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Rebels of ‘marriage with Quran’ cry for help

By: Raja Riaz

LAHORE: A Baloch couple that entered into a marriage contract against the will of their families has appealed to authorities to help save their lives and rescue the man’s kidnapped sister from the possession of their parents.

The couple, Fahad Amin (Jam Baloch) and wife Shahnila Naz (Kuriai Balach), both 28 years of age, residents of Khanpur area, while addressing a press conference and later talking to Daily Times said that their families had become their enemies and that their lives were in danger as they had ‘violated’ the family code of “marrying with the Quran”.

“In my family, women are seldom married. My aunts have touched the seventieth year of their live, but are still unmarried and live in their brothers’ homes to serve their children. Half of our female family members are ‘married with the Quran’. Their lives are miserable as they are treated worse than the servants and bring up the children and look after the animals,” Shahnila said, bursting into tears.

Giving details of their marriage, the couple said that Fahad Amin’s family had been requesting Shahnila’s hand in marriage for the last four years, but her parents kept refusing. “One night my parents came in the room with my four brothers and some close relatives, asked me to sit on the bed and opened the holy Quran in front of me. They put a dopata on my head and asked me to accept a marriage with the Quran. I refused and ran away from home, contacted Fahad and eloped with him to save our lives,” Shahnila told Daily Times. “We managed to go to court and get our marriage registered.”

“The phenomenon is not a new one in our family as most of the female members of my family are married to the Quran. Perhaps they find good female maids this way,” she continued.

She went on to say that her family had kidnapped her sister-in-law and were holding her in exchange for herself. “I am pregnant and would certainly be killed if I returned,” she said.

“We request every soul to please help save our lives and to the authorities to rescue my sister-in-law so that all our lives can be saved, “ the couple appealed.

They alleged that though they had contacted human rights organisations, none of them had agreed to provide them with shelter. The couple also alleged that an influential MNA in the area was helping Shahnila’s parents and was pressurising Fahad’s family.

Later, a terrified Shahnila refused to leave the press club premises in fear of an attempt on her life. She demanded that the authorities provide them with security.

“If my sister-in-law is not recovered, I am afraid my husband would have no option but to divorce me which would result in several deaths – mine, my unborn child’s, my husband’s and many others,” she said.
Source: Daily Times
Date:12/1/2011

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