Tortured woman seeks divorce, protection -Pakistan Press Foundation (PPF)

Paksitan Press Foundtion

Tortured woman seeks divorce, protection

ISLAMABAD, Aug 29: A woman, who is receiving death threats from her violent husband, on Wednesday sought the help of President Pervez Musharraf, Prime Minister Shaukat Aziz and Chief Justice Iftikhar Chaudhry in seeking justice and protection for her family.

The victim, Ghazala Matloob, was scheduled to hold a news conference in the Rawalpindi-Islamabad Press Club camp office in the federal capital at 2pm, but could not go ahead with the plan in the wake of renewed warnings.

Ms Matloob’s husband, Zulfiqar Haider, also reached the press club with some police personnel to stop her from narrating her ordeal to journalists. However, they left the scene on the interference of the media persons.

Later, the victim, who is a resident of Dhoke Naju in Khyaban-i-Sir Syed, addressed the journalists for 45 minutes over the phone.

Ms Matloob said she was married to Haider, who introduced himself as an engineer with monthly earnings ranging between Rs30,000 and Rs40,000.

But after the wedding, she came to know that her husband was allegedly an alcoholic, a scoundrel, a fraudulent visa agent and women trafficker. She claimed that her husband used to beat her on petty issues, even when she refused to serve alcohol to his friends.

Ms Matloob was also battered and all her neighbours were witness to those violent attacks. Finally, she moved to her mother’s house and filed a Khula petition in a family court in May.

Earlier, Haider married a woman from Islamabad and used to torture her too on petty issues, however, she managed to get divorce, she added.

Ms Matloob claimed that on getting information about the Khula petition, Haider forcibly entered into her mother’s house on May 12 and attacked her and her 24-year-old mentally disabled sister.

The victim lodged a complaint in the Pirwadhai police station about the incident on May 13, but the police did not take any action. Her husband started threatening her with dire consequences by phone and text messages using different numbers.

Later, Haider in connivance of some officials lodged a complaint with the Aabpara police, stating that his mother-in-law along with some relatives tried to shoot him when he refused to give divorce to her daughter on August 23.

“The police are raiding our houses to arrest us; how can we protect ourselves,” she added.

She demanded security for herself and her family, divorce and arrest of her husband.

Women rights activist Shahnaz Bokhari, who was also present in the news conference, said she too was receiving threats from Haider for pursuing the case.

She called for the suspension of such deceitful and dishonest police officials who helped criminals. She said the baseless FIR lodged against Ms Matloob’s family should be quashed. Proper investigation of the facts should be ensured and security provided to the victim and her family, Ms Bokhari added.
Source: Dawn
Date:8/30/2007