Love marriage: young woman married off to another man without divorce by first husband

By Zulfiqar Ahmad
ISLAMABAD: In a glaring example of bigotry and scant regard to the law, a married young woman from Gohkir village was married off to another man in Durngah, a nearby village, without getting a divorce from her legal husband. This was done on the advice and pressure of a local cleric, the lawyer of the woman’s husband told ChitralToday.
The woman had contracted love marriage with the man belonging to the Lon village in 2016. She belongs to the Sunni school of thought while the man is from the Ismaili community.
But the inter-sect marriage, which is neither new nor un-Islamic anywhere in the world, was challenged by a local cleric who orchestrated a mob attack on the house of the Ismaili man and forcibly took away her wife, said Gul Murad Khan Advocate.
Mr Khan, who is the counsel for the young man, told ChitralToday that in order to get back his wife his client had filed a petition with the Civil Judge Booni which was still under litigation.
But three days ago, he said, the woman contacted her husband on telephone and pleaded him to end her agony and take her to his home at all costs. According to the lawyer, this was no less than a rebirth for the dejected bridegroom who along with his father immediately rushed to a place where the bride was waiting for him.
Call it their bad luck or whatever they were intercepted again by the family of the woman and some clerics of the area who succeeded to snatch away her from them after beating the husband and his father.
The family of the woman then managed the registration of a kidnapping case against the father of her husband who is now in jail on judicial remand. Things did not stop here as the clerics forcibly married off the already married woman to another man at gunpoint the same day.
This left the family of the young man with no option but to report the incident to the station house officer (SHO) Mulkhow Iqbal Hussain, who is still reluctant to register an FIR against the culprits, which according the counsel was being done under pressure from the clerics.
When contacted by ChitralToday, SHO Iqbal Hussain came up with an interesting logic and said the issue was quite sensitive due to which he had moved an application with the civil judge Booni requesting him to allow the police to hold an inquiry into the matter before registering an FIR, which the court permitted.
“After consulting the SDPO (subdivisional police officer) and legal aides, I moved an application to the civil judge Booni, seeking permission for an inquiry into the matter before registering an FIR on the complaint of the husband of the woman as it is a sensitive issue,” he added.
But the counsel for the man made it clear that his client was married to the woman under the Islamic law, and there were witnesses from both the Ismaili and Sunni communities to the Nikah and no law can nullify it no matter what, adding the couple tied the knot on their free will and a cleric had no right to impose his will on them.