"Hussain later said that he married her just to get a permanent UK visa."
An Indian man has paid alimony to his UK Pakistani wife after he left her and married again in India.
After leaving her, his Pakistani wife tracked him all the way to the Malappuram district in February 2015. After discovering his intentions to re-marry, she took him to court. The trial lasted for two years.
Noushad Hussein lived in London while he was completing his MBA. He met Pakistani-origin Mariyam Khaliq and they began a relationship. They eventually had an interracial marriage in April 2013.
Hussein left for India, saying to Khaliq he needed to seek his parents’ permission for the marriage in 2014.
However, after his departure, Khaliq never heard from Hussein. Despite initially calling her, Hussein stopped all forms of communication and sent a letter. In it, he says his parents disapproved of the marriage as she was Pakistani and he wouldn’t return to the UK.
Hussein’s wife decided to take matters into her own hands and set out to look for him. In 2015, she arrived in Malappuram with only a picture to trace him.
After initial difficulty, she found support from helpline Snehitha, a local Kudumbashree group. With their help, Khaliq found Hussein where she received a cold welcome.
Snehitha lawyer, Sudha says: “Although he first denied any relationship with Khaliq, Hussain later said that he married her just to get a permanent UK visa.” Hussein also made plans to marry again.
Hussein’s family also didn’t welcome his Pakistani wife. She says: “[They] called me a prostitute. They abused me very badly. I pleaded with them but they refused to talk to me.”
Unfortunately, Hussein’s parents’ disapproval of Khaliq is not a one-off. Even today, many Asian families can be wary of interracial marriages.
Khaliq took Hussein and his family to court. However, it was a long journey to justice. During the trial, Hussein married again to an Indian woman in 2015. Sudha says:
“Since he remarried and there were no other options left, in a meeting with local political leaders and Noushad’s family, we agreed for a settlement.”
The agreed settlement means Hussein will pay Khaliq’s alimony.
After the long court battle, she has thanked Snehitha for their support. Speaking about her case, she says: “I hope my case will work as a deterrent to many women who are duped in a similar fashion.”
While interracial marriage is becoming less stigmatised among newer generations, it still remains a source of tension for some traditional Asian families. This case highlights how older attitudes can still impact people’s lives.
Additionally, marriage scams are also an on-going concern for some British Asian men and women, particularly those marrying from abroad.
Numerous campaign and support groups such as Stop UK Marriage Fraud and Immigration Marriage Fraud UK have been set up to educate individuals from falling victim to marriage scams. Thousands have also signed a petition to introduce a marriage fraud prevention law in the UK, but this is yet to pass through.