Husbands of Ghotki sisters hid first marriages in nikahnama: report

Published: April 13, 2019
Reena and Raveena with husbands. PHOTO: FILE

Reena and Raveena with husbands. PHOTO: FILE

ISLAMABAD: Husbands of Reena and Raveena – Hindu sisters from Ghotki who made headlines for converting to Islam – failed to mention their first marriages in their nikahnamas, according to a Sindh government report submitted in the Islamabad High Court (IHC).

The six-page report, a copy of which is available to The Express Tribune, also revealed that first wives of Barkat Ali and Safdar Ali, in their official statements, expressed ‘serious concern’ over second marriages of their husbands without their consent, which is a legal requirement as per the law.

Concealing first marriages in nikahnama is a violation of Section 6 of Muslim Family Laws Ordinance 1961.

According to mobile phone records, both Reena and Raveena – now known as Aasia and Nadia after converting to Islam – were in contact with Barkat and Safdar for a long period of time.

Ghotki sisters allowed to reunite with husbands

Meanwhile, another report penned by an inquiry commission formed to probe the matter has also surfaced, revealing key findings regarding parents of the two sisters.

According to the report, Hari Lal, the father of the girls had applied for their B-forms two days after their alleged abduction on March 22, 2019. He sought a three to four year reduction in his daughters’ ages.

As per school register, their years of birth are 2002 and 2003 respectively and both girls were enrolled in grade-1 back in 2008.

Lal has 10 children with only three of them registered in the National Database and Registration Authority (Nadra).

It may also be mentioned here that Barkat has three and Safdar four children with their first wives respectively.

On Thursday, the Islamabad High Court allowed both girls to reunite with their husbands, rejecting their parents’ contention that they were kidnapped and forced to change their religion.

IHC orders custody for Ghotki girls

An IHC bench headed by Chief Justice Athar Minallah, ruled on the matter following a report from a five-member commission, which said that the girls accepted Islam on their own to marry their lovers and that it did not appear to be a case of forced conversion.

The court said the two were adult enough to make their own decisions and that they were not forced to convert.

The teenagers had left their home on March 20 to be married in Punjab, where the law does not bar marriages of those younger than 18, unlike Sindh. The police also detained 10 people in the case and registered a formal case of kidnapping and robbery on complaints of the girls’ parents.

A video surfaced online showing the teenagers’ father and brother claiming the girls were abducted and forcefully converted. It was followed by another video snippet in which the two girls said that they had willfully converted to Islam.

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