‘No change in situation even after Zainab Alert Act’


Even after the enactment of the Zainab Alert, Response and Recovery Act, 2020, the case of children’s protection is not being taken seriously, lamented Ameen Ansari – the father of late Zainab who was raped and murdered in Kasur in 2018.


He was addressing a press conference at the Karachi Press Club, where a citizen, Muhammad Shamal, demanded from the relevant authorities the recovery of his 14-year-old daughter, Asima, who went missing 40 days ago.According to Shamal, his daughter was abducted by a family member from Islamabad and brought to Karachi.Expressing dismay, Shamal said the Islamabad Police had registered the case for Asima’s abduction, but after many delays.


He alleged that the police had connived with the abductors and were threatening his son to withdraw the case.


Shamal appealed to the Supreme Court, Sindh High Court, and Islamabad High Court for protection and justice for his daughter.Besides, Ansari told media persons that he had attempted to contact the Islamabad operations DIG but the authorities had been non-cooperative.


Shamal and Ansari were joined by Ali Shan of the Roshni Helpline, a non-governmental organisation.Shan said Asima went missing on February 4, while on her way to school. The case was reported hours after her disappearance at the Ramna Police Station, he added.Shamal, who was out of the country when the case was filed, went to the Islamabad Police for assistance after he reached Pakistan on February 15.


The police, however, showed him Asima’s nikah nama (marriage certificate) and affidavit, claiming that the girl had gone with the alleged abductors voluntarily and therefore, the case had to be dismissed, said Shan.


Also speaking on the occasion, Roshni Helpline legal adviser Naveed Ahmed said the affidavit and Asima’s supposed admission of consent were unfounded.


He also pointed out that the marriage certificate mentioned Asima’s age as 18 years, while the affidavit stated that her age was around 18 years.


He further stated that Shamal was named as a witness in the marriage certificate dated February 6, while Shamal was not even in Pakistan on the said date.


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