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Missing Teenage Girl from Karachi Found Married in Rahim Yar Khan

The recent case of a missing teenage girl in Karachi’s Abbas Town, allegedly found married in Punjab’s Rahim Yar Khan, has reignited concerns about underage marriages and kidnappings, echoing similar incidents like that of Dua Zehra.

Asma, an eighth-grade student, disappeared after going to meet a friend on the second day of Eid, according to her family. This incident, reminiscent of previous cases, raises alarms about the safety of young girls in the country.

Underage marriage remains a significant issue, particularly among minority communities, as highlighted by media reports. The high-profile case of Dua Zehra underscores the gravity of the situation. While the Sindh High Court intervened in Dua Zehra’s case, providing her with protection and reuniting her with her family, similar incidents continue to occur.

Asma’s family, upon her disappearance, filed a complaint with the Sachal Police Station. However, they expressed dissatisfaction with the police response, alleging a lack of immediate action to locate their daughter.

The family suspects Asif, a water supplier, of enticing Asma away from home. They claim to have handed over Asif’s elder brother, Shabbir, to the police, who allegedly confessed to taking the girl to Rahim Yar Khan. However, Shabbir’s subsequent release has raised concerns about the effectiveness of law enforcement in such cases.

The family’s fears for Asma’s safety and refusal to accept her underage marriage highlight the urgency of the situation. They demand the arrest of those involved and the safe return of their daughter.

Meanwhile, police confirmed the familial connection between Asif and Shabbir but noted that Shabbir’s name was not mentioned in the initial report. Shabbir is a rickshaw driver and was released on the bail of a person named Basharat, they said and confirmed that the girl allegedly married Asif in Rahim Yar Khan.

Efforts are underway to apprehend the suspect and ensure the girl’s recovery, with police planning to seek permission from the Home Department for a rescue operation in Punjab. However, the case underscores the need for systemic reforms to prevent such incidents and ensure the safety and protection of vulnerable individuals, particularly underage girls.

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