By Khurram Hussain
Ghulam Hussain* is a poor labourer in a village of district Rajanpur in South Punjab. He earns living for his five children by working as a daily wager with mesons.
Though girls are not allowed to be taught in his region, he thought that his eldest daughter Shahida* should at least learn Quran after she finished four years in primary school. So, he started sending 13-year-old to a respected woman in their neighbourhood called ‘Ami Ji’ as she taught Quran to the pupils of the vicinity.
She started studying Quran from ‘Ami Ji’ and was quite happy visiting her twice a day for her lessons.
One day, when she was studying Quran at her house, Ami Ji stepped out for something. Her son Daud*, present at home, allegedly used the opportunity and showed pistol to Shahida to force her for sex.
He repeated this for several times until the day she got pregnant. He then threatened her not to reveal his name, otherwise, he would kill her and her family.
Scared, Shahida did not discuss the problem even with her close friend and fell sick. When her parents noted a change in her body and continued sickness, they called a doctor who told them that she was pregnant.
That was a moment when Hussain could have acted like traditional Pakistani men, and particularly men of his Southern region where they kill women for being raped by the powerful rapists of the area, or force them for abortions and then marry them against their will.
But, Hussain appeared different. Instead of doing something wrong to his daughter, he encouraged her to give birth to her baby. He went to police in July last year, got an FIR registered against Daud for alleged rape and waited for the birth of the baby to present him as a proof in the court.
Shahida gave birth to a son on November 17, 2016. The baby is still unnamed because Hussain has not that much strength to give him a name.
“How can I give him a name. He is a result of a rape of my daughter so he remains unnamed so far,” he says.
But Hussain did file an application in the court for DNA test of the baby and her alleged rapist Daud. This application, however, is still pending and the court has not passed any judgment for the DNA samples.
A DNA test was earlier conducted before the birth of the baby but police have discharged the accused from the case on the basis of lack of evidence and he is roaming free since four months.
“I had no option but to encourage my daughter to give birth to a child which the society considers illegitimate,” he says.
“Now, I have a proof! He can’t get away with it,” says Hussain with a defiant tone to protect the honour of his daughter.
“Even, if he’s cleared from courts, he can’t be cleared from society and conscience. Everyone knows this child is a result of his atrocious acts against my daughter.”
Though Hussain, Shahida and the whole family are concerned about the future of the baby.
“There is no fault of this baby. We are concerned about his future. We don’t know what to do with him. Whatever has happened, he is born now and a living human being,” he said.
Hussain, who has sold out a major portion of his land to bear expenses of the court case and police investigation, says that this baby too needs justice from the court.
“This is up to court now to provide justice to my daughter and her son, she was forced to conceive and give birth,” Hussain says as his voice gets somber.
Winding up, he said, “What can a helpless poor father of a daughter do in this country.”
Editor’s Note: *The names of the victim and her father have been changed to protect their identity.
*The name of the suspect has also been changed.