RAJANPUR-A 13-year-old rape victim gave birth to a child, which will be the sole evidence that will lead the court to the alleged rapist.

The girl was raped last year at her teacher’s house. Her father said that his daughter had dropped out of school after class five, but she wanted to continue study. She began working at a house in the neighbourhood where she was also taught how to read the holy Quran. It was here that 40-year-old Kashif allegedly raped the girl last year.

Not bowing down to the backward traditions of the area, where often such incidents are hushed up, the victim’s father, a labourer, spoke out.

After finding out that his daughter was pregnant, he filed a case in the court. But the accused knew how rape cases work in courts. In the absence of any witnesses, there is only circumstantial evidence- the victim’s word against the rapist - which is insufficient for conviction by a court.

It is here that the family made some tough decisions. They decided to bring the unborn child in this world.

The minor girl gave birth on November 17, 2016 following which the local court had ordered a DNA test to determine parenthood.

However, the key accused in the case failed to appear in the court during the last two proceedings.

On Thursday (today), during the hearing the victim failed to present a lawyer in the court. They said they don’t have the resources to hire an attorney. The judge has given orders for a public prosecutor in the case. The hearing has been adjourned till April 13.

In an interview, the girl’s father vowed to get his daughter justice. “I will kill myself if I fail,” said the emotional father.

“We are poor people. We expect the court to give us justice,” said the victim, cradling her baby in her arm.

Amendments in the rape law last year make DNA test for victims mandatory, penalise the police for delaying investigation, and allow victims to testify in court through an in-camera session.

Chairperson Human Rights Commission Pakistan (HRCP) Zohra Yousuf said that in this particular case, the unborn child will serve as crucial evidence. “After October 2016, a DNA test has been made compulsory in rape case. In this case it should not be difficult to establish a link,” she said.

She adds that since the girl is a minor, the alleged rapist cannot establish that they were in a “consensual relationship”.