Wednesday May 18, 2022
LAHORE: Police on Wednesday arrested the cleric who solemnised the nikkah of Dua Zehra — the 14-year-old girl who had mysteriously gone missing from Karachi in April but later declared that she had run away from her home to marry 21-year-old Zaheer Ahmed, Geo News reported.
According to the police, cleric Qari Hafiz Ghulam Mustafa performed a “bogus nikkah” of the minor and her husband as it is illegal in Sindh to marry off people under the age of 18. Meanwhile, the age limit for someone to get married in Punjab is 16 years.
Police further revealed that in order to interrogate the cleric, who belonged to the Samanabad area of Lahore, he has been shifted to an unknown location.
Two days ago, in a video message, Dua had claimed that the couple's life was in danger.
"While the Constitution and the law of this country allow me to marry whomever I want and I can live wherever I want under the law, my life is in danger," she had said.
Dua had said that she had recorded a statement in the court in favour of her husband but despite that, the Sindh and Punjab police were "harassing her and her husband" and were carrying out an "illegal search."
"The Sindh police want to kidnap me and my husband, so if anything happens to us, the Sindh police, Punjab police, and my parents will be responsible for that."
Dua further said that she is "happily married and is living a peaceful life in Lahore," adding that her in-laws were treating her very well.
The father of Dua Zahra had approached the Sindh High Court for the recovery of his daughter as he claims she was underage.
The Sindh High Court has issued notices to all parties concerned, including the girl's husband, on the petition filed by Dua Zahra's father for her recovery.