Incidents of honour killing, child marriage and kidnapping of women happen frequently in interior Sindh. Most of the cases, occurring in far flung and inaccessible rural areas, are not reported in the regional and national media. In fact, the cases that are not highlighted in the media are suppressed by the accused influential people with the help of some black sheep in police department at local level. However the case of Fazila Sarki has been highlighted in the electronic and print media; and yet government of Sindh has failed to recover her even after nine years.

Fazila Sarki

Fazila, 7, was kidnapped on March 23, 2007 from village Garhi Hassan Sarki, Tehsil Thul, District Jacobabad Sindh. For the last nine years, the grieved parents of Fazila Sarki have been protesting, calling for the recovery of their daughter. Regrettably, on the contrary, the parents of Fazila have been threatened with grave consequences by influential persons involved in the kidnapping. This is not only sheer injustice with the parents but also slashes a substantial question mark on the performance of Sindh police and the government.

Fazila's parents

Abdul Razzaq Sarki, Fazila’s father, said that:

“immediately after Fazila was kidnapped, Thul police arrested Qadir Bux Sarki, Allah Warrayo Sarki and Baboo Sarki who had confessed to kidnapping and selling Fazila to the criminal Budho Sarki. Later on Budho Sarki sold my daughter to Yakoob Teghani, a close acquaintance of Sardar Tegho Khan Teghani. Abdul Razzaq said that Sardar Zulfiqar Sarki confirmed that Fazila was with Teghani who refused to return her.”

After Supreme Court of Pakistan, taking suo moto notice, had ordered the police to submit progress report in the case of Fazila Sarki within fifteen days and to find her within one month, the case was handed over to the Anti Violent Crime Cell Karachi (AVCC) which conducted search operations in villages near Karampur and Garhi Tegho. The AVCC could not achieve anything - neither any person was arrested nor was the girl recovered.

In February, 2016, Shikarpur district police assisted by the large police contingent from Jacobabad, Larkana, Kandho kot districts and special commodes from Karachi under leadership of SSP Nasir Aftaf launched a search operation in village Garhi Tego. In a heavy exchange of fire, five people belonging to Tegani tribe and one police constable were killed. The operation continued for two months but no significant development was made in the case.

In reality, all the efforts of police have failed completely. The reasons of police failure are lethargic attitude of its officials, lack of proper investigation in the case during its early stages and lack of fully trained investigators to conduct intelligence and find real causes of the kidnapping.

Since the inception of Fazila’s kidnapping, human rights organizations and civil society members have been playing their pivotal role in the case. They have been raising their voices against the kidnapping. They have been protesting and staging rallies to put pressure on government for her recovery.

Civil society

Unlike other incidents affecting children and women in the province of Sindh, the case of Fazila Sarki has been highlighted by the regional and national media. The report has been published by Sindhi and English newspapers including The Nation time to time.

It is a fact that the case has got complicated. The police search operations, court’s suo moto action, killings of people and protests together could not bring about any productive outcome. The recovery also centers around the egocentricity and self-centeredness of the kidnappers and their influential abettors. According to them, the government and police have inflicted too much harm and insult on them. Therefore they will not hand over Fazila to her parents.

Looking into all aspects of the case, it can be concluded that the government and law enforcement agencies seem toothless in making her recovery possible. Keeping in view the nature of case, I would suggest that the intervention of Sardars, Waderas, and other influential persons of the region in the case must be necessitated.

The tribal system of society prevails in interior Sindh especially in Jacobabad, Kandh Kot, Shikarpur, Larkana, and Ghotki districts, wherein heads (Sardars and Waderas) of tribes enjoy traditional authority over the people of their tribes.  The heads of tribes have intimate relations with one another.

Negotiations, as a last resort, among the heads of Sarki, Tegani and of all other tribes of the area to resolve the problem of Fazila’s recovery should be arranged by Sindh government.