An Indian woman,who married a Pakistani man,has claimed that her husband has locked her up in a room in their house in Karachi for the past 12 years.
Its been 12 years since I am here,but have always been confined to this house and never stepped out. I have not seen even a tiny part of Karachi. My neighbours have not seen my face and all they know about me is that I am from India. I want to come back. I am scared for the life of my daughters, Shirley Ann Hodges turned Shabnam Khan (39) told The Indian Express over phone from Karachi on Tuesday.
She married Gul Mohammad Khan in 1998 in Ahmedabad,converted to Islam,and changed her name. In 2000,she was taken to Pakistan with her husband assuring that she will be brought back in six months. Shabnam claims to have been living in confinement since then.
I trusted my husband,thats why I married him defying my family,and agreed to come here. He claimed that he is an Indian and had an Indian passport. He fooled me. I found out that he was from here where his family lives. Before he brought me here. he had visited Pakistan twice, Shabnam said. Her biggest worry is her daughters Chandani (12) and Sanjana (8). Shabnam said her daughters are not allowed to attend school.
In Ahmedabad,Shabnams family has made frantic efforts for her release. Her brother Noel Hodges,who runs a restaurant here,has been running from pillar to post to get in touch with her. Letters have been written to the Indian Home Secretary,the Indian High Commissioner in Islamabad and Pakistani human rights campaigner Asma Jahangir.
Help came from rights activist Gagan Sethi, he said,adding that last year after his uncle from the US went to Pakistan,met Shabnam and gifted her a laptop,Noel could finally get in touch with his sister through the Internet.
According to Sethi,the Pakistani human right commission has taken up the matter and is trying to resolve it. After Pakistan police questioned Khan,he filed a petition in the Sindh High Court last month accusing the police of harassing him.