Fozia and Nawaz are a married couple in grave danger of so-called ‘honour killing’ if returned to Pakistan. They face extreme violence from Fozia’s faimly and community persecution because they have crossed the faith divide. yet UKBA is intent on deporting them.
Love across the faith divide
Fozia is a Syed Shia , Nawaz a Sunni. Well-established and successful in business, the professions, and politics across Pakistan, Syed are regarded as an elite caste. Syed girls are not allowed to marry outside the kinship group, and certainly not to a Sunni.
In 2005 Fozia’s home town of Muzaffarabad was struck by an earthquake, in which 150,000 people, including 28 members of her extended family, were killed. Fozia was dug out of the debris. Nawaz was in one of the volunteer team rescue teams, working alongside the Red Cross and UNICEF. They fell in love across the religious divide. Their love match was furiously opposed by Fozia’s family, one of the most powerful Syed families in Muzaffarabad. If a suitable match of her own age cannot be arranged, a Syed girl is expected to remain unmarried or marry an already married or widowed man. For Fozia’s family , family honour counts for more than anything in the world. In 1992 her cousin, Rehana, was killed by her family, as was the outsider boy she eloped with, with the police watching.
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