Starting over: Couple hospitalised for quitting drug trade

‘Charsi Pathani’ said her in-laws were targeting her for trying to quit.


Express April 07, 2011

RAHIM YAR KHAN:


A woman and her husband were assaulted by her brother-in-law last week after they refused to deal drugs on his behalf.


As punishment for abandoning the drug trade, three men broke into the house of Pathanistan residents Rubina Kanwal alias ‘Charsi Pathani’ and her husband Shahid on Tuesday.

“I had been dealing for them for over six years but recently I discovered that I was pregnant for the fourth time and I wanted to quit,” Rubina said. Rubina told police officials that her brothers-in-law were drug lords in the district and that she and her husband had been dealing for them for several years.

The couple confessed that following the news of Rubina’s pregnancy they both checked into a rehabilitation facility in the district. “We got clean and when we were released we wanted to quit but my family wouldn’t let us,” Shahid said.

The couple said that Rubina had begun working at a beauty parlour to support her four daughters. “When I was an addict I paid no attention to my children and I feel that I need to make this up to them,” she said.

“That is why I refused to continue dealing drugs but my in-laws were threatening me for abandoning their trade,” she added.

On Monday, Salamat, Wahid Bukhsh, Hashmat, Niamat and Sajid broke into the couple’s home and beat them up with sticks.

“They suspected us of being police informants even though at the time we simply wanted a fresh start,” Rubina said.

“My brothers have been trying to pull us back in the business for weeks and they finally just attacked us as a warning not to go the police,” Shahid said. Shahid told police officials that his and Rubina’s life was in danger because his brothers thought he was responsible for the arrest of their nephew Mohsin.

“Mohsin was arrested last month by police for selling alcohol and charas but we had nothing to do with it,” Shahid said.

Rubina’s sister Sumera and neighbor Ghufrana alias Bubbly said that she had been making an effort to stay clean. “It took a lot of courage for her to stop taking drugs because they were both involved in the trade and her children were suffering,” Ghufrana said, adding “once they were both treated they enrolled their children in school and they have been doing well until the incident.”

Shahid and Rubina confessed to the Rahim Yar Khan police in the hospital after they were admitted with serious injuries on Tuesday.

“We want police protection and we are willing to reveal the details about the drug dens in the district,” they said.

District Superintendent Police Sohail Tajik said that the couple had given them details and information that would help them catch the remaining drug lords.

“We realise the risk to their lives and we have shifted the family to a secure location,” he said.  DSP Muhammad Ashfaq and Station House Officer (SHO) C-division Jamsheed Ali said that the couple would be provided security and that teams from three police stations were looking to investigate the drug network in the area.

Published in The Express Tribune, April 7th, 2011.

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