KARACHI: A key member of the Sindh cabinet said on Tuesday that the Punjab police were not cooperating with their counterparts in Sindh in the recovery of two teenage girls allegedly kidnapped in Karachi.

Sindh Minister for Women Development Syeda Shehla Raza told a press conference that she would go to every extent for their safe recovery both the kidnapped girls — Dua Zehra and Nimra Kazmi — who she said could not get married under law of the land.

Both the girls had gone missing in April to allegedly get married of men of their choice of their own free will.

“YouTubers had access to the two kidnapped girls, but Punjab police don’t know their whereabouts,” she deplored.

Minister says over 2,000 girls kidnapped in Sindh from 2017; SHC orders police to produce Dua Zehra on 30th

She said that the inspector general of the Punjab police had said that Dua Zehra’s last location was traced in Balakot through mobile phone, but her phone was switched off on Monday.

“Today they [Punjab police] are saying that the kidnapped girl was located in KP, tomorrow they will say that she is in northern areas,” she added.

She said that the over 2,000 young girls had been kidnapped in Sindh during 2017 to 2022.

The minister said an organised gang was behind the kidnapping of young girls in Karachi and other parts of the province.

“A family living in Liaqatabad have also identified the members of the kidnapping gang,” she added.

Ms Raza said that the parents of Dua Zehra had gone to Punjab. “We will also go to Punjab and sit there if the two kidnapped girls are not recovered,” she said.

The minister said that that a girl kidnapped in Lahore had been recovered within eight hours. “Why can’t the girls kidnapped in Sindh be recovered,” she asked.

She said that Chief Minister Syed Murad Ali Shah had spoken to Punjab Chief Minister Hamza Shehbaz in this regard.

Police told to produce Dua in court on 30th

The Sindh High Court (SHC) on Tuesday directed the interior secretary to ask all the relevant law enforcement agencies for extending cooperation to the Sindh police for the recovery of Dua Zehra, who had gone missing from her home in Karachi and later surfaced in Punjab.

A two-judge bench headed by Justice Mohammad Iqbal Memon again directed the IGP-Sindh to produce Dua Zehra on May 30.

When the bench took up for hearing the petition of the girl’s father seeking her recovery, it observed that despite directions issued earlier to produce her, nothing substantial had been done.

Acting IGP-Sindh Karman Afzal along with other senior police officers appeared in court in the light of a previous order and submitted that they were chasing the signal of a mobile phone being used by the alleged husband of the abductee and a technical team of the Sindh police had also been deployed in the relevant area.

He also said the information of the technical team at the same time was also being sent for locating the alleged abductee, but to no avail so far.

However, the acting IGP undertook that within a period of one week, the girl would be traced out and brought before the court for further proceedings.

The bench observed that despite its repeated orders, compliance had not been made and as per police, sometimes the mobile signal was found in Punjab and then in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa as well as in Azad Kashmir.

Thus, it said that directives were being issued to the interior secretary to ask all relevant authorities to extend cooperation.

Mehdi Ali Kazmi had approached the SHC stating that the age of his daughter was 13 and under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act 2013, marriage of a minor/underage person was illegal.

Published in Dawn, May 25th, 2022

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