The Afghan couple which eloped to Pakistan has been striving with much fortitude but little luck against a tough case put together by the woman’s alleged first husband, who claims to have two children with her from a prior marriage.
Since the issue surfaced last year, Afghan nationals Maryam and Haiwad have knocked at every door to collect evidence to prove their innocence.
They were married in Abbottabad in May 2012 and had a child earlier this year. However, the wrench in their plans was another Afghan national Abdul Rehman who claims Maryam has been his wife since 2006. And he further alleges he fathered two children, Saba and Husna, with her.
Maryam has constantly and vehemently denied Rehman’s claim, and explains the two girls are the daughters of her late sister Marzia, Rehman’s first wife who died in 2006. Yet on September 18, 2012 Rehman asked the court to conduct DNA tests of him, Maryam and the two children. The results showed Saba and Husna were Rehman’s and Maryam’s offspring.
The couple refused to accept the DNA results but on September 19, 2012, Maryam’s mother, brother and members of her native village in Afghanistan also recorded statements in favour of Abdul Rehman, furthering the couple’s misery. These witnesses only served to put more weight behind Rehman’s case; a nikah registrar had already claimed to have witnessed Maryam’s alleged first marriage.
Against all odds and Rehman’s strongly-stacked case, Maryam and Haiwad continued to fight for more than a year in which Maryam gave birth to a baby at the Hayatabad Medical Complex (HMC).
Maryam has now filed an application before Family Court Judge Kiran Shaukat, requesting the court to summon the person in charge of the HMC gynaecology ward to ascertain as to whether this was Maryam’s first time giving birth as she denies giving birth to Saba and Husna. Shaukat has summoned the required official on Monday (today), giving the couple yet another opportunity to prove their case.
On June 10, Rehman’s attorney Ejaz Sabi told Shaukat they have produced witnesses to the alleged first marriage and witnesses have given statements to that effect. He pointed out the couple has failed to provide even a single witness in their favour, asking the case be decided as soon as possible.
The issue first surfaced in May 2012 when the Peshawar High Court (PHC) took notice of the issue and shifted the case from Abbottabad to Peshawar. After holding three hearings over the dispute of conjugal rights between the two Afghan men, the court on July 31 ordered a Peshawar family court to decide the case within 40 days.
Ten months later, the case remains open.
Published in The Express Tribune, June 24th, 2013.
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