Daad Hussain Chandio has been strolling up and down the corridors of justice every day for the past one month. He wants to check if his case record has been sent to the court by the district police officer (DPO) of his area, but it is not there yet.
The 27-year-old is convinced that Chief Justice of Pakistan is the only person who can give freedom to him and his family from the dark providence. So far, his conviction lives only in hope.
He has other hopes too. He wishes to see Pasand Khan, his four-month-old nephew, survive this winter under the makeshift tent in front of the National Press Club where he and his family are currently living.
“We are forced to live here as we cannot afford rented houses anymore. My nephew fell ill twice this month and it’s still a month to go before the winter ends,” said Daad with a worried face.
Five years ago, an ‘omnipotent’ wadera (landlord) from Daad’s town of Mado in Khairpur Nattanshah, Dadu district, dislodged them from 70 acres of his family’s agricultural land. The family’s women were humiliated and captured and their children mistreated.
No one came to their rescue. Daad’s old father later died in the captivity of the landlord, as he could not bear the shock of helplessness.
“One of my nephews also died because the landlord did not ‘free’ him to get treatment for cancer,” he said while narrating his ordeal.
Daad holds himself responsible for upending his family’s life. However, his family knows he is innocent and their miseries are a result of their weakness in front of the landlord, who has accused him of Karo Kari.
It is a custom still prevalent in parts of Sindh where the boy (Karo) and the girl (Kari) are accused of illicit relations and are liable to be killed to protect the family’s ‘honour’.
Raees Liaqat Chandio, the landlord, accused Daad in his absence from the village of convincing his (Liaqat’s) niece to elope with him.
However, the girl was found from a shrine in Sehwan Sharif three days later.
Despite her recovery, the landlord held the allegations and confiscated his family’s land and displaced them as a ‘punishment’.
Daad then shifted to Larkana with five women, five men and three children, where they stayed at a local landlord’s house before coming to Rawalpindi.
He filed an appeal with the Supreme Court to take action against the allegation and return his land along with the earnings during this period.
The court has summoned the DPO on March 1 after sending a complete record of Daad’s case.
“[Liaqat] is a powerful man. He bribes the police and threatens anyone who intends to help us,” said Daad, adding that he cannot return home due to fear of being killed.
Meanwhile, Liaqat is filling his pockets from the occupied land. According to Daad, the landlord has made over Rs2 million in this time.
Even though he cannot bring back the loved ones he lost, Daad is hopeful of giving a better life to Pasand one day. This, he believes, is only possible if the court gives due attention to his case.
Published in The Express Tribune, February 24th, 2012.
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