Girls running and marriages ratio in Pakistan

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A medical board on July 4 affirmed what Dua Zehra’s parents had been claiming all along: that their daughter is a juvenile, following a protracted legal dispute.
According to Jibran Nasir, the father of Dua, “Her actual age would be deemed to be 14 years, as is reflected in Nadra’s [National Database and Registration Authority] birth registration record.” The medical board has now declared Dua to be close to 15 years old. He continues, “The medical proof has established the veracity of Nadra’s document.
On social media, many praised this news and expressed hope that the family’s nightmare would finally be coming to an end. For both the young girl and her parents, the months leading up to this point have been a nightmare.
If Dua Zehra’s wedding had taken place after she reached adulthood under other circumstances, the family would have celebrated it with a lot of dhoom-dhaam (pageantry), according to Dua Zehra’s mother.
Nearly 19 million child brides reside in Pakistan, but despite this dangerously high figure, the nation’s legal safeguards are inadequate. Two recent incidents serve as a timely reminder of the work still needed and the potential for inaccuracy in techniques like age-determination testing. What steps can be taken to better look after our daughters?
She asserts that marriage is a noble deed. “Getting married [at the appropriate age] is not improper.”
She writes wistfully of a future she anticipated for herself and Dua, “At the time of her wedding, I would have offered her duas for a better life and future ahead. Instead, I stay up all night long praying for the security of my young daughter,” the speaker said.
Dua turned 14 on April 27, according to her. The girl vanished from her Karachi home on April 16, a few days before her birthday.
The mother recalls the tragic occurrence, describing actions she has repeatedly imitated for family, friends, the police, courts, and the media.
When Dua’s mother ordered her to put the trash outside the home so that the garbage collectors could pick it up, it was sehri time, she recalls. She exited the building, placed the trash bags on the sidewalk, and then went back inside. But suddenly, out of nowhere, she vanished,” she adds, breaking down in tears.
The case’s specifics have already been extensively covered in the media. The story has being followed on social media by the media and concerned citizens. In actuality, the situation was initially brought to public attention through a video on social media.
After the family contacted the police, they reported the alleged kidnapping and trafficking of Dua to the Al-Falah Police Station in Karachi. However, prompt action was not taken until after a video of the parents sobbing and pleading with the authorities for Dua’s recovery went viral online.
Dua finally showed up in front of the media ten days after going missing, accompanied by a young man named Zaheer Ahmed. She declared that she had chosen to marry Zaheer. The child continued to claim that she was 18 years old and that her parents had lied about her age after denying that she had been kidnapped.
Later, Dua and Zaheer were retrieved from Okara by the Lahore Police. However, the police didn’t deliver Dua to her parents; instead, they brought her before the Model Town Judicial Magistrate, who believed Dua’s account of what happened and gave her the option of following her husband or her parents. Dua denied being kidnapped in a statement she recorded in accordance with Section 164 of the Criminal Procedure Code. She made the decision to move in with her husband.
Was Dua, however, old enough to make that decision? And what was the marriage’s standing in terms of law? All of these responses could be boiled down to one thing: Dua’s age.
Dua insisted that she is 18 years old and chose to marry Zaheer, despite her parents’ claims that their daughter is a juvenile. Dua even refused to talk to her parents on a few instances.
In addition, attorney Nasir notes that, regrettably, courts accept statements made by girls in child marriage cases at face value rather than looking further to determine whether such testimonies may have been influenced or enticed into giving them.
Despite the fact that Dua’s parents provided the Sindh High Court (SHC) with copies of their own marriage certificates and her Nadra-attested birth certificate, a medical examination revealed that Dua was between the ages of 16 and 17. This week’s fresh report from the reconvened medical board finally disproved this.
A rough estimate of the subject’s age can be obtained at best from age-determination tests, which are not often particularly precise. But in situations like Dua’s, knowing the exact age is crucial.
According to attorney Nasir, this case qualifies as kidnapping because the most recent report backs up Dua’s parents’ claim about her legal age. The legislation further declares that getting married to someone who is younger than 16 is illegal, and that having physical contact with a kid under 16 is considered a sexual offence.
The disappearance of Dua coincided with the reporting of Nimra Kazi’s case. Nimra also vanished in April after leaving her Saudabad home in Karachi. She also made her way out of Punjab, arriving in Dera Ghazi Khan, and said that she had chosen to wed Shahrukh.
According to Nimra’s parents, she is a minor. But Nimra certainly informed the authorities that she is 18 years old.
Nimra’s father, Syed Muhammad Nadeem Kazmi, states that he has a son who is 17 years old and a daughter who is 14 years and 3 months old.
The family is deeply concerned for Nimra’s welfare, according to her mother, Nagris Kazmi. She questions how a girl, who didn’t even know how to get to Liaquatabad, could go to Dera Ghazi Khan in Punjab by herself.
District East of Karachi’s Judicial Magistrate granted Nimra’s request to live with her spouse in June. According to a medical assessment, Nimra was between the ages of 17 and 18. Even though they insist that their daughter is still a juvenile, Nimra’s parents eventually agreed to let her marry.
The attorney for Nimra’s spouse Shahrukh had previously stated that it was unnecessary to include portions of the Sindh Child Marriage Restraint Act, 2013, in the charge sheet because the marriage was solemnised in Punjab, where the legal age for marriage was 16 years.
The two cases have once again highlighted the disparities between provincial laws. They serve as a reminder of the amount of work that still needs to be done to improve child protection throughout the nation.