Husband of ‘freed’ US citizen says she is under family’s pressure

Express July 27, 2010

HYDERABAD: The husband of a US citizen, who claimed she was confined illegally for seven months, says that she is under her family’s influence.

Shahrukh Pervez and his father Pervez Alam Arain addressed a press conference in Hyderabad on Tuesday and claimed that his wife Sadia was under pressure from her uncle and other relatives.

Shahrukh said that he married Sadia in Houston, US, without her parent’s consent which is why the family tried to annul the marriage while they were in the US.

They even filed a petition for a divorce in the American courts but Sadia withdrew the petition herself, her husband claimed. The couple then eloped and came to Hyderabad, where they held a reception on January 3 this year, he said.

After the reception, they went for a holiday to Lahore during March and April and went to perform Umrah between May and June, said Shahrukh, adding that Sadia was constantly in touch with her family during this time so she cannot claim that she was illegally confined.

According to Shahrukh, Sadia’s statements in court were influenced by her uncle, who he believes brainwashed her during the time she spent at the women’s police station.

Shahrukh also told the court that Sadia was pregnant and the baby was due next month. He said that he wants to take his wife home but cannot contact her in Karachi as he fears his in-laws will treat him the same way they beat up the cameraman of the  Express News earlier at the A-Section police station in Latifabad.

For her part, however, Sadia had earlier claimed that she was being illegally confined by her husband. She said he did not allow her to speak to anyone over the phone or step out of the house. It was by chance that she managed to email her family one day and inform them of her living conditions.

Sadia’s uncle, Muhammad Younas, who is a resident of Karachi, filed a petition in court.

He claimed that his niece was being kept in illegal custody for the past seven months.

The circuit bench of the Sindh High Court Hyderabad directed the Latifabad A-Section police to recover Sadia. SHO Rao Nazim conducted a raid on July 22 and found her.

She was immediately taken to the women police station where she was reunited with her family.

In a statement Sadia recorded with the police, she claimed that her husband held her in captivity as soon as they arrived in Hyderabad. He also stole her passport and other documents so that she could not escape, she claimed, accusing her husband of marrying her to obtain American citizenship.

On July 23, Sadia was presented in civil court No. 9, where her statement was recorded under Section 164 Criminal Procedure Court. After her hearing in court, Sadia was allowed to leave with her uncle.

Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2010.


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