SUNDAY TIMES ISLAMABAD:An IHC bench comprising Chief Justice Athar Minallah was hearing a petition instituted by the two Ghotki sisters – Reena and Raveena – seeking protection.

“This is a matter of Pakistan’s image as some elements want to dent it,” Justice Minallah remarked. He said the girls were guests of the federal government and Islamabad until a final report is submitted on the next hearing scheduled for April 2. Until then, he ruled, no one will arrest them.

“Islam and Holy Quran preach protection of minorities,” the judge observed and directed the federal government to provide both the girls protection.

Justice Minallah directed Federal Minister for Human Rights Shireen Mazari to submit a comprehensive report in this regard. He also ordered the determination of the girls’ age.

The petitioners, Reena and Raveena, stated in their petition that they had embraced Islam out of free will. There was propaganda on media against them which risked their and their husbands’ lives.

They prayed to the court to issue directives for providing them security as their lives were under threat.

The Ministry of Interior, chief minister Sindh, IGPs, member National Assembly Ramesh Kumar and others were named as respondents in the case.

Reena and Raveena of Mohalla Hafiz Dharki in Sindh reportedly tied the knot with Barkat and Safdar of the same area, respectively after their conversion to Islam.

Upon conclusion of today’s hearing, the girls were shifted to a shelter house in Islamabad.