Its been a week since underage Dua Zehra returned to her husband’s home in Lahore. Despite being an underage 14-year-old girl, no action was taken.
In its latest ruling, the Sindh High Court judged that Dua Zehra, the teenage girl who was reported missing from Karachi’s Shah Faisal Colony on April 16 and was recovered from Bahawalnagar on June 5, is free to decide her fate and she did decide her fate and went to live with her husband.
Now after the latest interview of Dua with her husband Zaheer, there is a stir on social media that whether the girl should be sent to her home or not?
Abduction or free will?
Dua Zehra had mysteriously gone missing from Karachi in April but later declared that she had run away from her home to marry 21-year-old Zaheer Ahmed. Her parents claimed that her age was 14 but she claimed that she was 8 years old and she willingly left Karachi to travel to Lahore to marry her husband.
The teenager’s father had approached the SHC last month with a plea against the Punjab court’s orders. Mehdi had stated in the petition that as per her educational documents, birth certificate and other records, Dua’s age was 13 and under the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2013, it was illegal to marry a minor/underage.
Zehra’s age confirmed
As per the court’s order, it was confirmed through a medical test that Zehra was indeed underage and her age is between 16 to 17 years.
The Sindh High Court wrapped up the case with the decision that Dua Zehra could choose whether she wants to go home with her parents or with her husband and that the case is not one of kidnapping.
Shia community demands judicial commission
It was yesterday when news circulated on social media that a representative body of the Shia community has demanded a judicial commission to probe into the controversy surrounding the marriage of Dua Zehra with Zaheer Ahmed.
Shia Ulema Council of Pakistan Central Additional General Secretary Allama Nazir Abbas Naqvi told a press conference at Imambargah Azakhana Zahra that the case of Dua Zehra’s so-called free-will marriage with Zaher Ahmed is becoming very sensitive. “We do not want to influence court decisions or the investigative agencies, however, we demand that to set up a transparent Judicial Inquiry Commission.”
Expressing solidarity with the parents of Dua Zehra, religious scholar Allama Syed Shahenshah Hussain Naqvi, in his message that this issue was plotted as a conspiracy in Pakistan and an attempt was being made to promote free-will against the laws of the religion and cultural values, he said adding, ‘honourable people of Pakistan will never allow such a conspiracy to succeed’.
In a recent interview posted yesterday, Dua Zehra clearly said, “I would like to request them [parents] to accept me and Zaheer with a big heart. I know they have gone through sorrow and even I have but I ask them to accept us.” She claimed that her father, Mehdi Kazmi, wanted to marry her off to her nephew (his brother’s son) Zainul Abideen in order to get ‘a plot’ he had a dispute over with his brother.
Zehra’s father strikes again
Moreover, Zehra’s father Mehdi Ali Kazmi, urged lawyers to lead the case in Trial Court and also file appeals in the Supreme Court against an order of the Sindh High Court.
Should Dua be returned to her parents?
In her recent interview, Dua has clearly said that she was born in 2006 and she is 17, which still makes her 16 years old not 17, while her nikkah was done before she turned 16, so technically was illegal even under Punjab’s law. As per many people, an underage getting married is simply advocating a child marriage; which is at all costs illegal and she should be returned to her parents.