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May 9, 2016

Implementation of Punjab Women Protection Act proves ineffective


May 9, 2016


The implementation of Punjab Women Protection Act 2016 has proved weak and ineffective. The CPO’s executive order to a local police station given ten days ago, for immediate production of a Baluchi minor at high risk could not been implemented.

The SHO Pirwadhai says that cause for delay rests with the concerned court and routine procedural delays. Meanwhile the ten day long absence of the girl and her husband, despite mounting pressure, raises serious fears about her life and safety.

According to Ghulam Murtaza, the father of the missing girl, the Pirwadhai Police Station is guilty of handing over Jameela to her in-laws against her will. 

The SHO turned down the allegation while talking to ‘The News’. He said that the girl went home with her mother-in-law after a written compromise was reached.

However, the father complained that a copy of the compromise document was not made available despite several requests.

The 16-year-old girl escaped from her in-laws home on 24th April and was nabbed by her husband Maqbool Shah before she could board the bus for her hometown in tehsil Usta Mohammad of Jafferabad district, Baluchistan.

Ghulam Murtaza, a farmer from Usta Mohammed, arrived in Rawalpindi after he was informed about the incident. Since he had not travelled beyond Jaferabad district he appealed to a well known local journalist Ali Mardan Jamali for help. The human rights journalist volunteered to travel with him and help him reach his daughter.

The following day Ali Mardan Jamali and Ghulam Murtaza reached Rawalpindi. Here the journalist, along with his media agency colleague, Mohammad Zaman Jamali, applied their best contacts to locate Jameela and her husband. They registered a case at the Rawalpindi Crisis Center; met public leaders from Baluchistan in the Senate; spent long hours at Pirwadhai Police Station and eventually managed to meet the busy CPO Rawalpindi and secure his order for Jameela’s production.

Ali Mardan Jamali and Ghulam Murtaza found Jameela’s in-laws house in Pir Mashadi, Mohallah Sardaran in Taxila. A police inspector from Taxila police post accompanied them. Jameela was missing but her mother-in-law shouted at them and complained about the money spent on her son’s marriage four months ago. Jameela and Maqbool Shah were married in December 2015. The young bride was not allowed to visit her parents’ home in the four months since, and permitted to speak over the phone just once. Ghulam Murtaza pledged to partly compensate the loss after selling his goats but on condition that Jameela was given back to him.

Ten days have passed and Jameela is not traceable. During this period, the press reported the horrific story of Donga Gali’s Ambareen who was set ablaze, making Ghulam Murtaza even more anxious for his daughter’s life. He is hurt and disappointed with the legal system. The lower court in Taxila gave 2nd and 5th May for Jameela’s production before the court but that did not happen. Left without options, Ghulam Murtaza wants to turn to tribal law for redressal and relief.


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