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Marriage at gunpoint confirmed

ISLAMABAD: Aasia Bibi has confirmed in front of the judicial magistrate of Bahawalnagar that her marriage to a 50-year-old father of eight children was solemnised at gunpoint by Mian Iqbal.

Aasia Bibi was recovered by the police on Tuesday night after Mian Fayyaz, along with his second wife, surrendered to the police.

Meanwhile, a medical board constituted by the police is said to have declared that Aasia was 18. However, according to the birth certificate available with The News, her date of birth is March 23, 1996.

Aasia recalled in front of the magistrate how the landlordís daughter had eloped with her cousin that led to the tragedy with her family.

She told Magistrate Shafqat that she had even informed the Nikahkhwan, Qari Murtaza, that the marriage was being planned without her consent.

But, he too did not listen to her and got her thumb impression on the papers.

Aasia also told the magistrate that her parents were tortured by the landlord to force her to marry Fayyaz.

Talking to The News from Multan, Jamshed Rizwani, Bureau Chief Geo TV, who visited the area, said the magistrate allowed the girl to live with her parents, who were recovered by the police after 20 days of detention in Mian Iqbalís custody.

Jamshed confirmed that so far the main accused, Mian Iqbal, could not be traced by the police. According to Jamshed, he had asked DPO Abdul Qadir Qayyum why he did not take action on the application of Aasia’s uncle on May 7. The DPO had denied receiving any application from the family.

Jamshed said it could not be determined by the medical board whether the girl was pregnant. He also confirmed that no case had been registered against the Nikahkhwan and the two witnesses so far.

But he said the DPO had assured him that in the light of Aasia’s statement, action would also be taken against them.
Source: The News
Date:5/29/2009

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