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Rival helps girl break out of marriage web

Rival helps girl break out of marriage web

By: IKRAM JUNAIDI

ISLAMABAD: An 18-year-old city girl pushed into a web of fraudulent marriage in Sharjah is back home.

Her stepfather’s complaint filed with the Margalla police on Saturday night tells a strange tale of the way four women’s minds and emotions work.

It starts with a visit by a professional woman matchmaker to the girl’s house in sector G-9. The desperate mother there falls for the web she spins for a glorious life for her daughter in some foreign land.

On her next visit, the matchmaker brings a young man “from Sharjah” who is looking for a match for his colleague there. This time the stepfather was there.

“I told them that they have to call the suitor to Pakistan for a face-to-face meeting. But they said he cannot come because his application for the nationality of United Arab Emirates was pending and if he did it might be rejected,” said the stepfather talking to Dawn.

“So I refused to give the hand of my stepdaughter.”

However, the matchmaker kept pursuing the mother with the cutting argument that ‘a stepfather cannot feel as concerned for the girl as her real mother’.

Eventually, three months ago, the scheming matchmaker led the keen mother to secure a passport for the girl and solemnise her Nikah (marriage bond) with the suitor in Sharjah via Skype and the bride flown to her ‘blissful life’ in Sharjah.

“Foolishly my wife kept all this hidden from me. She lied to me that she had sent her to her aunt’s house. She is now regretting her foolishness,” the stepfather said.

Just a day after reaching Sharjah, he said, the girl phoned him to inform that she had been married off to a 40-year-old man, already married with four children – and not even a Pakistani. But the dirty fact brought her luck instead.

“After three months my daughter managed to come back with the help of the bitter first wife of her husband,” said the stepfather.

“She provided my daughter with a photocopy of the passport of her husband, Fahad M. Haji Abdulkareem, a citizen of Comoros Islands. She has brought the documents with her,” he said.

In the FIR the stepfather lodged with the police, he stated that he contacted the marriage registrar who said he was perplexed when the groom in Sharjah did not speak in Urdu when taking the vows over Skype, but went ahead with the ceremony because the mother raised no objections.

“I suspect human traffickers are behind the fraudulent marriages racket. I went to the police with all proofs and documents of the fraud played on my family to save the daughters of other Pakistanis,” he said.

“My wife is sorry for her actions but we cannot reverse what has happened to our daughter but others should be saved from falling victim to fraudsters,” he added.

Police investigation officer Abdul Jabbar confirmed to Dawn that he had received the documents relating to the case. But it is too early to say what course the investigation would take.

High court advocate Ammar Sehri, however, thinks that since the marriage had been consummated, it can only be called ‘Irregular Marriage’, though it stands.

“There are two solutions: either the husband divorces her or she goes to a family court for the same. She can get a decision in her favour within 60 days,” he said.

Police usually refers such cases involving a foreign national to the FIA for investigation.

DAWN

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