The Ansar Burney Trust, headed by Pakistani human rights activist Ansar Burney, has moved the Sindh high court in Pakistan on Monday challenging the Pakistan government’s decision to send Geeta, a deaf and speech- impaired Indian girl stuck in Pakistan for more than a decade and currently in Indore, back home.
In the petition, the Trust maintained that Geeta was a victim of a public relations exercise between India and Pakistan and that the Pakistan government had sent the girl to India in October last year without ascertaining her identity or confirming her nationality. Geeta is presently lodged at a shelter home in Indore.
The petition was filed by Muhammad Danish Ali on behalf of the Ansar Burney Trust. He asked the court to take cognizance of what he termed as a “serious violation of human rights and human dignity.” He has also questioned under which law Geeta’s custody was handed to India.
“Geeta was handed over by the Pakistan government to India without any proper procedure of verification or proof of her Indian nationality…(and it) clearly establishes that Geeta has become victim of the public relations exercise of India-Pakistan diplomacy,” the petition said. It states that so far three families in India have come forward to claim Geeta’s custody, which was suspicious.
Ali has appealed that if Geeta’s identity or parentage were not confirmed while she was in India, then the girl should be brought back to Pakistan till her real family is found.
The petition was filed under Article 199 of the Constitution of Islamic Republic of Pakistan. The secretaries of ministry of interior and foreign affairs, and the provincial government of Sindh have been made respondents in the case.
Talking to HT, Burney said Geeta was living in a ‘dharmashala’ where nobody, including media and NGOs, were allowed to meet or talk to her. “Despite writing repeatedly to the Indian government for not making any serious and worthy efforts to locate and trace the real parents/family of the alleged Indian girl Geeta and to the authorities of the Pakistan government as to how the custody of Geeta was handed over to India so casually without even undergoing the proper procedure and process of verification or proof of her real identity or real parents, no response from any corner has been received,” said Burney.
Burney has also been at the forefront to send Ramzan, a boy lodged in a shelter home in Bhopal, to Pakistan.