Twist of fate?: Woman accuses ruling party member of selling her into marriage

Published: October 8, 2012

For the distraught woman, what had seemed like the perfect opportunity to start over after a painful divorce quickly morphed into a nightmare. PHOTO: FURSID/FILE

SUKKUR: Early Saturday morning, S* burst into the Ahmedpur police station in Khairpur begging for shelter.

For the distraught woman, what had seemed like the perfect opportunity to start over after a painful divorce quickly morphed into a nightmare.

A couple of weeks ago, S, who hails from Vehari in Punjab, had met the vice president of the Pakistan People Party’s Kingri women wing. The ruling party member was in town to meet her relatives and bumped into S, who had been struggling to support her two children after a gruelling divorce, she claimed.

The political activist offered her a job in Khairpur, and she jumped at the opportunity. Packing her belongings, she headed south with her two children, thinking about starting a new life, S claimed. Unfortunately this is where her luck ran dry.

Soon after S arrived in Khairpur, the lady took her to a man named A, assuring her that he would give her a job. However, the man forced her to marry him and she then found out that he had paid Rs110,000 to “purchase” her from the political leader, the woman told the police.

After weeks in captivity, S managed to flee from A’s house and headed straight to the police station. After she narrated the incident to the head constable, Ghulam Nabi Narejo, the law enforcers took her to the Khairpur district and sessions court.

The court directed the police to shift her to the Darul Aman and register a case against the ruling party’s leader and the man accused of forcefully marrying her. But the head constable says they have yet to receive a written order from the court and will act when they get one.

When contacted by The Express Tribune, the political activist admitted she had gone to Vehari but refuted all other allegations.

“Recently, I visited Vehari where the woman’s maternal uncle and brother told me that S had been divorced and they wanted to find a suitable partner for her,” she said. “In my own town, [A] had been repeatedly asking me to find him a suitable wife.”

So she asked the woman’s uncle and brother to bring her to Khairpur so that S and A can be married, she added.

Refuting the allegations that she had sold off S, the politician claimed that she had spent money on her marriage instead. “These allegations are intended to ruin my reputation,” she believed.

Tauqeer Fatima Bhutto, the minister for women development and the head of the ruling party’s Larkana women wing, said that the party will take action against its member if she was found guilty. “We will provide S justice,” she said. “We want to empower women not exploit them.”
*Names changed to protect privacy

Published in The Express Tribune, October 8th, 2012.

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Reader Comments (3)

  • Toba Alu
    Oct 8, 2012 - 6:17AM

    As long as arranged marriages remain part of the culture/tradition this will remain the order of the day. The conservatives know very well that if you give in on one issue (f.i. allowing education for women, or allowing them to work outside the home, etc. etc.) you get the whole package of change. That is why the resist to change.

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  • Caramelized_Onion
    Oct 8, 2012 - 6:30AM

    Hope justice is delivered, but it will be a hard battle ahead for her for ‘opening’ her mouth against a PPP representative.

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  • Lauren
    Oct 9, 2012 - 2:48AM

    What’s the big deal? They’re just showing her honor and respect

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