Karachi: The Sindh High Court allowed on Tuesday a woman, who had converted to Islam, to live with her spouse and directed police to provide protection to the couple.
The directives came on a petition filed by Fatima, who had moved the court against the registration of a false kidnapping case against her spouse, Mohammad Riaz.
The petitioner submitted that she had married Mohammad Riaz after converting to Islam in Hyderabad but her family, annoyed over her decision, had a kidnapping case registered against her spouse and in-laws.
She said her family had called a jirga, which declared them karo-kari, and expressed fear for her and her husband’s lives.
The family of the petitioner alleged that she was kidnapped, forcibly converted and married to Riaz.
They also sought the constitution of medical board for determining her age as according to them she was a minor.
The court on a previous hearing had ordered the constitution of medical board for determining her age. The medical board informed the court that the age of the petitioner was 16.
The proceedings took a dramatic turn when the petitioner first retracted from her petition and earlier statement.
However, when the court ordered to send her to shelter home, she again stated that she being pressured by her parents and she wanted to live with her spouse.
She also informed the court that she was pregnant.
An SHC division bench headed by Justice Abdul Rasool Memon after taking the statement of the petitioner on record allowed her to live with her spouse and directed the police to provide protection to the couple.
The court observed that the medical report regarding determination of the age of petitioner would be considered on August 31.
Security of schools
The SHC directed the provincial law officer to submit compliance report on the provision of foolproof security to public and private schools in the province.
The directives came on a petition filed by the Pakistan Institute of Labour Education Research and others seeking effective security and protection of the educational institutions of the province.
The petitioners submitted that after the December 16, 2014 attack on the Army Pubic School in Peshawar that killed over 130 students and teachers, educational institutes across the country were facing the threat of a similar attack by banned organisations.
They submitted that as per intelligence reports, published in the media, welfare schools run by communities in Karachi were at a higher risk and some private institutions and schools had also complained that they were receiving threats.
They said that Punjab, Khyber-Pakhtunkhwa and the the Islamabad Capital Territory had formulated a standard operating procedures and directed school administrations to adopt measures, including raising boundary walls, topped with razor wires, installing CCTV cameras, etc. However, they added that nothing had been done to promulgate such a SOP in Sindh, where the authorities had put the responsibility of educational institutes’ protection either on the school management or the parents.