Dua has scientifically been proven to be a minor. A 15-year-old girl, who is ‘married’ to an alleged 18-year-old
In my previous opinion titled ‘Playing with dolls’ published here on 15th June 2022, I expounded upon Dua Zehra’s entire fiasco where she had been allowed by the court to live with whoever she wanted.
However now, Dua has scientifically been proven to be a minor. A 15-year-old girl, who is ‘married’ (sounds right about indecent and atrocious at this stage) to an alleged 18-year-old. But now that the truth is out there, what happens next? Does Dua get to go back to her family or does she wait until she attains the age of maturity and then rejoins her ‘husband’?
Amongst the entire chaos, one thing has proven itself again and again. That state institutions and judicial officers desperately require training in order to better manage such cases.
I, being a practising lawyer, was amazed (but not surprised) to see the judgement of the Sindh High Court saying that Dua was free to go wherever she wanted to and reside with whomever she wanted with. I mean I’ve seen worse, but this really was the icing on the cake. The reason why her argument was bought was because she stated ‘on oath’. If we’re buying arguments on oath then let’s attach no significance to evidence. At least that way, cases won’t take forever to be decided.
I am no intellectual or genius but many times, we need to keep the books, the laws and the precedents aside and use a little of our God gifted grey matter to evaluate the situation at hand. Dua’s father Mehdi Ali Kazmi has been married for 17 years, how can her daughter be 17?! Doesn’t take a scientist to figure that out? And what about her birth certificate and her NADRA documents? What about the Nikkah-khwan, Ghulam Ahmed, who confessed that he did not solemnise Dua’s nikah?
So, in my opinion, I was quite disappointed (yet again, not surprised) at the SHC’s judgement. You cannot, by any stretch of imagination, let such matters slide. Yes, we do have the Sindh Child Marriages Restrain Act of 2013 but if the Court’s don’t implement it, who will?
I agree that judicial officers are also human beings and humans make mistakes, but missing something so obvious?
Well, we’re all happy that the truth is finally out there and Dua’s real age has been brought to the fore. This will all be over quite soon, I hope. Dua might still marry her husband years down the line and get away from all this but this entire fiasco leaves behind a dangerous precedent. It has paved the path for predators, pedophiles, rapists, kidnappers and leaders of child mafias. They now know exactly how the system works. It is easier for them to kidnap an underaged girl, record her forced confession, solemnise her nikah and get away with it. No questions asked. Let your passion grow and feast upon your darkest whims.
Our system is slowly decaying and it is allowing for people to gradually get away with their crimes. Nothing remains here anymore; we’re harbouring the image of demise and destruction. Skeletons of society continue to assert silence and reign in their supremacy. Suicide of morality had already been initiated when the system began favouring Zaheer (Dua’s alleged husband) and I wouldn’t be surprised if 2 years down the line, he gets what he wants. I seek solace under the assumption that the boy isn’t being coerced into this entire situation. I can only hope that sanity prevails in these circumstances because young minds carry with them whatever they learn.
But the one hero in this entire issue is Mehdi Ali Kazmi himself. The father of Dua Zehra. His celestial composure and display have been commendable. We cannot imagine what he must be going through, seeing his little child, whom he’s raised in his arms, not even wanting to talk to him anymore. We hope in our hearts he gets his little girl back, both physically and emotionally.