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Saturday, April 20, 2024  
09 Shawwal 1445  

Zaheer’s petition rejected as Karachi teen handed over to parents

Sindh High Court orders parents to provide complete protection to daughter
Court gives verdict in the marriage of choice case | Aaj News

Story highlights

  • Girl wants to reside with parents
  • SHC orders parents to ensure complete protection of girl
  • Parents will have to deposit Rs1 million as protection for the girl
  • Child protection officer and lady police officer to visit the girl weekly

KARACHI: The teenage girl, who was reported missing from Karachi in mid-April and resurfaced in Punjab and married to another teenager, would reside with her parents.

This is an order the Sindh High Court gave during the hearing of the petition of the parents for the handing over of the girl on Friday. The girl and her alleged husband, Zaheer Ahmed, also appeared with his lawyer in front of the court.

“I want to go with my parents,” the girl replied to Muhammad Iqbal Kalhoro’s query.

The court had summoned Sindh’s inspector general of police, investigation officer, plaintiff, and Sindh Child Protection Authority director general after Zaheer sought security in the last hearing of the case. “I am a legal and Shariah husband. I should be given custody from the shelter home. The wife has given statements in my favour on all forums,” Zaheer said on Thursday’s hearing of the case.

Lawyer of the girl’s father Jibran Nasir hailed the decision. “Alhumdulillah after 7 month long battle today victim child is finally going home. She unequivocally informed Hon’ High Court that she wants to reside with parents,” he said in a series of tweets.

However, he added that there were many lessons to be learnt from the case and reforms were needed to curb child marriages.

“I would like to thank respectable Advocates Nabeel Kolachi, Ahmed Ali Hussain, Amna Usman, Ahmed Sher Jutt, Fahad Ahmed Siddiqi, Zaheer Hussain and Rafique Ahmed who all provided their services pro bono to ensure safe recovery and return of the child for sake of justice,” Nasir added.

Court proceedings

Zaheer’s lawyer contended that the girl’s extradition request was not admissible. The judicial magistrate had earlier rejected the request pertaining to the transfer of the girl whereas the petition is pending in the trial court.

He added that the teenage girl was the main witness in the case and she met with her parents while living in the shelter home. The lawyer urged the court to Zaheer should also be allowed to meet the girl.

Justice Kalhoro summoned the girl to the rostrum and asked her a few questions. The conversation is as followed:

JK: What is your name?

Girl: My name is Dua Zehra

JK: Do you study?

Girl: Education was disrupted due to the coronavirus. I study in the seventh standard.

JK: Where do you want to go?

Girl: I want to go with my mummy and daddy.

To Zaheer lawyer’s argument, the Justice Kalhoro asked that how could they stop when the girl wanted to go to her parents on her own.

The court remarked that the girl’s security must be ensured.

In a brief conversation with the girl’s father, Mehdi Kazmi, the court said: “Guarantee that the girl will be safe if she goes with you because if such incidents [abductions] happen in Sindh, the girl is not safe when she returns. We are handing over you the girl but you have a lot of responsibility.”

It rejected the request the girl’s father request to take her abroad for Ziarat. Later, the court ordered that the girl be sent with her parents and directed that she must be provided with complete protection.

Moreover, the parents would have to deposit Rs1 million as security for the protection of the girl. The Sindh Child Protection Authority has been ordered to submit its report to the court. It court has directed the child protection officer and lady police officer to visit the girl weekly.

An inspector rank officer should be present during the meeting with the child protection officer, the court said. It added that the child protection officer should submit his report to the trial court. “If the trial court sees any irregularity, it can take such action.”

‘I want to thank judge, lawyers, journalists’

Mehdi thanked the judge, all lawyers, and the journalists. “Thank God, today we are at a position where the court has granted us interim custody of my daughter and I want to thank the journalistic fraternity,” he told reporters outside the court.

 Girl’s father Mehdi Kazmi and her aunt speaks to reporters outside the court. Screengrab
Girl’s father Mehdi Kazmi and her aunt speaks to reporters outside the court. Screengrab

He was flanked by his sister, who was all smiles.

The girl’s father added that it was not possible without the support of everyone. “I have no words to say. I don’t know what to say,” Mehdi said, “I will definitely do what is possible. Definitely, her school will again start and she will be provided welfare.”


The teenager was reported missing from her home in Karachi in mid-April.

Later, she was traced to Bahawalnagar and the police learned that she was married to 21-year-old Zaheer Ahmed, who she had met while playing the popular online game PUBG.

The couple was produced in the Sindh High Court, where the court ruled that the teenager could stay with whoever she wanted, before sending her to a shelter home. After that, the girl’s parents approached the Supreme Court and challenged the decision of the Sindh High Court.

The Supreme Court disposed of the case after instructing the plaintiffs to approach the relevant forum.

You can read details of the developments in the case in our special report here.

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missing person

dua zehra


zaheer ahmed

Jibran Nasir

Mehdi Kazmi

Freewill marriage

early marriage

marriage of choice

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