SAHIWAL, Jan 22: Marriage of choice has made the life of an educated couple a hell on earth as their families, having different social backgrounds and financial status, have failed to accept each other.
The woman’s family has even made her contract second marriage to let her “lead a life of luxury and all money can buy”.
Mst Shahnaz Akhtar, daughter of Allah Ditta, solemnised court marriage with a co-villager, Ghulam Mustafa, son of Roshan Din, on Nov 6, 2006. Both life partners hold master’s degrees.
Shahnaz belonged to a well-to-family involved in farming whereas the man of her choice is a son of a poor cobbler. Being in love with each other, the only voice they paid heed to while tying the knot was that of heart, not realising what their union had in store for them.
The difficulty arose when Shahnaz disclosed her marriage and her family immediately arranged her marriage with her cousin Tanveer alias Mustafa, son of Bashir Ahmad. The marriage deed (Nikahnama) of second marriage was prepared with retrospective effect from Aug 15, 2006. The marriage certificate was issued by union council No 11, Chak 36/A/4-L.
Bashir, a man of resources, got registered an abduction case (of Shahnaz) against her husband Ghulam Mustafa, his father Roshan Din, who is about 95, brothers Farooq and Siddique with the Fatehsher police station on July 18, 2007.
Subsequently, the police claimed having arrested Shahnaz and Ghulam Mustafa in High Street (Sahiwal city) when the former was brought here from Jhang and produced in the court of civil judge Hafiz Muhammad Zubair to record her statement.
She deposed before the civil judge-cum-judicial magistrate that she was an MA in Islamiat and Ghulam Mustafa had a master’s in Pakistan Studies and that they both were highly educated and knew best about their future.
She stressed that they were sane enough to take any decision about their future and that their marriage had been solemnised through mutual consent.
Expressing abhorrence of her cousin Tanveer, she denied her abduction by Roshan Din, Ghulam Mustafa’s father, or any other member of his family as alleged in the FIR.
Shahnaz told the court that she married Ghulam Mustafa of her own free will and first went to Lahore where he worked and then they shifted to Jhang. “The Fatehsher police recorded my statement and sent me with my father to my maternal uncle’s home”, she said, requesting the court to prevent her family from inflicting any harm on Ghulam Mustafa’s family.
Detained in Sahiwal Central Jail, Ghulam Mustafa told Dawn that he had written an appeal to the president of Pakistan to provide him justice but he was still awaiting the response.
District Police Officer Javed Husain Shah assured journalists that the poor family would be provided with justice. He, however, denied newsmen a meeting with Shahnaz Akhtar on Tuesday.
Meanwhile, Alamdar Husain Shah, a local human rights commission activist, expressed fear that Shahnaz Akhtar might be killed if she was allowed to go with her family. As Shahnaz refused to go with her parents, the police sent her to Darul Aman in Lahore.