Accused’s plea for custody of child ‘bride’ rejected

A sessions court rejected an appeal filed by Syed Ali Azhar for the custody of his underage ‘wife’ Arzoo Raja.

Ali Azhar, his brothers brothers Syed Mohsin Ali and Syed Shariq Ali, and their friend Danish have been implicated for abducting the 14-year-old Christian girl on October 12, 2020, while cleric Qazi Abdul Rasool, Junaid Ali Siddiqui and Mehmood Hassan have been charged with forcibly converting her to Islam and solemnising her ‘nikah’ Ali Azhar.

Azhar, who had recently been awarded bail, approached the court stating that upon his release he had come to know that he was not permitted to meet Arzoo who is residing at a shelter home on orders of the Sindh High Court (SHC) while hearing a petition filed by her parents. He pleaded that without his ‘wife’, he was having difficulty taking care of his family.

He informed the court that he had previously approached a family court for her custody but his petition was rejected on the grounds that the SHC’s orders held him liable for violating the relevant provisions of the Sindh Child Marriages Restraint Act 2013 and that the high court had expressly barred him from meeting the minor girl. Ali Azhar requested the court to set aside the orders of the family court and award Arzoo’s custody to him.

Sindh Journalists Protection Bill to be tabled soon

A delegation of the Karachi Union of Journalists (KUJ) met with the Sindh Information Minister Syed Nasir Hussain Shah and presented its recommendations for inclusion in the proposed Sindh Journalists’ Protection Bill on Thursday, April 22.

Nasir Hussain Shah assured the delegation that the Sindh Government is working on a universal welfare programme for journalists and that the proposed legislation will be tabled soon in the Sindh Assembly. He further directed the Information Secretary to include the KUJ’s recommendations in the draft of the bill.

Two more suspects arrested for ATC Judge Aftab Afridi’s murder

Swabi police on Thursday confirmed the arrest of two more suspects in connection with the killing of Anti-Terrorism Court (ATC) Swabi Judge Aftab Afridi, his wife Bibi Zainab, daughter-in-law Kiran and three-year-old grandson Mohammad Sanan.

Suspects Muhammad Zakir Shah and Shahid had fired upon the judge’s vehicle while he was en route to Islamabad near the Anbar Interchange on the night of April 4, killing him and his family while injuring the driver and a bodyguard. The accused men hail from Jag Killay in Peshawar. Police revealed that Zakir Shah confessed to the murder in front of the ATC Mardan Judge and disclosed the names of other co-accused involved in the heinous killing.

Aftab Afridi’s son Abdul Majid Afridi had nominated six names for his father’s murder, including Supreme Court Bar Association President Abdul Latif Afridi and his son in the FIR lodged at the Lahor Police Station in Swabi. Latif Afrid was able to secure pre-arrest bail, however his son was arrested earlier.