Court directs IGP to produce newly married couple in police escort

Hindu girl converted to Islam claims she is marrying according to her free will

Zubair Qureshi

The Islamabad High Court (IHC) has directed the Inspector General of Police (IGP) of Islamabad to provide protection to a couple, Bilawal Bhutto and Maria that married of free will. The court also ordered the police to keep the couple at some secure place and produce them before the court in police escort on Friday (today).
Justice Shaukat Aziz Siddiqui of IHC also issued notice to the Secretary Ministry of Interior with direction to depute a responsible officer to appear before court on August 18 and explain what kind of arrangements can be made to protect the lives of the freewill couple. The petitioner Maria, whose Hindu name was Anooshi and whose husband Bilawal Ali Bhutto son of Zulfiqar Ali Bhutto, has approached the IHC seeking protection because of the threats to their lives for exercising their freewill.
They cited the Ministry of Interior, Inspector General of Police, Islamabad, Deputy Inspector General of Police, Sukkur, Senior Superintendent of Police, Sukkur, Deputy Superintendent of Police Rohri, SHO Rohri, Santosh Kumar, Milki Mal, Anand Mal, and the Home Secretary of government of Sindh as respondents.
The counsel for petitioners, Zulfiqar Ali Korai, requested the court to direct the Ministry of Interior and the Inspector General of Police, Islamabad, to protect lives and liberty of petitioners who got married with their freewill after Maria embraced Islam for this cause. The counsel submitted that life of the couple was threatened because of the old practice of Karo-Kari in Sindh. Life of both the petitioners is under serious threat and danger. He added that the respondents can go to any extent in order to execute the “black tradition” and it will promote “unconstitutional, illegal, immoral and un-Islamic practice of Karo-Kari.”
He requested the court to direct the police chief to provide protection to the freewill couple as they intend to stay in Islamabad. “Otherwise they would not be found alive,” he said. Following the arguments, the court ordered police protection for the couple and ordered the police chief to produce them before the court on August 18 in police escort.

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