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Runaway couple: Afghan woman married to ‘brother-in-law’, says family

ABBOTABAD: The brother-in-law of a runaway Afghan woman has claimed that she was already married to him before her elopement.

Mariyam Marjman Molouda, the Afghan woman, had tied the nuptial knot in Pakistan a month ago with a fellow Afghan named Hewad against the will of her family back home.

The couple claimed to have fled Kabul because the woman’s family tried to marry her (Mariyam) with Abdul Rehman, the invalid husband of her deceased sister.

The family of Abdul Rehman, however, rejected the couple’s claims on Sunday.

It alleged that Mariyam has committed a Gunah-e-Kabeera (cardinal sin) by solemnising a new nikah without rescinding her previous one. Saying that the act violated the Afghan law as well as the Shariah, the family demanded that she be extradited to Afghanistan.

Speaking to local media on Sunday, Rehman’s paternal nephew Khan Muhammad said Mariyam married his uncle following his second wife’s (her elder sister’s) death. He produced a nikahnama showing Mariyam consented to marriage with Rehman in the year 1986 according to the Afghan calendar, corresponding to 2006 in the Gregorian calendar.

Khan Muhammad also claimed his uncle had a total of 10 children from all three wives including Mariyam. He said the two girls accompanying Mariyam – two-year old Husna and three-year old Sana – were her and Rehman’s real daughters. Mariyam maintains the girls are her elder sister’s daughters.

Muhammad revealed that Rehman was alive and suffered from paralysis, citing that as a reason behind Mariyam’s relationship with Hewad. He alleged that she took US $95,000, 20 tola of gold and 800,000 Afghani from his uncle’s house while making off to Pakistan. He added that he will present all records before the court in order to secure her extradition.

Muhammad sought to allay fears that they might be stoned or executed by a jirga upon returning to Afghanistan. Responding to a question, he said the matter would be resolved in a Kabul court, adding that the Afghan capital’s judicial system was functioning effectively.

Meanwhile, the couple will be presented before Peshawar High Court (PHC) Chief Justice Dost Muhammad Khan on Monday, July 23.

The couple has rejected claims that Mariyam was married to Rehman. They maintain she had been living with Rehman’s family for the last three years after her sister’s death to care for his children since he was an invalid himself. Mariyam maintains she was neither married nor engaged to anyone before Hewad, whom she says she married of her own will. She says she fled home after she got an inkling of Rehman’s interest in her and her parents’ willingness towards the marriage. Regarding the girls, Husna and Sana, Mariyam claims they are her nieces and that she took them along due to their attachment with her. Sana has been repatriated to Afghanistan while Husna remains with Mariyam.

The Express Tribune

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