lawyer, who had sought her bail in April, had communicated that her arrest warrants were being issued by the Islamabad court and she would be arrested for not appearing before the court during the last four months. Another lawyer of the rape victim, Zulfikar Bhutto, who is pleading her cases in the Supreme Court told The News that the arrest warrants and other such tactics were aimed at harassing his client.

He claimed that this all was being done to stop her from appearing before the Supreme Court to pursue her case with regard to non-registration of FIR against SP Khalid Abdullah on charges of abduction, torture and rape.

Sonia was arrested after MNA Mehnaz Rafi pointed out her presence in the House leading to vociferous demands from many MNAs to get the woman arrested for entering the hall and sitting with them.

After coming to know about the facts that the accused was a victim of police highhandedness and not a terrorist, the security staff of National Assembly wanted to let her go home in Lahore but the speaker directed the authorities concerned to get a case registered against her under non-bailable offences.

The National Assembly Secretariat is still pursuing the case against Sonia in the court of law and is trying to get her sentenced to jail for entering the NA hall and sitting with the MNAs. Sonia has publicly held the speaker responsible for her miseries as instead of providing her justice, he ordered her sent to jail under non-bailable charges.

Meanwhile, talking to this correspondent, Sonia said she could not attend the proceedings of the case against her for several reasons. Sonia said after getting bail from Islamabad court, she was supposed to appear before the Lahore High Court, where she had filed a petition against SP Khalid Abdullah on May 6.

But fearing that the LHC verdict might go against him, SP Abdullah abducted her on May 3 and kept her in illegal confinement for 15 days. Before her release, Sonia alleged she was subjected to torture and rape and when she returned home, her in-laws drove her out of the house when they came to know about what happened to her.

Sonia said she was left with her two kids and had no idea what was going on as far as her case in Islamabad was concerned. Sonia said even now she could not come to Islamabad to appear before the lower court as she was facing serious security threats and was already residing in a shelter house away from her kids in some sort of “protective custody”.

“I am really at a loss to understand why the speaker is keen to get me sentenced to jail for entering the NA hall. Is it not enough punishment for a woman in distress to stay in jail for three days for the crime of sitting with MNAs,” she asked.

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