ISLAMABAD : In what can be described as a bizarre twist, Jhelum police have booked a deceased British-Pakistani woman and her second husband for allegedly forging their marriage documents in the UK while she was allegedly still legally married to her first husband in Pakistan.
Samia, a 28-year-old beautician from Bradford, died at the house of her first husband Shakeel Ahmed in July while on a visit to Pakistan, supposedly to visit family members in the village of Pandori. Her family initially said she had suffered a heart attack but a post-mortem examination confirmed she died of asphyxiation.
However, her second husband, Syed Mukhtar Kazim, had claimed that his wife was a victim of ‘honour killing’ because her family disapproved of her marriage with him. After Kazim lodged a complaint, Jhelum police had booked Ahmed, and Samia’s father Muhammad Shahid for her murder.
Both suspects are currently in jail on judicial remand but have not yet been formally charged.
However, in August one of Shakeel’s uncles had filed an application with the local police seeking an FIR against Kazim, claiming that he had married a woman who was already married to another man, which is illegal under Pakistani law.
“Shakeel Ahmed married Samia Shahid according to the law on February 27, 2012 and has never divorced her,” the application reads.
Haq Nawaz, Shakeel’s uncle who had filed the application, maintains that Kazim and Samia married in the UK using fake documents.
“Samia Shahid, Mukhtar Kazim, Syed Abbas Shah and Zilak Shah prepared fake documents and impersonated Shakeel Ahmed before the UK authorities,” Nawaz’s application adds.
While talking to The Express Tribune, Nawaz’s lawyer Masroor Shah claimed that the only marriage document Samia and Kazim had was issued by a local cleric in Bradford.
“This document has no legal value in Pakistan or the UK,” he claimed.
He requested the police to book Kazim, Samia and the two other people for impersonation, fraud, forgery and fornication.
However, the police initially refused to register the case. Nawaz then filed an application with a judicial magistrate in Jhelum, who ordered the police to register the case.
Mangla police, however, challenged the court’s decision in the Lahore High Court’s Rawalpindi-Bench, claiming that they had contacted authorities in the UK and sought details of the documents which had been provided for Samia’s second marriage with Kazim.
However, the high court upheld the decision by the lower court noting that an investigation into the matter should be conducted after registering an FIR and not the vice versa.
Mangla police finally registered a case against the four on November 16, booking the suspects for fraud and forgery.
Published in The Express Tribune, November 20th, 2016.