Quetta: It always had been my desire to visit Darual Amman (shelter home) as there is a sort of mystery attached to it because of the way it operates in Pakistan; it has been made difficult for ordinary people to visit it. Despite my long desire I could not enter into it though it was not for the want of trying. But one day I did manage to visit Darul Amman situated in Barruri Road, Quetta with the help of someone within the department.
During my visit, while I was meeting with different inmates, I met with a very beautiful and charming women, aged around 35, living in Darul Aman with her 5 years old daughter for the last seven months, she was wearing baby pink color dress with off-whit CHADER and slipper, her hopelessness and desperation was clearly visible on her deep eyes and shivering voice, her daughter was wearing half sleeves frock even though the weather at that time of Quetta was freezing cold.
Her name was Shamaila, an Afghan National and a brave woman, she came all the way from Kandhar, Afghanistan to Pakistan all alone in search of her daughter who was kidnapped by her ex husband and step father of her daughter, and brought to Pashin area of Baluchistan province, Shamaila got her daughter recovered with help of police after so many hardships, later Shamaila and her daughter was brought to Darul Amman Quetta by the police.
“I have committed no crime, but I don’t know why authority does not allow me to go to Qandahar, Afghanistan, am I prisoner here?” Frightened and broken Shamaila said to me, with tears rolling down her cheeks, while her daughter looking onto her mother, bewildered not knowing what is doing on, “They (authority of Darul Amman) know that I have no relatives here in Pakistan who would come to take my custody, even than they do not let me go…., for God sake!, take me out of this prison” she said while continuously crying, the Chadar she was wearing got wet with tears.
Her story was so touching and heartbreaking that I decided that I will help her in whatever way possible, and decided to bring this matter into the knowledge of Afghan Consulate here in Quetta, hoping that they might help her.
Later I visited consulate General of Afghanistan in Quetta and shared the story of Shumaila, The consulate General, Mr. Waheedullha Momen promised to do whatever it takes to help her. Mr. Waheedullah assigned this task to two Afghan officials in consulate, Mr. Kaseemi and Mr. Nisar Ahmeed to take custody of women and her daughter and send them safe and sound to their home town Qandahar, Afghanistan.
When these two officials visited Darul Amman and met with Shumaila, she requested them to take her to Qandahar where her whole family lives, she said that she had left her younger sisters and brothers in one of shelter home in Afghanistan before living for Pakistan, because her father is drug addicted, and not able to take care of them and he even does not know the whereabouts Shumaila.
after Afghan officials sought custody of the women, she was presented before the court on 17th February 2018 and again on 5th March 2018, during the proceeding lasting for months, it was revealed that file containing important documents regarding Shamaila was missing or got misplaced which was strange thing to happen at this stage, the case was supposed to be resolved within 3 days but due to issue of the misplaced file the release of Shumaila took months.
Shumaila was supposed to be handed over to Afghan Consulate by the Darul Amman as they were the one who sought custody of her, but when she was released by court, a strange thing happened when Superintendent of Darual Aman called official of Afghan Consulate and informed him that Shumaila has been handed over to her father.
Neither Afghan consulate showed interest to know where she has gone nor did Ms. Asiya Khan answer to my phone calls so that I could know as to why she was not handed over to Afghan Consulate, and how her father, a drug addict, managed to approach Darul Aman from nowhere especially on this stage.
The question arises who women with 5 years girls has gone with, it was supposed to be handed over to Afghan Consulate as it was the one who sought the release of the women, rather she was handed over to her father, who, as per Shamaila statement, did not know the whereabouts of her.
My initial perception of Darual Amman being a very mysterious and strange place got even worse.