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Couple living in hiding for 5 years in fear of their families

KARACHI: Scores of couples have been killed over karo kari and many people who marry for love are compelled to hide in fear, unable to live their lives properly. Out of the many karo kari cases, one couple has been in hiding for the past five year.

The couple, with two children, has been living in hiding since they got married five years ago because they fear they might lose their lives and their children to their families.

Mohammad Riaz, son of Ghulam Sarwar, and his wife Husn Banu got married without their families’ permission in 2002.

“The family could indeed be a threat, but there’s nothing that can be done right now,” said Clifton Town SP Azad Khan, adding that the case will be investigated first.

“It is all about peopleÂ’s egos. They make lame excuses to protect it. And that’s what has happened with us. Her father even showed that she had her nikka done in 2003, even though we got married in 2002,” said Riaz, via phone from Europe.

Riaz said that Banu’s family was making it an issue and had gotten his family to trust them as well. “They also created a Shia-Sunni issue because Banu is a Sunni and I am a Shia,” added Riaz.

“If they have children and have a nikkah nama, they are legal,” said Allama Abbas Kumaili, a Shia cleric. “It is not a case of rape because five years have passed and they still want to live with each other. Their families just want to harass them.”

Riaz and his wife said that they got married because they loved each other and wanted to spend the rest of their lives in happiness. They thought that their parents would get over their marriage with the passage of time, but that did not happen. “If we live in Karachi, we have to face court trials with protection from the police, because we know that our parents will kill us or hire someone to do the job,” said Riaz.

Recently, Banu’s father Ashiq Hussain held a press conference at the Karachi Press Club. Hussain claimed that Riaz kidnapped Banu to rape her. But there were contradictions in Hussain’s statements, as he first claimed that Riaz kidnapped Banu and then he said they both went against the rules of the families and now had two illegal children.

“How is it possible that I kidnapped Banu to rape her? If that were true why would we have two children and still be living together?” questioned Riaz.

In 2003, Banu’s father registered an FIR of kidnapping with the intention of rape. “How their case should be dealt with should depend on Islamic law, but unfortunately, ‘black law’ is implemented in our society,” said Qari Mohammad Iqbal. “But people do not follow it, they just want to kill couples here in the name of honor or karo kari.”

“Our families and the police are all searching for us. It is very difficult to live in Karachi or Pakistan because we know that our families will kill us and the police will help them. We did not fear the loss of our lives before. But now that we have children they will also be killed and we don’t want that,” said Riaz.

In the press conference, Hussain also said that his accomplices and community members once tried to catch Riaz but he managed to escape. The couple’s families declared that Riaz and Husn had gone against their communities and the Sharia, therefore, they should be killed.
Source: Daily Times