Young couple from Sukkur fleeing honour killers in Islamabad
ISLAMABAD: It is the 21st century but in some parts of our land people are still living in a bygone age when young people did not have the freedom to choose their life partners. Loving hearts suffocate under conservative social and cultural mores and old taboos stand between free choice and death.
Muhammad Ismail and his wife Mithan, a newly-married couple hailing from Khairpur District in Sindh, is one such couple. They face life threats just because they married of their own choice.
Mithan, 18, fled to Islamabad from her home town in October last year after her parents forced her to marry a wealthy local.
Reliving her ordeal, Mithan told The Express Tribune that after she had done her matriculation, her father, Bagh Ali, decided to give her hand to an old man. “I was shocked when my father told me that he had decided to give my hand to Muhammad Soomer. I refused,” Mithan said. She was not interested in being the second wife of an old man, she added.
She said that soon after her father’s verdict, she decided to leave her house, but Soomer connived with her father to drug and kidnap her and kept her in detention for two months.
“After two months, I saw a chance to get away and ran for my life. In August 2010, I married Muhammad Ismail in a family court in Sukkur District and shifted to Islamabad.”
Soomer filed a false case against her husband in district court, Sukkur by producing a forged ‘Nikkah Nama’ (marriage certificate) alleging that Ismail had abducted his young wife.
The district court of Sukkur has issued a notice to her husband to present himself with Mithan. But if the couple go there to face the court they would kill them in the name of honour (Karo-Kari).
Muhammad Ismail said that Soomer was the local influential and by giving bribe to the Assistant Sub-Inspector Imam Bukhsh, police had lodged a fake first information report against him.
“Even my uncle Ghulam Nabi was killed by Soomer last month and he had occupied my 15 acres land in Ghulam Ujjan Village, and now the life of my mother and younger brother is in danger,” said Ismail.
“I have submitted several applications to the Sindh Chief Minister Qaim Ali Shah and Federal Minister for Interior Rehman Malik but all in vain,” he lamented.
In Islamabad, Ismail is working as a private driver but they are afraid as Soomer can come any time in the city and kill them in the name of honour. “Twice he sent hired assassins but we escaped fortunately”, he alleged.
They said that they also had approached Lahore High Court (LHC) Rawalpindi bench for protection and the court decided in their favour.
They said that the court also directed City Police Officer (CPO) Rawalpindi and Senior Superintendent Police (SSP) to ensure their protection but still they feared Soomer could kill us.
Farzana Iqbal, a senior lawyer, who deals in human rights cases, while talking to this reporter said that under Article 199 of the Constitution both can marry as they were mature and the law permitted them.
She said that the court had already issued orders about the validity of their marriage.
“Despite the court orders the threat to their lives was from old social taboos which sanction murder in the name of honour,” the lawyer said.