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Dua Zehra – A complex kidnapping case VS legal marriage?

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KARACHI: The complex case of either kidnapping or legal marriage of Dua Zehra, a Karachi teenage girl who was reportedly kidnapped from her house in Shah Faisal Town, Malir district, when she went out to throw some garbage in April. However, she was later recovered in Punjab.

The case has become talk of the town on social media as well as on national media. The parents of the girl are insisting that she is a minor girl however Dua Zehra herself claims she reached a free-will marriage with a boy named Zaheer Ahmed from Punjab making administration of two provinces – Sindh and Punjab – most active to resolve the sensitive case.

Here, we can have a look at the developments of the case since past few months:

April 16, 2022: Dua Zehra is reportedly kidnapped from Karachi’s Malir area when she went out of her house to throw garbage. The FIR is registered by Dua’s parents on the same day.

April 20, 2022: Karachi police chief Ghulam Nabi Memon constituted three special teams to know whereabouts of the missing girl. Sindh Chief Minister Murad Ali Shah also took notice of the case after outrage on social media.

April 23, 2022: The police investigators sought intelligence agencies’ technical assistance for Dua’s safe recovery.

April 25, 2022: Sindh CM told that investigators had traced location of the girl, however he couldn’t share details citing privacy reasons behind it. The same day, police also issued a statement claiming Dua Zehra married on her own will.

April 26, 2022: Dua Zehra was produced before judicial magistrate at Lahore’s Model Town Courts where she declared she had entered into a free-will marriage with Zaheer Ahmed of Lahore. With her statement, the magistrate allowed her to go with her husband Zaheer. Earlier the same day, Dua along with Zaheer was recovered from Okara and later handed over to Lahore police.

May 7, 2022: Karachi police issued interim challans against four suspects, including Zaheer and three others. All were charged with charges of kidnapping, rape, and forced marriage.

May 8, 2022: Father of Dua Zehra, Mehdi Ali Kazmi, approached Sindh High Court to file a petition seeking an end to the marriage, saying his daughter is underage.

May 11, 2022: The SHC ordered authorities including the Sindh prosecutor general to file comments on the case till May 19.

May 20, 2022: The police sought Dua Zehra’s medical examination, however the judicial magistrate in Lahore dismissed their petition.

May 24, 2022: SHC instructed interior secretary to expedite the process of locating Dua and asks authorities to produce the “abducted” girl by May 30.

May 28, 2022: SHC bench expressed dismay on slow-paced probe and warned the Sindh IGP of action if Dua was not presented in front of the court within two days.

May 31, 2022: IGP Sindh served upon a show-cause notice for not complyinh court orders on recovery of Dua. The SHC bench also issued orders to present the abducted girl before them no later than June 3.

June 5, 2022: Lahore police recovered Dua and her alleged husband Zaheer from Bahawalnagar, and handed them over to the Sindh police who bring the couple to Karachi for trial in the SHC.

June 6, 2022: Sindh police produced Dua and her alleged husband Zaheer in the court and the court sent the girl to a shelter home for medical tests to determine her age. Meanwhile, Dua also records her statement in front of the SHC bench, “I was not kidnapped. I married Zaheer of my free will and want to live with him“.

June 8, 2022: The SHC ordered that Dua Zehra is free to decide her fate and has the autonomy to choose to live with whoever she wants. The court also ordered that the evidence does not qualify for this to be a kidnapping case.

June 16, 2022: Sindh police requested the SHC to cancel the FIR on Dua’s case and allow acquittal of Ghulam Mustafa and Ali Asghar, as the verdict defies kidnapping charges.

June 18, 2022: Dua’s father approached the Supreme Court to challenge SHC’s verdict in the case.

June 23, 2022: Five days later, the Supreme Court disposed of Dua’s father’s petition after he withdraws it. Kazmi’s lawyer says they will now approach the high court for the constitution of a medical board, and also a family court to challenge the nikahnama.

June 25, 2022: Karachi court orders Sindh police to continue investigation to determine Dua’s age, following which a 10-member medical board is constituted for this purpose.

June 28, 2022: Dua’s father moved a district and sessions court seeking change of IO of the case, arguing that he is apparently investigating the matter in a biased manner.

June 29, 2022: The first meeting of 10-member medical board to ascertain Dua’s age held. However, the girl does not appear before it.

July 2, 2022: Dua is presented before the medical board constituted to determine her age.

July 3, 2022: The Karachi court dismissed plea seeking removal of the investigating officer in the case.

July 4, 2022: Medical board concluded Dua’s overall age is between 15-16 years. Her father’s lawyer says the girl’s statements and an earlier medical report which claimed she was 17 of age have been proven wrong.

July 6, 2022: The SHC issued notices to the interior ministry, provincial home department, police and others on a petition filed by the father of Dua, seeking her custody.

July 7, 2022: The Lahore High Court granted interim protective bail to Zaheer.

July 14, 2022: A sessions court in Karachi ruled that a nikah khawan (marriage registrar) should not merely accept oral entries regarding the age of a bride and groom, but should also verify an authentic official documentary proof of their age.

July 16, 2022: In a dramatic turn, police informed the sessions court in Karachi that 24 persons, including Zaheer, had been found involved in abducting her from Karachi and shifting her to Punjab, where they solemnised the illegal child marriage.July 19, 2022: A district and sessions court in Lahore sent Dua to Darul Aman (shelter home) at her request, while on the same day, a sessions court in Karachi ordered removal of investigation officer as it hears a plea filed by Dua’s father.

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Rashid Ansari – Mafia of Sindh’s mines and minerals!

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KARACHI: The multi-billions dollar mines and minerals spread across the Sindh province are presently under clutches of a powerful person who is himself a One-Man Mafia, compelling all his officials to bow-down before him.

Rashid Ansari has become a symbol of threat to almost every official working at the Directorate General of Mines and Mineral Development Department, Government of Sindh for the last couple of years. And, nobody is willing to take action against his massive corrupt practices involving billions of rupees, sources confided to Sindhnews.

Sindh’s caretaker minister for mines and minerals Mir Khuda Bux Marri took bold step and initiated multiple inquiries against him, suspending him from the post of Deputy Director (Technical), Mines and Mineral Development Department, sources disclosed.

While taking stern notice of the situation and malpractices, Chief Secretary Sindh Dr Muhammad Fakhre Alam issued a notification suspending Rashid Ansari immediately for 90 days.

“In exercise of powers conferred by Rule-5(1) of the Sindh Civil Servants (Efficiency & Disciplines) Rules, 1973, the services of Mr Rashid Ansari, Deputy Director (Tech) (BS-18), Directorate General, Mines and Mineral Development Department are hereby placed under suspension for 90-days with immediate effect, on account of misconduct”, according to a letter exclusively available with Sindhnews.

“During the period of suspension, the headquarters of the aforementioned officer shall be at the Mines and Mineral Development Department. He shall draw pay and allowances, during the period of suspension, as admissible under the rule”, the notification adds.

Sindhnews repeatedly tried to contact Rashid Ansari for his official version however his cell phone remained unattended till filing of the report.

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DG Khadim Hussain refuses to grant mining leases to relatives of caretaker minister

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KARACHI: Making it for the first time, Director General, Directorate General of Mines and Minerals, Government of Sindh, has refused to grant mining leases illegally to the relatives of Sindh’s caretaker minister Mir Khuda Marri, it is learnt.

The insiders told Sindhnews that the caretaker minister was allegedly pressuring the DG Khadim Hussain Channa to grant more than 11 mining leases to brothers and relatives of the minister.

However, Mr Channa clearly refused to obey his orders resultantly the caretaker minister had a clash of worth with the senior officer, sources disclosed.

Soon after the clash, caretaker minister Khuda Bux Marri refrained the officer from attending the office and roaming the influential circle to get the officer transferred, the sources said, adding that caretaker minister had also requested the caretaker chief minister Sindh to transfer the officer.

So far, more than 20 mining leases have been granted to the close relatives of Mir Khuda Bux Marri however not a single lease granted to anyone after the decision of the Sindh High Court.

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CLICK Mafia – World Bank’s $23 million becomes useless  

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KARACHI: As the officers of the Sindh Government are used to of minting money, the assistance/loan of around US $ 23 million has also been fallen victim of corruption as the schemes initiated under Competitive and Livable City of Karachi (CLICK) project have been declared ‘substandard’.

The CLICK project is proposed to be financed by the World Bank’s loan under Investment Project Financing (IPF) and the Sindh government.

As per details, the monitoring team of the Planning & Development Department unearthed over Rs 32 billion embezzlement in the development schemes under the World Bank’s CLICK project in Karachi.

The team monitored 157 schemes in the first phase and 100 schemes were declared substandard whereas the report also revealed the use of old paver in the road construction. Moreover, the planning and development department has informed the World Bank about the substandard work in Sindh’s CLICK project.

It is pertinent to mention here that last year massive corruption and irregularities were unearthed in the sale of expensive KMC in Karachi’s Baldia West in which 4-acre land was sold via ‘fake challan’.The irregularities were unearthed in the sale of KMC land in Orangi’s Gulshan-e-Zia.

The four-acre land of a workshop and nursery was sold via fake challan with the nexus of a project director. Sources said that the land was used to bury the offal and waste of animals from 2004 to 2016.

The land came under the administration of KMC Baldia West section after the enforcement of the Town Municipal system in 2002.The market value of the said KMC land is more than Rs1 billion which was allegedly sold at extremely low prices via fake challan with the nexus of a project director.

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