Lahore: A woman who claims to have married former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's nephew Hamza Shahbaz has charged the Sharif family of not accepting her and harassing her and family. (Agencies)
Hamza, the son of Punjab Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif, according to media reports, had married for the third time to Ayesha Malik, whose family has close ties to the PML-Q.
The controversy comes as Hamza is tipped to being groomed for a key role in Sharif's PML-N party. He has strongly refuted reports of getting married again.
Malik's family has alleged that she has been harassed by officials since she sent a message to Nawaz Sharif, asking him to accept her as part of the Sharif family.
Malik was arrested last week after a complaint was registered with police that she had kidnapped the son of her Filipino maid.
Police booked her under an anti-terror law and she was remanded to police custody for 10 days by an anti-terrorism court.
Later, the Chief Justice of the Lahore High Court suspended the remand in response to an application filed by
Malik's mother and ordered departmental action against the anti-terrorism court judge for favouring the complainant.
Malik said her family has been receiving threats from Chief Minister Shahbaz Sharif for not withdrawing her claim that she has a "matrimonial relation" with Hamza Shahbaz.
"Severe torture has been inflicted on my daughter on the order of the Chief Minister. Investigating officer Zulifqar
Cheema kept torturing Ayesha for hours, pressing her to state in writing that she has no relation with Hamza and that she will not talk about this issue to the media," said Rifat Ahad, the mother of Malik.
Ahad, the wife of ailing PML-Q leader Ahad Malik, said several persons, including a PML-N parliamentarian, a legislator, a former prosecution secretary, a senior official of the Punjab government and a journalist, were allegedly involved in efforts to ensure that her daughter "cooperated" with officials while she was in police custody.
"We are receiving threats from the Chief Minister to shut up or to get ready to face the music," Ahad alleged.
Ahad said Hamza had married her daughter 18 months ago. "We have proof and will present it to the media shortly," she said.
Ahad said the way her daughter had been "tortured" clearly showed the "guilt" of the Sharifs.
"Now they are creating hurdles in getting Ayesha’s medico-legal examination done. Thanks God the court has directed the government to get it done," she said.
She asked the Sharifs to accept her daughter in their family respectfully.
Khawaja Imran Nazir, a spokesman for Hamza Shahbaz, said Ayesha Malik and her family were trying to defame the PML-N leadership.
"We strongly condemn this. If she had contracted marriage with Hamza Shahbaz, she should present the proof. But in fact, there has been no such thing and the family has some vested interest," he said.
Nazir denied claims that the Punjab government or the PML-N had influenced Malik's case in the police station.
The PML-N’s political rivals – Pakistan People's Party, PML-Q and Muttahida Qaumi Movement – and rights activists have contacted Malik and extended their help in getting her justice.
The issue also figured in the National Assembly or lower house of Parliament on Monday, when members of the PML-N and MQM engaged in a shouting match and levelled allegations against each other.
MQM lawmaker Asif Hussain raised the issue through a point of order and said he wanted to draw the attention to the plight of Malik.
PML-N parliamentarians condemned the move by the MQM and said this was a personal issue that could not be discussed in the House.
Lahore: A woman who claims to have married former Pakistan Prime Minister Nawaz Sharif's nephew Hamza Shahbaz has charged the Sharif family of not accepting her and harassing her and family.