Woman married to Chinese national petitions LHC against harassment

Published May 20, 2019
Petitioner says FIA is stopping ministry of foreign affairs from verifying nikahnamas of women married to Chinese men. — Dawn/File
Petitioner says FIA is stopping ministry of foreign affairs from verifying nikahnamas of women married to Chinese men. — Dawn/File

The Lahore High Court on Monday accepted a petition against the harassment of Pakistani women married to Chinese men by the Federal Investigation Agency (FIA) and the retention of their identity documents by the Ministry of Foreign Affairs (MoFA).

"The FIA is keeping the MoFA from verifying the nikahnamas. The court should order the ministry to verify the nikahnamas of women married to Chinese men," the lawyers for the petitioner told the court.

The petition sought that FIA be stopped from harassing women and their Chinese husbands, and that the petitioners' passports and other documents be returned to them.

Justice Sardar Ahmed Naeem decided on the maintainability of the petition, which was filed by Komal Shehzadi, a woman married to a Chinese man. Shehzadi was represented by Mian Waheed and Advocate Junaid Ghafoor.

The FIA and MoFA, made respondents to the petition, were ordered to submit their replies to the petition in the next hearing.

Last week, two women married to Chinese men had sought action against the FIA for illegally keeping them from travelling to China with their husbands.

The FIA has over the past three weeks arrested scores of Chinese nationals and their suspected local abettors from various parts of the country in connection with its investigation into a transnational gang allegedly involved in contracting fake marriages between Chinese men and Pakistani women, who are later forced into prostitution and the illegal organ trade.

The FO has backed the Chinese government's stance on the matter and said that Beijing has offered Islamabad "all possible cooperation" in the matter.

"The relevant authorities from both the governments are in close contact on this issue," the spokesperson had said in a press release. "The government of China had offered all possible cooperation on the issue, which was highly appreciated. Both sides are closely coordinating their efforts."

The FO spokesperson also said that "it is essential to avoid sensationalism" and that "sensitive matters should be reported only on the basis of established facts."

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