Sole surviving member Hasina Gul of ill-fated Chitral family to
get psychiatric help
CHITRAL: Hasina Gul, the sole surviving member of a family
from Garam Chashma, a village in Chitral, that perished in the
PK-661 plane crash on Dec 7, has been referred to a psychiatrist in
Islamabad by the medical board constituted at Chitral DHQ Hospital,
it emerged on Tuesday.
The medical board established that though she did not have a
physical ailment, she was suffering from post-traumatic disorder.
Dr Iftikhar Ahmed, medical superintendent at the Chitral DHQ
Hospital, told Dawn that her condition had deteriorated because of
the shock of losing her family. He said they had had to refer her
to a psychiatrist in Islamabad due to the unavailability of mental
health specialists in Chitral.
Hasina was brought to the DHQ hospital two days ago after she
complained of anxiety and pains.
Dr Ahmed said that he had asked her guardian to stay with her at
the hospital till she left for Islamabad on the first available
flight, but he had disregarded his advice and left.
Imranud Din, child protection officer at Chitral, said the Child
Protection Unit had arranged for an ambulance to take her to
Islamabad as flights had been delayed till next Friday, but she did
not want to travel by road.
He said they were closely monitoring her situation after several
people in the area shared fears that her relatives were scrambling
over each other to get close to her and establish a claim to the
Rs33 million which she would receive as compensation.
The Child Protection Unit had moved court to ensure legal custody
of the 14-year-old as there was a possibility that she could be
kept at some place without her consent.
Mr Din said the court of a senior civil judge had awarded the
guardianship certificate to Sher Afzal, her father’s cousin,
subject to the fulfilment of certain formalities which included
furnishing a bond of Rs3 million.
On the other hand, Khadija Sardar, an activist and Awami National
Party leader, has challenged the veracity of guardianship granted
to Sher Afzal, saying he could coerce her and extort money from the
After meeting Hasina at the hospital on Tuesday afternoon, Ms
Khadija said that the girl was not happy with the idea of staying
with her father’s cousin but dared not express it openly. “When Mr
Afzal (the guardian) left the room, Hasina said she did not want to
stay with him,” she said.
Sharing her apprehensions about the girl’s safety, Ms Khadija said
it was possible that her uncle would go to any lengths to take her
money, even marry her off to one of his sons.
She said that Hasina was unaware of the prime minister’s orders to
ensure she was cared for after the media highlighted people’s
apprehensions regarding her safety.
“She expressed ignorance when I asked why she had not gone to
Islamabad with PIA Customer Care Director Tabassum Qadir, who was
supposed to take her to Islamabad on the PM’s directive,” Ms
Hasina’s father had not gotten along with Mr Afzal, she explained,
and they had had an altercation over a piece of land and were not
on talking terms.
This was confirmed by a police official at the Garam Chashma police
station, who said that her father had left Hasina with one of his
friends, Adina Shah, whose daughter is one of her classmates,
before departing on the ill-fated flight.
After the plane crash, Hasina was taken to Islamabad for a DNA test
and returned to the village with the remains of her family members
Mr Afzal refused to speak to the media saying he wanted nothing to
do with them.