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Court rejects Afghan’s marriage claim

Updated July 28, 2013

PESHAWAR, July 27: In a high-profile case involving a runaway Afghan woman, a local family court on Saturday dismissed the lawsuit of a man, who claimed that she was his wife and had given birth to her two daughters.

The woman, Maryam, had fled Afghanistan last year along with Hewad before entering Pakistan and marrying him in Abbottabad.

However, another Afghan national, Abdur Rehman, claimed that she was his wife and had left her house along with two minor daughters and escaped to Pakistan.

Presiding officer of the court Kiran Shaukat pronounced a short order that the suit filed for restitution of conjugal rights by plaintiff Abdur Rehman had been dismissed and another suit filed by the woman for jactitation of marriage accepted.

The couple has been provided shelter at the government-run centre for the destitute women and recently, the woman gave birth to a baby girl.

The two were produced before the court amid tight security due to fear that they might be harmed by the family of Abdur Rehman.

Lawyer for the plaintiff Ijaz Khan Sabi told Dawn that his client had a very strong case and would file appeal against the verdict with the district and sessions judge.

He said his client had produced around 13 witnesses, including mother of the woman, in support of his contention, while the woman could not produce any witness to deny his client’s claim.

The lawyer said the DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) tests conducted on the order of the court had also proved that Maryam was the mother of his client’s two minor daughters, Husna and Sana.

Earlier, the court had ordered to conduct DNA (deoxyribonucleic acid) tests of Maryam and the two minor girls to ascertain whether she was their mother.

The said test suggested that she could be the biological mother of two girls contrary to her denial that she was ever married to their father.

Matiullah Marwat, lawyer for the woman, told Dawn that though the plaintiff had produced 13 witnesses, they had recorded conflicting evidence.

He said the court had summoned the gynaecologist, who had operated on his client at Hayatabad Medical Complex, Peshawar, where she gave birth to a baby girl. The lawyer said the said gynaecologist had stated that the woman had become mother for the first time.

The runaway couple was arrested last year by Abbottabad police after Abdur Rehman’s brother Mohammad Ishaq lodged a complaint with police.

However, after Peshawar High Court Chief Justice Dost Mohammad Khan took notice of the issue, they were freed and provided shelter at the government-run centre for the destitute women.

While escaping from Afghanistan, they had also taken along with them the two girls, who, Maryam claimed, was daughters of her deceased sister, who was married to Abdur Rehman.

On July 31, 2012, the high court had ordered the couple and Abdur Rehman to approach the family court for settling the controversy whether she was already married to Abdur Rehman.

The woman has filed a suit for jactitation of marriage, claiming Abdur Rehman was not her husband and he was in fact husband of her elder sister, Marzia, who had died a few years ago.

She alleged that her family had been forcing her to marry Abdur Rehman, who was around 55 and suffering from paralysis.

Contrary to her claim, Abdur Rehman alleged that after the death of his wife, he had married her sister, Maryam, whose real name was Moluda.