PESHAWAR, Jan 3: A Chitrali girl, who remained at a centre of a controversy between inhabitants of two neighbouring districts of Chitral and Upper Dir, was allowed by a single-member Peshawar High Court bench on Thursday to go with her father-in-law after she retracted from her earlier statement of charging her husband with kidnapping her.

Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan asked the girl to go with her father-in-law, Nowsherwan, who was present in the courtroom, and warned her maternal uncles against harming her.

The development came during the hearing into an application filed on behalf of the girl, Zeenat, with a request to the court for transferring the case about her kidnapping from Dir Upper district to Chitral for security reasons.

Husband of the girl, Khursheed Khan, from Dir Upper, has been behind the bars after her was arrested on the charges of kidnapping the girl for the purpose of marriage and has been undergoing trial for the said offence before a court in Upper Dir.

When the chief justice heard initial arguments of the counsel for the applicant, he observed that being a woman, it was difficult for her to travel to Upper Dir from Chitral and therefore, it would be appropriate to shift the case to Chitral.

When the chief justice started dictating the order sheet, the girl stood in her seat and said she did not want to go with her uncles and she might be allowed to return back to the residence of her husband.

She said earlier, she had given statement to the court regarding her kidnapping by her husband under duress as demonstrations were frequently held in Chitral and she feared that those demonstrations might result in law and order situation.

Ms Zeenat said she was never kidnapped by Khursheed and in fact she had entered into wedlock with him with her free will.

She added that in her nikkah certificate, she had also accepted five tolas of gold ornaments as dower offered by her husband. She requested the bench to allow her to go with her father-in-law instead of transferring the case to Chitral.

The bench while allowing her to go with her father-in-law also directed the district police officer of Upper Dir to provide her security whenever she had to go to the court for the trial.

Maternal uncles of the girl expressed reservations about the court’s order and told reporters that they had come to the court for transferring trial to Chitral and instead the girl had gone with the rival group which might result in unrest in the district.

The girl had gone missing in June last year and was recovered after a few days following protest demonstrations staged by residents of Chitral.

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