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Court allows Ghokti sisters to stay with their husbands

April 11, 2019

The Islamabad High Court allowed on Thursday two sisters from Ghotki to stay with their husbands, Barkat and Shafaqat. 

The federal interior secretary has been ordered to ensure their security.

It is clear that the women were not forced to do anything they didn’t want to do, remarked Chief Justice Athar Minallah.

Related: Court forms commission to look into the conversion of Hindu girls

An inquiry commission has been asked to submit a report on the sisters’ conversion from Hinduism to Islam on May 14. The commission comprises Mufti Taqi Usman, human rights activist Khawar Mumtaz, Federal Human Rights Minister Shireen Mazari, Human Rights Commission of Pakistan Chairperson Dr Mehdi Hassan and Advocate IA Rehman.

At the last hearing, a PIMS Hospital report was submitted in the court. It claimed that the girls are 18 and 19 years old respectively but recommended that dental and clinical tests be conducted to determine their ages. Their father, Hari Lal, pleaded to the court to form a medical board to determine their ages. His lawyer argued that the girls may be suffering from Stockholm Syndrome. The court approved his request.

Related: Ghotki sisters to be provided security by the federal government: court

The family of the two girls claims that they were kidnapped and forcibly converted and married to Muslim men. They say Raveena and Reena are 13 and 15 years old.

The young women, however, told the court that they converted to Islam of their own free will and should be given protection. After conversion, Raveena was named Aasia Bibi and Reena was named Shahzia.

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