After four years, I’m breaking my silence to share my story for these reasons:
- For you, or your loved ones: I believe, Allah made me go through all this so that perhaps it could make a difference in someone else’s life. We all learn from others.
- Me: Perhaps someone can help me with the Out of Court Settlement.
- Others: perhaps an improvement in laws takes place.
“If two parties among the Believers fall into a quarrel, make ye peace between them: but if one of them transgresses beyond bounds against the other, then fight ye (all) against the one that transgresses until it complies with the command of Allah; but if it complies, then make peace between them with justice, and be fair: for Allah loves those who are fair (and just). “ Surah Fateh 48, verse 29. Holy Quran.
| O ye, who believe! Stand firmly for Allah, as witnesses to fair dealing, and let not the hatred of others to you make you swerve to wrong and depart from justice. Be just: that is next to piety: and fear Allah. For Allah is well-aquainted with all that ye do.
Surah Maida 5, ayat 8.
It is important for me to start this by apologizing to the souls of my father and mother-in-law; Malik Taj Muhammad Khan, and Razia Begum. Both of whom I loved, admired and cherished greatly. It was for their sakes that I’ve been silent for four years. The fact remains, that my father-in-law, a well-known lawyer of this region, knew what happens, and he put my daughters and myself, in a strong position in his lifetime.
The reality remains, “Those who do not take pity on other human beings, do not deserve it themselves!” Had Yasir Khan, retired from WAPDA, Dr. Brig (Rtd) Yasra Bano (gynecologist) and Dr. Brig Sattar Khan, (ENT specialist) retracted. I wouldn’t be writing today.
During last four years, I’ve tried everything:
- Asked family members and respective lawyers to intervene to get an ’Out of Court Settlement’. Brig Altaf, Col Mumtaz, Shahbaz Khan, and Riaz Ahmad Gheba (residing in USA) – all of them , our mutual relatives, have tried to talk to Yasir Khan, without positive response. Instead he has the gall to say to my father, “the ball is in your court.” After all that Yasir has done!
- Court cases: I put up one case against siblings who did criminal acts during and after my husband’s illness and death. My case was against their inhuman treatment of my husband during the last days of his life, which included their taking of mobile phone, wallet, (containing atm cards, spare car key, original CNIC card, etc) of my husband and refusing to return it, even when my husband and daughters asked many times. This caused him great stress, which was lethal in his condition. Besides this, they created scenes in front of him to cause more stress on his condition.
- Note that I’ve spent lacs of rupees on lawyers, and have realized that legal matters are only a waste of time and effort. However, at least no one can accuse me of not having tried. I’ve tried everything humanly possible.
- I’ve conveyed in and out of court, that I’m ready to give them their Shariya portion of all properties, and I will accept what is due to me from them. They are in possession of over 1100 kanals of agricultural lands in the names of my daughters and myself, including the 19/24 due to us from my husband’s share in their possession and constructed property.
They want their share from what is ours, and refuse to give what is already in our names in their possession. – this is truly against Shariya Law – or any law.
Shariya law is also about responsibilities and obligations. Shariya law has to be implemented in totality, not in parts.
As the wife of a retired Air Commodore of the Pakistan Air Force, if I went through so much, I shudder to find out what others are going through.
Shockingly, Yasir Khan, Brig Dr. Yasra Bano and (then) Gp Capt. Sattar Khan did the following things while my husband was alive, dying of cancer in hospital:
- Took my husband’s wallet and mobile phone (when he handed these to them while going into the MRI machine. ) They refused to return these on multiple requests from him and us. They keep saying he gave it to them!
- Closed our banks, with the help of false statements, signatures and documents. Why would a man want to close his bank, while building his house, and when he is ill in hospital?
- Withheld the information of the gravity of my husband’s illness and getting him operated upon, by taking his right to information from him.
- They never let me be alone with my husband, till he went into coma.
- Tried to steal our car.
- They consciously created scenes of stress and unpleasantness in front of my husband, so that his condition gets aggravated earlier.
- Yasra Bano hid the herbal medication that my husband’s friends had brought from a hakeem in Mardan which was known to cure such illnesses.
- Defaming myself and my daughter Waliya, saying that writing for daily Dawn, and doing MBA and her photography were p_______n!
- Yasir Khan phoned offices of lands of my husband asking how to transfer property on to names of siblings, while my husband lay in coma, in hospital.
After my husband died: they did the following:
- They put up four cases against us. – One of these, we have won, Alhamdolillah.
- They succeeded in getting a share from money of EFU installments which my husband had taken for our daughter Waliya’s education. Also, they got the 1/5th portion of the insurance that my husband had taken for both of us, yes, husband or wife. In our case, it was for me, since he went first. The insurance company couldn’t stand by its client’s wish.
- They threatened us. Due to which, I’ve not visited my husband’s grave.
CHALLENGES I FACED ALONE:
- Facing bills of rent, household expenses, staff pays, petrol, gas bills etc. and extra expenses due to husband’s illness.
- Colossal debts incurred during construction of our house.
- Completion of house with no funds in hand.
- Suffering the hardships of moving into a house still under construction, having no male family member.
- Completion of my MBA, – I was in my fifth semester when my husband fell ill.
- Completion and editing of my book “My Life, My Stories” being published in USA. (My request had been accepted in October ‘11)
- Security for Waliya and myself while we lived in our house.
Lessons I learnt which could be useful for you:
- Insurance is a painful process, often benefiting less and being more of a harassment, it would be better to invest same money elsewhere, until their ‘systems’ improve.
- Never trust that those in-laws who are nasty with you, will be nice to your husband, if they cared about him they would be nice to you.
- The clause of ‘next of kin’ means nothing for most organizations in Pakistan. Except for a very few, e.g. National Savings Certificates and a couple of others. Otherwise, this clause is meaningless. Specially, for banks.
- Banks can get sealed in a person’s life time, so be alert. It took one and half years to open up finally, I had spent far more already.
- Most lawyers know how to legalize illegal things. It is very hard to make them go straight. So, they can lead you deeper into trouble. Prolonging the case is beneficial for them! You must personally monitor the wording of the cases.
- Always have joint accounts and joint property with your husband. Even in that case, tick the ‘either or survivor’ clause in the bank papers.
- Take full interest in husband’s investments, pay, papers and files. Keep them in lockers, or in your own hands specially, when under any threat.
Suggesstions for institutions like banks, shariya, pension and property:
- Banks: Until a client himself does not say he wants to close the bank, no one else should be able to close it or freeze it. Phone your client. When a sibling comes with fake signed papers, why not take confirmation from the client himself? A representative of the bank must meet the client, the meeting can be video recorded. Next of kin must be asked for, and it must be written along with it, that it has no legal value. By the time, I convinced the manager to come, I found my husband had been drugged, for the interview with manager, (you can guess who did it!)
- The next of kin law must be reverted in all organizations. It is hoped, Pakistani law will revert this clause now, the will of a person must be followed specially after his death, as is instructed in Surah Baqara.
- Pension: must be given automatically, on showing of the death certificate and marriage certificate. Why must it take over five months to materialize?
- The Shariya portions must be implemented along with the Shaiya clause for sustenance of the bereaved family for which these benefits are given to the siblings etc. Proof of the sustenance provision must be shown before the ‘family’ can become eligible for their share of property. Otherwise, it is not Shariya law implementation. Any harassment of family of deceased must be punishable according to Shariya law also : Why only parts detrimental for women’s benefits are implemented, and the parts to benefit women are totally ignored?
- 1/8th portion for wife in Shariya law, (whether she is wife of one day, or wife lasting thirty years and more – all the same?)This 1/8th is for one whose sustenance is being taken care of by the men in her family for rest of her life. What about one who is taking care of herself?
- When 100% of a wife’s own income is hers, why can’t it be calculated, when she has used that up in her home and for family? That proportion can easily be calculated, and given to her. More women must be brought in, to interpret Sharia law.
- Freezing of all assets, on death of spouse needs to be revised. A woman who devotes her whole life for her husband and children, is suddenly at the mercy of all. Why? Do you think Islam wants that? I’ll quote from Holy Quran here: “Those of you who die and leave widows, should bequeath for them a year’s maintenance without causing them to leave their homes, but if they leave the residence of their own , there is no blame on you for what they chose for themselves in a fair way. Allah is Mighty wise. Reasonable provisions must also be made for divorced women. That is obligation on those who fear Allah.“ (Surah Baqarah, Ayat 240. 241.)
- In an accident case, if a person complains against another person. Both their cars are kept in police custody till an agreement is reached. It should be the same for land cases. If someone is trying to put property of widow and orphans under litigations, his own property should also be ‘frozen’ so that he cannot do anything with his own properties also, till such time as an agreement is reached. As it is now, the one causing mischief is the chief benefiter of the time lag.
- Insurance process must not necessitate such painstaking ‘procedures’ so that it takes so long that illegal claimants get the chance to make claims. Provision of the beneficiaries’ CNIC card and death certificate should be enough. In our case, they said that my husband died a ‘normal’ death so the amount will be Rs.5,00,000/- if it had been an accident, then it would have been Rs. 10,00,000/- And then they gave Rs.1,00,000/- to my in-laws. Where-as it was solely in my name or Najib’s name, in case of my death. Is this fair from any point of view? Funnily enough it was I who paid the first installation of the insurances! – as my husband couldn’t afford it!
- Revive the ‘next of kin’ clause, so that the clients’ wish is honored, by giving it to the one whom he wished his/her property or assets to be given in his lifetime.
Time to crush the myths:
- “You have to accept your position is very weak. You are an only child and your parents are very old. You have no brother and no son, you only have daughters. Two of them live abroad. What can you do? They are over 6 feet tall. They are men. – You are just a woman! What can you do?” This was the general opinion voiced.
I said. “You need to see that my position is very strong. I have three daughters and I am fully capable of handling issues. (- only two of my enemies are 6 feet tall – both over seventy years.) Between us we own 80% of the property. On top of it all, my father-in-law, in his life time had put property on our names. – A fact, which no law on earth can take away from us, without our consent. It is they who are weak. Not us.”
- I was told “you cannot live alone in Islamabad with a young daughter!” I knew in our colony even men are not safe and many incidents of burglary had been carried out. Well, now I had my own brand of burglers! I wasn’t one to get scared easily. (I took solid steps for security also). – My faithful dog Paprika, Guards, loyal staff, laborers, and Fearless Security all are my security, including my neighbors!
- Of course having no money was an issue. I felt I could deal with it. I let everyone believe that I’m moving to my parent’s home, where I had a complete portion. I decided to stay and fight for what is mine and my daughters’ instead.
- I learnt to never take advice from someone who doesn’t take his/her own advice!
- Never allow anyone to tell you what you are capable of, or what you should think. Use your own mind in a given situation. Make your own decisions. Do your own homework. Of course, you will make mistakes, but they will be your own. Stop blaming others. Take full responsibility for your own situation. Take the steps needed that you think are the best. Think from every point of view. Write down your thoughts. Do take guidance from professionals in every field. Know, Allah thought you capable of bearing this burden, that’s why He put you in it. (last ayat of Surah Baqara.) Have faith in His faith in you.
- To Use ‘rishwat’, ‘approach’ or crooked ways to achieve a goal is a myth. In 95% cases, you just have to go through correct processes and work gets done. Be in proper dress, and go the right way, and people help. I’ve found this with gas bill, and electricity bills also.
“Take care of my things…” my husband had said to me as he handed over our house keys to me in hospital when he got admitted.”
Dear Buddy, I’m taking care of all our things don’t worry. Especially I’m taking care of our daughters, and even my parents.
We were a couple who helped others. Today, I’m able to help others in my humble capacity. I’m blessed with a home and my family, all this, because I looked upwards instead of towards people for help. I refused to pay attention to myths.
It is vital to find solutions to these horrendous issues, caused due to weak laws and ‘systems’ in Pakistan.
Luckily, the people of Pakistan are greater than the weakness of our laws. They rise to every occasion and help in every way possible.
It was my father and my friend Shafqat, who said to me “Do what your heart tells you to do.” That is the best advice, because in your heart is Allah, who guides you best. As Bulle Shah said:
“Rab dillan wich rainda!”
God likes it best for us humans to forgive those who have been cruel to us, that is precisely what I’m doing now. I forgive all three of these persons, who tried their best to make life unbearable for me during the worst time of my life. God took care of my family and me, through many of His angelic humans. All I wish for is, that they let us have what is ours, and take what is theirs. I cannot give what is not theirs and make them residents of hell for generations by taking what belongs to a widow and orphans.
Today, I smile and feel completely blessed.
PS: (By the way, my battles are still on … I suppose that’s what life is all about!)
Note: Names of all miscreants have been changed, after I’ve forgiven them.
They have threatened me of dire consequences if I don’t. So, I’ve just changed the names, and plan to keep their privacy because I’ve forgiven them. I wish and hope I’m the last person on whom such a thing was done. That my readers will be smart and alert to such happenings in life, after reading this.
Thanks for reading such a long article. Hope it was useful.