Runaway Afghan couple Maryam and Haiwad’s ordeal finally came to an end on Saturday when a family court dismissed a petition for conjugal rights and declared Haiwad as Maryam’s lawful husband.
The couple eloped and got married in Abbottabad in May 2012. However, another Afghan national, Abdul Rehman, filed a petition at Peshawar High Court claiming Maryam had been his wife since 2006 and was the mother of his two daughters Saba and Husna.
Maryam denied Rehman’s claim, saying the girls were the daughters of her late sister, Marzia, Rehman’s former wife who died in 2006. On September 18, Rehman requested the court to conduct DNA tests of him, Maryam and the two children. The test results proved Saba and Husna to be Rehman and Maryam’s daughters.
However, the eloped couple refused to accept the results. Their miseries were further compounded on September 19 when the nikah registrar of Maryam and Rehman’s alleged first marriage along with her family members and native village elders testified in court and recorded their statements in favour of Rehman.
During a case hearing on June 10, Rehman’s attorney Ejaz Sabi told Family Court Judge Kiran Shaukat his client had produced witnesses including Maryam’s family members testifying to Rehman and Maryam’s marriage. Sabi further added since the couple had failed to produce a single witness, the case should be decided as soon as possible.
On Saturday, Judge Shaukat dismissed Rehman’s petition claiming Maryam as his wife and ruled Maryam was legally Haiwad’s wife.
Published in The Express Tribune, July 28th, 2013.