It took Nasreen Bibi more than a year to establish that as the biological parent of Shazia, the Christian minor who was allegedly killer by her employer, the compensation money given by the federal government on President Asif Ali Zardari’s request was rightfully her.
However, even after a report proclaiming her right has been released, she is unsure if she will ever see the money her former husband absconded with.
District officer (DO) (Civil Defence) Rana Tariq Waheed, was deputed by Chief Minister (CM) Shahbaz Sharif to conduct a thorough inquiry into the matter. He concluded that Bashir Masih, Nasreen’s former husband and Shazia’s step father, had deceitfully gotten the compensation money cheque issued in his name, depriving Nasreen of her right. Waheed recommended that the three-marla plot announced by the CM should be given to Nasreen who was a biological parent of the deceased. The report mentions that Nasreen was not only deprived of the money but also evicted from her house by Bashir on Easter last when she demanded the return of the money.
Nasreen Bibi, who now lives in a village near Sheikhupura, filed a complaint with the CM that Advocate Chaudhry Muhammad Naeem had killed her daughter Shazia on January 22. Nasreen said that the CM and Nawaz Sharif had visited her and announced a three-marla plot for her family to build a house on. President Zaradari, she said, had given her Rs0.5 million as compensation which had been misappropriated by Bashir who had not given her a single penny. Bashir had then evicted her from the house, she added.
In her complaint to the CM, Nasreen also said that Shazia was her daughter from her former husband, Akbar Masih. She said she had requested the CM to issue directions for the money to be given to her and that the promised for plot be allotted in her name.
DO Waheed told The Express Tribune that he during the course of his inquiry he had found Bashir guilty of deliberate fraud. He said he had threatened Nasreen with death when she demanded the money. DO Waheed said that Nasreen and Bashir were still married when the cheque was issued but they quarrelled and parted ways after Nasreen found out that he had deceived her and got the money. Nasreen got a divorce through the courts, he added. DO Waheed was sure that the 3-marla plot should be given to Nasreen but he could not say whether the cheque had been withdrawn.
Nasreen said the report had given her a ray of hope. However, she was unsure if the money would be returned to her. She said that she had visited the CM’s Secretariat three times to see the officer who had been handed the report by the DO but had been unable to meet him.
She said she had even tried to register a case against Bashir at the Lytton Road police station but Bashir had bribed the police and they had refused to register a case against him.
Nasreen said that Bashir had cleverly managed to give his identity card to Raja Riaz, the former senior minister, and get the compensation money cheque issued in his name. She said at the time she had been sick and did not have her identity card on her. Later, she said, Bashir refused to give her the money and come Easter forced her out of their home.
Nasreen said she was raising her six-year-old daughter, Saadia, and twelve-year-old son, Sunny, on her own. She said Bashir’s brother Siddique had fleeced Bashir off Rs250,000 out of the compensation money and the two had quarreled over that.
Published in The Express Tribune, March 14th, 2011.