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Runaway Afghan couple: DNA tests show eloped woman is mother of two

By Umer Farooq

PESHAWAR: DNA tests carried out on the orders of a family court confirmed that eloped Afghan woman Maryam is the mother of four-year-old Saba and three-year-old Husna, who she earlier said were her nieces.

Afghan couple Haiwad, 23, and Maryam, 22, eloped to Pakistan and got married in May, 2012 in Abbottabad. However, another Afghan national Abdul Rehman, 60, claimed Maryam had been his wife since 2006 and was the mother of his two girls, Saba and Husna.

Maryam denied Rehman’s claims, saying the girls were actually daughters of her late sister Maraiz, who had been married to Rehman and died in 2006.

The Peshawar High Court (PHC) intervened and shifted the case from Abbottabad to Peshawar. After holding three hearings, the PHC on July 31 ordered a Peshawar family court to decide the case within 40 days.

During the hearing on September 18, Rehman asserted that both the children were his and Maryam’s and asked the court to conduct DNA tests so that his claim could be proven.

The eloped couple, however, expressed reservations over conducting any tests in Pakistan, saying they would not believe the results.

During the September 19 case hearing, five witnesses to the alleged first marriage between Maryam and Rehman testified in court. Consequently, blood samples of the girls, Maryam and Rehman were collected at Khyber Medical University’s forensic lab and sent to Rawalpindi for DNA testing on October 19.

The results, announced before family court judge Kiran Shaukat on Monday, showed Maryam to be the biological mother of both girls. Maryam, however, said she would challenge the report’s results in the PHC.

Justice Shaukat asked Maryam if she was born along with a twin, to which she answered no. “If you do not have a twin, then the DNA tests prove that Saba and Husna are your real daughters,” said the judge.

Abdul Rehman’s counsel filed an application requesting the court to separate Maryam and Haiwad, who have been living in a shelter home, now that DNA tests have proven her to be the mother of Rehman’s children.

It is pertinent to note that a number of Maryam’s family members including her mother Razia, brother Fawad and elders from her native village Makroyan in Afghanistan have recorded statements in favour of Abdul Rehman.

The Express Tribune