An underage girl from Karachi "unequivocally" told a Sindh High Court (SHC) bench on Friday that she wished to return to her parents after a long legal battle over her alleged marriage, confirmed her father's lawyer.
The girl had travelled from Karachi to Lahore to get married to a man named Zaheer. However, her father, Syed Mehdi Kazmi, challenged the nuptials under the Child Marriage Act.
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Kazmi had contended in court that the girl was 14 years old when she was "abducted".
The SHC had later issued a written order in the case, observing no evidence was found that the girl had been abducted.
“I got married of my own free will. No one kidnapped me; I want to go with my husband Zaheer and do not wish to see my parents,” the teenager had revealed in a statement recorded under oath before the SHC.
On orders of the court, a special medical board had determined that the girl is aged between 15 and 16 years, but nearer to 15 years, giving support to the contention of her father that she was underage and that she was lured into marriage.
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Kazmi’s lawyer Jibran Nasir took to Twitter today to announce that "after a 7-month battle today the victim child is finally going home".
#StateVsZaheerAhmed— M. Jibran Nasir 🇵🇸 (@MJibranNasir) January 6, 2023
Alhumdulillah after 7 month long battle today victim child is finally going home. She unequivocally informed Hon' High Court that she wants to reside with parents. There are many lessons to be learnt from this case & reforms are needed to curb child marriages
"There are many lessons to be learned from this case & reforms are needed to curb child marriages," Nasir added.
I would like to thank respectable Advocates Nabeel Kolachi, Ahmed Ali Hussain, Amna Usman, Ahmed Sher Jutt, Fahad Ahmed Siddiqi, Zaheer Hussain and Rafique Ahmed who all provided their services pro bono to ensure safe recovery and return of the child for sake of justice.— M. Jibran Nasir 🇵🇸 (@MJibranNasir) January 6, 2023
The lawyer also expressed his gratitude towards the team of lawyers for "providing their services pro bono to ensure the safe recovery and return of the child for the sake of justice".
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It may be noted here that Sindh is the first province in Pakistan that passed the 'Sindh Marriage Restraint Act 2013' with the aim to prevent the solemnisation of children's marriages.
However, eight years on, the implementation of this law is still a great challenge for the authorities.
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