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Farah Hatim case, a mirror report by Life for All

Farah Hatim case, a mirror report by Life for All

Farah Hatim 24, a student nurse at the Sheikh Zaid Medical College in Rahim Yar Khan in the South Punjab was abducted on 8th May 2011 by Zeehan Ilyas and his brothers Imran and Gulfam was forced to convert and marry Zeeshan Ilyas. FIR Case No. 150/11 US/ 365-B CR.PC was registered on 11th May 2011 against Zeehan IIyas and his brothers at the Civil line police station Rahim Yar Khan. The police had been threatening the family since then. The Session Judge Khawaja Mir had transferred the case to the High Court for hearing due to the sensitivity of the matter.

Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman from the High Court Bahawalpur bench questioned Farah Hatim and announced that Farah went on her own will and will be living with Zeeshan IIyas and her family will not be allowed to contact her with Zeeshan IIyas`s consent.

Huma Hatim, Seher Hatim, Summar Hatim, Amber Hatim, Qasim Gill and Hashim Gill were shocked at the court`s decision. Huma Hatim said, " Farah is under immense pressure, she took this decision because of death threats". Seher Hatim said, " She took this decision on the fear of rejection from the society as she was kidnapped and is pregnant". Summar Hatim said, " We have been threatened by the police, they wanted this to happen, we have lost a sister, she was very strong and bold, I dont know why she took this decision." Amber Hatim said, " we are devastated, we are being looked at with strange eyes from the society, we lost a sister and have suffered, but still we are looked at as culprits, what is our fault in this whole situation? "

Qasim Gill said, "I am speechless, I never expected this out come, our family is ruined, the society is looking at us as if we have committed a crime, we are the victims, the judicial system of our Country has failed to provide justice" Hashim Gill said, " I fear for my other sisters, they have to get married, this permanent stain on our family name will effect our lives."

This is not the first case of it`s kind in the Punjab Province, according to reliable sources over 200 cases of forced conversion are registered every year, many cases dont even get registered. Farah Hatim is one of the unfortunate women who had to face such a brutality.

After a detailed study of the case, there are a few points that were never addressed in the court. Did the police, court and the lawyers intentionally ignored those points? Number one, according to the application given by Huma Hatim, Seher Hatim, Summar Hatim, Amber Hatim, Qasim Gill and Hashim Gill, "Farah Hatim was kidnapped on 8th May 2011, the application was submitted on 9th May, but the police delayed and registered the FIR on 11th May 2011 after the pressure from the higher authorities. The Marriage between Farah and Zeeshan was registered on 12th May 2011. Now interestingly the police assisted Zeehan Ilyas and his brothers to get Farah Hatim`s statement that she was not kidnapped before the district magistrate on 10 May 2011 to avoid any legal action, but technically the statement was without any marriage certificate neither she stated that she has converted to Islam. Legally before any such statement before the district magistrate, the couple needs to be married.

This point was ignored during the trail, Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman also ignored to question Farah Hatim about her kidnapping or giving the statement under any pressure. Hatim`s lawyer also didnt insist on the fact that the statement was given on pressure and the family was threatened and was offered a compensation for Farah Hatim`s kidnapping. Was it a biased trail? Why Police took their time to register complaint in a local police station by her family (first information report) What security and confidence was offered to Farah by her lawyers, Police and Court? What kind of people Farah was facing during her ordeal while she had no family or friends around her.Did Farah think about the effect of her statement on her family? or was she told of the consequences if she did not do as she was told to do so. Was she forced to think about her sisters what they will have to go through in the society if she did not behave.The big Question remains the same even after the heavy price she paid. Looking at the closed culture of Pakistan Would they be able to get married after her statement that she went on her own will, How long will such incidents be repeated? Will any one take a stand against such incidents? Will any one set any example?Who will answer these questions?

Life for All a humanitarian organization leading high profile cases and working for the marginalized, has studied the matter in detail and gave a reference of a similar case that was registered in Sialkot in 1996.

Kiran Akhtar D/o Akhtar Masih a resident of Sambrial, Sialkot was kidnapped by Muhammad Saeed on 12 May 1996 from Sambrial on her way to the college. Akhtar Masih searched every where for her daughter and finally gave an application for the FIR on 13th May 1996 at the Sambrial police station.

The Sambrial Police registered a FIR 65/96 365 B / C of the Pakistan Penal on the same day. The police started looking for Muhammad Saeed and Kiran Akhtar. Muhammad Saeed converted Kiran to Islam and married her on 15th May 1996 and returned home.

The police arrested Muhammad Saeed on 16th May 1996 and presented him at the session court Sialkot. Justice Khawaja Naeem-Ul-Din started the hearing under the section 365 B/C of the PPC and forced marriage.

The culprit`s lawyer Asif Iqbal and a few clerics insisted on quashing the FIR as Kiran Akhtar has converted and is married to Muhammad Saeed, Akhtar Masih`s lawyer demanded justice for the family as their daughter was kidnapped and forcefully converted and married to Saeed.

After reading the details of the case Justice Khawaja Naeem-Ul-Din asked both the parties to appear on 22nd May 1996. On 22 May 1996 Justice Naeem-Ul-Din announced that he will hear the case as of 13 May 1996, the day the FIR was registered as on that day Kiran Akhtar was neither converted nor married, she was kidnapped. If she had gone on her own will, she would have converted and married on the same day, but the marriage certificate shows the date as 15 May 1996, so Muhammad Saeed will have to face the charges of kidnapping.

On 15th June 1996 Muhammad Saeed was sent to the jail for 10 years on the kidnapping charges and Kiran Akhtar was instructed to go back to her Christian family.

Kiran Akhtar went back to her family and they left Sialkot and were never heard of till date.

Justice Khalil-ur-Rehman ignored the most important points unlike Justice Khawaja Naeem-Ul-Din, if these points would have been addressed, the situation would have been quite different.
ends

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