Human Rights

Protesters Gather at NPC, Call for Immediate Recovery of Missing Girl

ISLAMABAD: The civil society of Gilgit-Baltistan, child rights organizations, the Human Rights Commission of Pakistan, the legal fraternity, the journalist community, and representatives of political parties gathered outside the National Press Club in Islamabad to demand the immediate recovery of a 13-year-old girl missing from Sultanabad village in Gilgit district.

Protestors called for a transparent investigation into the matter to ensure such cases never occur again.

Child protection workers questioned the role of the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Child Rights Commission in this situation, as the unlawful act of child marriage was solemnized in the Mansehra District of KP province. Moreover, the accused had applied for transit bail at Peshawar High Court, making it mandatory for the KP Child Rights Commission to investigate, respond, and rescue the child.

Videos posted on social media by the abductors of the 13-year-old girl reveal that she is married to a 17-year-old minor who has not yet reached the legal age of marriage as set in the Child Marriage Restraint Amendment Act 1929. Furthermore, the abductors are seen forging the child’s age, contrary to her original NADRA-issued birth registration certificate.

Civil Society Organizations demand the swift recovery of both children as they are vulnerable to even more extreme forms of violence and exploitation behind these unlawful acts.

01-Recover the child immediately and present her in front of a court of law

02-Use authentic medical and legal methods to determine the age of the child

03⁠-Investigate the conduct of the Nikah Reader and Registrar

⁠04-Investigate the doctor to ascertain how she was able to determine the child’s age and issue a certificate

⁠05-Transparent investigation of the serious allegations leveled by the child’s parents against certain police officials to ensure accountability

⁠06-Review legal and administrative arrangements in place to identify preventative measures to ensure that such incidents do not occur again in the future

07-⁠Investigate why police was unable to take any credible action despite registering the FIR.

08-A judicial inquiry should be initiated by high court peshawar against the magistrate who has taken the statement of victim under section 164 CrPc.

Speakers addressing the media termed it as a case of child abduction, internal child trafficking, child early forced marriage, and child sexual abuse. Protesters expressed deep concerns over the Gilgit-Baltistan Police’s failure to recover the child even after 54 days.

The child’s father stated that his daughter was ‘abducted and married off’ without his consent, in violation of religious, social, and legal norms. He mentioned that it took longer than expected to register the FIR despite repeated visits to the police station.

Although a First Information Report of the incident was registered on 20th January 2024 at Danyore Police Station, Gilgit, the Police have failed to recover and produce the child in court. Protesters said that Sakhi Ahmad Jan, the complainant, has leveled serious allegations against some police officials, warranting proper investigation to ensure law enforcement accountability in the region.

Protesters warned that if relevant departments do not intervene, the issue could lead to unrest among the masses. They assured to continue their struggle until justice is dispensed to the victim’s family.

Back to top button