KARACHI: The Sindh High Court on Friday ordered the police to provide protection to a couple, married for love, for their safe departure from the city.
While disposing of a petition pertaining to protection of the karo-kari couple, Mohammed Ismail Soomro and Saira Jatoi, a division bench comprising Chief Justice Sarmad Jalal Osmany and Justice Rukhsana Ahmed Malik ordered the authorities to make all-out efforts to ensure the safe travelling of the couple from Karachi to Islamabad.
A counsel for the petitioner informed the court that efforts were being made to shift the couple abroad and they were to be taken to Islamabad in this connection.
The petition was filed by an NGO on behalf of Saira Jatoi who had married Soomro at Sukkur in June 2007 without the consent of the elders, provoking the wrath of chieftains in her tribe.
Later, the couple were handed over to the tribal chief, who ordered that they be murdered. Later, the couple was recovered by the police from Shikarpur and shifted to Karachi. Saira’s parents wanted her to marry a wealthy but elderly man from their own tribe.
But after meeting Soomro at a wedding – where she was a guest and he had been hired to make the video – Saira defied her parents and married the man she loved.
Sensing danger, the newlyweds fled into the arms of the police. Jatoi elders convened a jirga (tribal court) which sentenced the couple to death in absentia.
The couple have been living in a room at the Garden police headquarters, where Saira went into labour with her first child. She gave birth to a baby boy in a nearby maternity clinic.
In cases when a woman is marked as a kari, she can be killed by any member of the tribe with impunity.