Couple flogged for staying together after ‘I divorce you’

Published: June 7, 2011
Police registered cases against 8 panchayat members for accusing married couple of adultery.

Police registered cases against 8 panchayat members for accusing married couple of adultery.


Police officials registered a case against 8 panchayat members for ordering the public flogging of a married couple on Sunday.

According to police officials, Phaharpur resident Ramzan allegedly divorced once his wife, Fatima Bibi, in a fit of fury three days ago but the court allowed them to remain living together.
“Apparently in a fit of anger he announced that he divorced his wife once but later the couple reconciled,” said advocate John Masih. “Islamic law requires that the intention to divorce be announced three times and then made public, it also stipulates an iddat period of three months before the divorce can be finalised,” he said.

Despite the court verdict that the couple was not divorced and could continue to live together, a local panchayat declared their marriage to be void and charged them with adultery. “He said that he had divorced her but they were continuing to live together. This is haram,” said a panchayat member Ameenulla Bajwa.

“The panchayat charged the couple with adultery and then ordered that they be publicly flogged and turned out of the village,” said an eyewitness, Rasool. Rasool told police officials that five men performed the flogging and then turned the couple out of the house but local residents approached the police.

“It is absurd because they are married. They quarreled and Ramzan said he divorced her in a fit of rage. They reconciled and divorces aren’t contracted in a day,” said the couples neighbour Ejaz.

After local media aired the news on Sunday, Layyah District Police Officer (DPO) Shahzad Warraich registered cases against the panchayat members.

“These people have no concept of Islam and should not be responsible for making decisions involving religious law. They have completely misread the Shariah law on this matter and the couple were wrongfully been accused of adultery,” said Masih.

Ramzan told police officials that he and his wife had decided not to return to their village because they feared for their lives. “We would prefer to move out of here because even if we go back now we wont be safe.

The police may be arresting the panchayat but their relatives will never let us live in peace,” he told police. “I was wrong to say that I divorced my wife when I was angry but I did not mean it. The court announced that we were still married and it is not their business to intervene in our personal matter,” he said.

Layyah DPO said that 7 panchayat members had already been taken into police custody and police officials were searching for the remaining accused.  

Published in The Express Tribune, June 7th, 2011.

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Reader Comments (32)

  • B
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:07AM

    Nothing is going to happen to the Learned Panchayat. They will all be released by the Learned Judges of the Supreme Court if Muktaran Mai is any example of the Judges mind.Recommend

  • Yasin Ali
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:15AM

    Till the time literacy improves in our country , i dont see any big change coming as these events are likely to continue with people who have no knowledge of Islam & its scopes forces others to read their version of Islam which is not the real Islam .Recommend

  • abdul moiz
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:20AM

    More violence in the name of religion.we have allowed religion to interfere to such an excessive level in our lives that we have lost sense of what is right and what is wrong.
    if i want to get married to someone and she agrees then i can get married to her,why does society force me to hire a bearded guy who then comes on stage and mutters a few lines in a foreign language & then i am told that the marriage has religious approval.Why has so much power & control been given to a mullah in my personal life?Recommend

  • sami pasha
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:25AM

    look where our sick obsession with religion has led us to.this torture of people in the name of Islam is sickening.Why are all our religious fanatics fixated with stoning women & flogging them in public? when will our people get rid of their barbaric mentality.

    Religion has no right to interfere in a person’s private life nor should a country’s laws be influenced by religious dogma,we all have seen the horrific results of religion’s interference in our laws.we need to repeal the savage blasphemy laws,hudood ordinance,law of evidence etc. immediately.These laws have caused immeasurable misery & heartache and nothing else.Recommend

  • tanvir shahid
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:28AM

    The islamic fascists strike again.Whipping,stoining,beheading,flogging in public are all glorious ways of delivering justice in our ISLAMIC republic of pakistan.When will our people get out of their religious trance.We’re like braindead zombies once we hear the word ‘islam’ in any conversation.We don’t counterargue,we don’t present a counternarrative,we just get scared and agree with the islamic fanatic shutting us up through his/her use of islam.Recommend

  • Realist
    Jun 7, 2011 - 10:41AM

    That is why I support everyone should be allowed to have a gun. I bet if he had an AK-47 in his home, no one would have dared to do that. The Gun rules!Recommend

  • zeeshan imran
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:08AM

    @Yasin Ali:

    literacy is not the problem.A lot of people try to paint terrorism as being caused by illeteracy or poverty which is just plain wrong.illeteracy or poverty don’t cause a teenage boy to go blow himself up and kill people.Islamic ulema promising him that he will get 72 virgins in heaven for murdering people cause him to blow himself up.

    We see well educated people in our country who’ve done alevels,MBBS,MBA having the mentality of osama bin laden,rattafying big fat books can eliminate illeteracy but it won’t eliminate the bigotry,hate,misogyny that religion reinforces every day.

    lack of education is not the problem,religious fascism is the problem.Recommend

  • Yasin Ali
    Jun 7, 2011 - 11:46AM

    @Zeeshan … when i wrote the literacy … by that i meant broadening of vision and obviously you need a thought process to interpret things as they stand and unfortunately the way our society has been developed over the time … we can easily say that you can easily feed something in the mind without people even pondering an inch and give a due thought whether what they perceive really stands too .Recommend

  • Feroz
    Jun 7, 2011 - 12:28PM

    Religious fanaticism is slowly consuming Pakistan. The nation is terminally ill and needs radiation, band aid remedy having failed. I would like to ask Imran Khan whether these events are caused by the presence of American troops in Afghanistan ? Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2011 - 1:35PM

    The local panchayat members should be barred from holding any post in the panchayat. Apart from that, they must be made to pay huge compensation to the couple so that other panchayat members will get warning not to indulge in such nasty actions.Recommend

  • Iftikhar-ur-Rehman
    Jun 7, 2011 - 2:10PM

    IDIOTS!! Majority of our people are IGNORANT of what Islam says about many things but what ever the uneducated ignorant mullah or the wadera of the area says, is the religion. This is total BIDATRecommend

  • goggi
    Jun 7, 2011 - 2:17PM

    There is a very grave contradiction between the man-made Sharia Law of Divorce and the Divine Law of Holy Quran, and this has ruined the lives of uncountable families. This disgust of triple talaq is a constant source of exploitation from the clergy of Pakistan with all their shameless halala abuses! Instead of regarding the law of country and holy Quran as sacred and supreme, the people follow the illiterate mullahs!Recommend

  • Asad
    Jun 7, 2011 - 3:45PM

    Ignorance at its peak!!! This case once again reconfirms how the Pakistanis are completely ignorant of the teachings of Islam. They have some crazy thoughts in their mind which they call Islam. This leads to terrorism, public flogging of a leally married husband and wife,etc and there are other ignorants who start blaming Islam, rather than blaming the ignorance and come out of it by seeking true knowledge of Islam.

    The Pakistanis need to go to the University of Madina in Saudi Arabia and Al Azhar University in Egypt to learn what true Islam is.

    There are fatwas of various Scholars in Egypt and Saudi Arabia that say that triple divorce given in one sitting counts as one divorce only and the couple can reconcile, based on authentic Hadith. Further the Islamic way of giving a divorce is to first stop having relations with the wife and then divorce her when she is in a clean state as per authentic Hadiths. Divorce given in extreme anger is also not Valid.

    But the ignorant pakistanis do not know this…even the ignorant Pakistani mullahs do not know this. Thats why the country is where it is. Every one cries and shouts Islam but no one understands Islam.Recommend

  • Adeel
    Jun 7, 2011 - 5:39PM

    @abdul moiz: If you are a Musalman and want to get married, then a Nikah khawan has to utter those words in Arabic. That NIkah Khawan could be a bearded mullah or it can be anybody who knows the proper procedure and words. Why are you making it such a fuss! Recommend

  • salman
    Jun 7, 2011 - 5:53PM

    It has become a dangerous place to live now.. dont know where shall i run .. maniacs in the name of religion has turned the society into a hell Recommend

  • Musthaq Ahmed
    Jun 7, 2011 - 6:14PM

    You lament that this barbarism in not learned in purer barbaric theory ?Recommend

  • aman
    Jun 7, 2011 - 7:18PM

    @Yasin Ali:

    Literacy does not lead to broadening of vision. But, Travelling does.

    If you want to broaden your outlook and vision, you should travel to foreign shores. or preferably, to kafir lands.

    I invite all chest-beaters and conspiracy theorists in Pakistan to visit South India for some time!!! (State like Kerala, Tamil Nadu, Andhra and Karnataka)Recommend

  • Moderate
    Jun 7, 2011 - 8:28PM

    Illetracy has no bounds! Ask the members of ‘panchayiat’ to go and read Quran and Hadith and see if that was adultery or short sightedness of theirs.Recommend

  • Jun 7, 2011 - 9:01PM

    You are right bro. Exposure does a lot of favor. But here in our country, there has been some chemical change which keep positive effects of everything away from our mind. Negative effects of travel, exposure and everything else are welcome with an open heart. We are different people.Recommend

  • shahzad
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:04PM

    Abdul Moiz: The meddling Mullah can only meddle in most of your private life if you let him do so. You don’t need a beardo muttering in a foreign tongue for you to get married. Any of friends or relatives can do so. And the same applies to all aspects of our lives. No need for the man with wild facial pubes at all. Anyone can do all these things as long as we have the balls to accept that it can be done. Cheers!Recommend

  • KarachiMom
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:10PM

    How are these panchayats even considered an authority on anything? Can they even read? This country has gone to hell with this nonsense. Totally agree with Zeeshan…. even education doesn’t cure them of their barbaric mindset. Recommend

  • Abdullah
    Jun 7, 2011 - 9:34PM

    My advice : Repeal this foreign religion from Pakistan and revert back to original rootsRecommend

  • Tahir Younus
    Jun 8, 2011 - 12:16AM

    these panchayati talibans should be taken to task, legally speaking these people are liable to be charged with anti-terrotism law.Recommend

  • Tahir Younus
    Jun 8, 2011 - 12:23AM

    This comment is wholy unwarranted.It is very unfortunate that people with no knowledge of law comment on deceisions of superior courts for ploitical motives or personal biases. Courts do not punish people basing their decisions on media reports or NGOtic agendas. If they do so they will become one of such panchayats. Before lamenting the judges minds Mr. Annonymous B should point out the infirmities in the decision of the court @B: Recommend

  • Leila Rage
    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:46AM

    It is sad that barbaric “panchiyats” are allowed to be held in our country, and that people are gullible and savage enough to follow and obey their judgements. These “panchiyats” aren’t even legally sanctioned, and every time they order some injustice to be meted out to people, they get away with it. Its perfectly ridiculous that two people’s marital problems become a matter of concern for the panchiyat. Whatever happened between them was a private matter and in no way required any outside intervention, considering that they weren’t even fully legally divorced since this would require them to register the divorce in a court of law. Recommend

  • Jun 8, 2011 - 2:55AM

    is it just me or the title image of this post slightly absurd? the issue under discussion is a grave one but the image relates more to some teen love bubble :/Recommend

  • Mirza
    Jun 8, 2011 - 8:20AM

    It is sad that several people call them stupid, silly, ignorant, un-educated and likes. These are Islamic terrorists and hardened criminal thugs. They should be publically beaten, shamed and thrown in jail to go against the decision of court. Where is the SC and Punjab HC when an open and criminal contempt of court took place? Once a tribal/elder jury is thrown in jail, nobody would dare repeat these incidents.

    Even according to the Islamic laws some Fiqahi imams say that if a man says divorce 100 times still it is counted as only one. For real divorce the man has to say it at three different times with a certain days gap. Just like the nikah divorce also requires witnesses. However, Wahabis/Salafis have made life more and more difficult on women of Pakistan.

    I am losing all hopes about Pakistani society. These terrorist mullah use and abuse Islam to supress women, minorities and prepare children as bombers. It is the curse thath dictator Zia has gifted to Pakistan. Recommend

  • Jun 8, 2011 - 11:01AM

    Saying once is enough. Recommend

  • Ahmad Qamar
    Jun 8, 2011 - 11:49AM

    This Pinchayat system must come to an end now in Pakistan. They have on numerous occasions blemished the image of this country throughout the world by their unlawful and illogical decisions. Pakistan has courts of law, which are well- trained in deciding such matters. These illiterate rotters who form such Pinchayats must be punished with severest penalties for harming the image of the legally married couple and undermining the law. I only hope the government of Pakistan takes serious notice of this. Rather, it is now time we had a law, a constitutional amendment, banning all sorts of Pinchayat systems in the country – once and for all. Unless serious efforts are made on the part of both the human rights activists and the state- run agencies, it will not be possible to contain this sphynx of Pinchayat, the illiterate uncivilized brutes, whose only job is to interfere in other people’ lives and destroy them. Everywhere you will find these Pinchayats to be taking a peculiar interest in others’ sex life. Sex- maniac Pinchayats…Put all these maniacs into prisons and ask them to reform their minds before they wish to reform the society.Recommend

  • Ahmad Qamar
    Jun 8, 2011 - 1:06PM

    @Leila Rage:
    Absolutely. You are absolutely right. people too need to be educated about the brutality of these ruthless pinchayats…Recommend

  • Asad
    Jun 8, 2011 - 3:19PM


    Just need to correct you so that you have your facts straight.

    The fatwas of Scholars who say that Divorce given thrice or however many times at one sitting counts as one only (and there is room for reconciliation), are actually scholars from Saudi Arabia and Egypt and they base this on authentic Hadiths. Unfortunately you label these Saudi/Egyptian scholars as Salafi/Wahabi.

    On the contrary its the illiterate Peers and Barelvi Molvis who treat triple divorce at one sitting as three and give a decision that the husband and wife are no longer married and based on their flawed decision, their Illiterate ‘mureeds’ flog the couple who are actually husband and wife according to Islam but not according to the Barelvi Molvis and their mureeds!!!

    So its ignorance and barelvism that leads to these incidences not the Saudi Scholars (who you call Wahabi!) Recommend

  • Billoo Bhaya
    Jun 8, 2011 - 6:55PM

    @Habiba Younis:
    You are absolutely right. Good observation. Recommend

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