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Zina Laws in Pakistan


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No Place to Go No Sanctuary
Shama a victim of Hudood Law hailes from Bhawalpur , Punjab of Pakistan. She is a member of the lower strata who live below poverty line. Life is difficult for these people , but it is more horrible for women . What she faces day in and day out is not unique to her but is also a reflection of the suffering other women face that are of the same social standing.Shama was brought up in a poor family. Her father was a 'mashki' one who supplies water to people's homes in a leather bag and receives money in return. From early childhood she was made to realize that she does not have
any status or control over her fate and that she is a liability and burden to her parents. Besides this , she was regularly ill-treated and beaten by her father till the age of 14/ 15 years. Life became so miserable for her that she tried commit sucide by jumping from roof of the house. That
suicidal attempt punctured her lower abdomen and she was hospitalized. According to the prevalent local customs and beliefs her mother promised God that they would go to 'Shah Aqiq'. When Shama and her parents reached there , they found that a 'mela' a huge congregation- was going on . In that huge crowd she got separated from her parents. Someone grabbed her and ran and inspite of all her efforts she could not free herself. The man took her to 'Otaq' a place in the middle of a field. There she was continuously raped for two months. When the guard of Shama found out that she was pregnant , he asked his friend a police constable if she could be let go he did so but only after he raped her. Released from the captivity of the rapist, Shama had no place to go because her parents after searching for her they had gone back to their home. Moreover she was not sure that they would accept her back in this condition. Shama tried to avenge her honor by getting an F.I.R registered
against the culprits but initially failed due to the influential position of the culprits. Somehow she got the sympathy of an eldery gentleman who took her to the' Army Monitoring Cell'. The Colonel heard her story and went with her and the man to the Police Station to register the
F.I.R under Zina laws against the culprits.
Under pressure , the S.H.O of the police station had no choice but to register the F.I.R ,but he made Shama a co-accused under Zina laws instead of a complainant , and sent her to jail. Soon the two co-accused Yaqoob and the other got bail due to their family background as well as showing a willingness to marryShama. Now Shama fears that she will be killed because she is pregnant. In December/ January , she approached Lawyers for Human Rights and a Legal Aid lawyer Ms. Tayyaba Maher on her weekly jail visit and requested help. She was assured of help, and now her bail is Rs.10,000/ and will be paid by efforts of the LHRLA. She could not get out of jail because of being pregant.
Even after caesarian delivery of her baby , the problem of a proper shelter persists. Women have no place to go when they get out of jail and because Shama does not want to part with her baby her father has agreed to take her back and arrange a marriage in 'baradri' (people of the same caste) for they refuse to own an illegitimate child.