[sacw] Humaira, Mahmood win court battle [in Pakistan]

Harsh Kapoor aiindex@mnet.fr
Sat, 20 Feb 1999 02:54:47 +0100

Thanks to the untiring and spririted efforts of the Pakistani women's
movement activists, a little victory against the Patriarcal family was won.
Lets hope that 'Humaira's & Mahmood's' from the entire subcontinent will
gather courage and fight their battles. Congratulations to Pakistani
friends ! Posted below is the news story explaining it all.
(South Asia Citizens Web)
From: The News International (Pakistan), Feb 19, 1999

Humaira, Mahmood win court battle to secure marriage

By our correspondent

LAHORE: Humaira and Mahmood, after passing horrendous time which saw them
hiding here and there, won a tough court battle on Thursday. They were
finally able to secure their love marriage after spending some time in jail
under charges of adultery.

Humaira and Mahmood Butt were arrested in Karachi last month when they were
preparing to board a plane to the United States. Humaira was charged with
adultery by her parents who opposed her marriage. Humaira's parents alleged
she was already married to her cousin Muazzam Ghiyas, but Humaira said the
marriage claim was a sham.

On Thursday, the Lahore High Court agreed with her and ordered the
authorities to return the couple's passports. It also allowed the couple to
leave the country whenever they desired. Justice Tassadaq Hussain Jillani,
who headed the single bench, also ordered the police officer who had
arrested the couple at the Jinnah International Airport in Karachi
suspended, arrested and jailed for one month. The two were already under
pre-arrest bail when arrested.

Also, Karachi Police Sub-inspector Subah Sadiq was fined Rs 5,000 for
maltreating the couple, "obstructing" the process of justice and committing
a "gross contempt" of the court. The court further directed the Punjab
inspector general police to take a departmental action against Lahore SP
Rauf Dogar for conducting a partial inquiry into the case.

Declaring Humaira's marriage with Mahmood lawful and the one with her
cousin void in a 43-page judgment, the court ordered the disposal of cases
lodged against the couple. Humaira and Mahmood were not present in the
court when the verdict was read out.

The case involving Mahmood and Humaira, the daughter of a local MPA, made
headlines last month when the couple were brought before the Lahore High
Court on a petition filed by Humaira's father.

Defending her marriage with Mahmood whom she first met eight years ago at
the latter's shop in Lahore, Humaira submitted that she married Mahmood
Butt on her own will after her parents disagreed with her.

Denying her purported marriage with cousin Muazzam, 28-year-old Humaira
said her parents had threatened to kill her husband Mahmood if she refused
to marry Muazzam. She said she was forced into a fake marriage which was
evident by the video which showed her wearing no bridal dress during her
'Nikah' with Muazzam.

Mahmood Butt told the court they were humiliated by the police which also
threatened to kill them in a fake encounter. He said he and his wife were
picked up by Sub-inspector Suba Sadiq at Karachi Airport and were driven to
Lahore. Not only the police tortured him, it also humiliated her mother and
wife, he said.

After the abduction of Humaira and Mahmood by the Punjab Police from
Karachi Airport, it was feared that Humaira might be killed by her parents
to whom she was handed over. Mahmood's whereabouts were also not known.
However, Shahtaj Qazalbash of Woman Action Forum approached the Lahore High
Court through Hina Jillani for protection and recovery of Humaira. The
court took up the case which ultimately came to its end on Thursday with
both Humaira and Mahmood winning a long drawn-out battle for survival of
their marriage.

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