The News had highlighted how Briton's husband is on the run after police registered fake kidnap case on him
LONDON: The Capital City Police Lahore acted swiftly after The News and Geo highlighted the case of newly married 19-year-old British national Afshah Sanam and her husband Saul Steve, 27, whose house was raided by the police after the bride’s British Pakistani father registered a fake case of kidnapping on him through police in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir.
Afshah Sanam had alleged that her father Khalid Hussain, a Stockton taxi driver originally from Mirpur, had travelled to Lahore and Mirpur to get a case registered against her husband after she love-married to the professional photographer on her own free will. Her family didn’t like her decision and used their connections with a PTI leader in Kashmir to pressurise the Christian family of Saul Steve to divorce his British wife. Afshah Sanam alleged that her husband’s aunt was arrested by the police and kept unlawfully in detention for two months to pressurize Steve to divorce her. Meanwhile, Steve fled his home to escape police arrest and Afshah Sanam returned to the UK to lodge complaint against her father and family members with the Cleveland Police.
On Sunday, Deputy Inspector General (DIG) of Lahore Police Operations, Ashfaq Khan, contacted the family home of Saul Steve after reading the report in The News. Mr. Ashfaq Khan, DIG Operations Lahore, when contacted, told The News that the case of kidnap has been registered in Mirpur, Azad Kashmir, and not in Lahore as previously thought. He said that Azad Kashmir police officials might have taken action and visited Steve’s home, however, the allegations need further probe by police high ups of Mirpur, AJK Police.
He said: “The SP Model Town have personally contacted and met the family and spoken to Saul Steve’s father and brother. We have assisted the family to move back to their home under police protection and assured them that they will be fully protected and they don’t need to fear anything. We have taken up the matter with the Azad Kashmir police as well to finalise the case investigation of case registered against Saul Steve on merit as fair investigation is basic right of each individual under constitution of Pakistan. The action against Steve’s family was prompted by Azad Kashmir police.”
The DIG confirmed that Steve family is fully protected but Steve himself is staying somewhere at undisclosed location with some family and friends on his own.
In a statement, Afshah and Steve thanked Geo and The News for publicising their plight which prompted police for prompt action. “We are thankful for the help you provided. The reaction and help has been swift as soon as our case was highlighted. We had been in so much stress for over two months and Geo News have helped us to get relief within 24 hours. We are thankful to the senior police officer DIG Ashfaq Khan, Imran Malik SP Model Town and whole Police Team. We hope the police will not allow itself to be used against us but the fact is it was Punjab/Lahore police that raided our homes and detained our aunt for weeks. The police needs to stop spinning and tell the truth.”
Afshah Sanam got married to Saul Steve at a ceremony in Lahore on 20/04/19 and their marriage was registered legally. They got married after Steve converted to Islam from Christianity.
Afshah’s father Khalid Hussain, a Stockton taxi driver, and rest of the family members were opposed to British born Afshah’s marriage to Saul Steve. Afshah claims that PTI’s Azad Kashmir leader has used his influence with the PTI government in Punjab to use police to run campaign of terror against her husband and his Christian parents.